The TDSIT Blog

Why Are OEM Supplies Better Than Aftermarket Supplies?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 @ 02:52 PM


Office printing is an integral part of almost every business, and your printing equipment needs to be properly maintained and serviced in order to function reliably. When you buy or lease your equipment, including digital copiers or multi-function printers (MFP's), your service provider will have you sign a lease and/or service agreement for a specified period of time, outlining the terms of your agreement including the cost, warranty and how you will be charged. When it comes to supplies or consumables, what you don't know can hurt you, as there is a vast difference between original equipment manufacturer, or OEM supplies, and aftermarket supplies.

Read the Fine Print
The terms of your service and maintenance agreement should be clear and easy to understand, if they're not, be sure to clarify any areas of concern. The rate at which you'll be charged will be on a cost per copy (CPC) basis, according to the type of equipment you have, such as:

  • A black and white CPC agreement for a monochrome only MFP.
  • A black and white and color CPC agreement with a black and white and color MFP.
Additional points to cover include:
  • Supplies - Determine whether you will receive OEM supplies, or knockoffs.
  • Conditions of Your Warranty - Identify whether one is included, and the length and terms that go with it.
  • End of Contract Conditions - Find out what will happen to your equipment at the end of your lease.

Why OEM Supplies Are Better

Risks abound with knockoff supplies, including:

  • Increased downtime. Aftermarket supplies can place undue stress on other parts, resulting in breakdowns.
  • Poor quality. Dirty or low quality copies can result from substandard supplies.
  • Frequent service calls. Breakdowns or increased wear and tear means more calls for service, and equipment that is out of commission.
  • Employee frustration. Having to reprint poor quality copies, fiddling with a machine to get it to work, or finding a printer in need of repair leads to frustrated employees and a decrease in efficiency.
  • Warranty issues. Failure to use OEM supplies may render your warranty null and void, leaving you with no recourse for damages.

Before you put your name on the dotted line, read the terms of your agreement carefully. Ask the question early as to what will be included in the agreement you are signing, OEM supplies or aftermarket, knockoff alternatives.  Contact us for more information. 

Also Click here to find out how your office can save up to 30% in print costs in 30 days:

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Tags: warranty, OEM, service agreement, total cost of operation, supplies

Who Pays to Remove the Old Copier From Your Office – Is It You???

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 @ 01:53 PM

TDS copier removal

When the time comes to finally replace your copier with a multifunction printer (MFP) or another device, many business owners or managers are happy to see the old machine go.  But before the copier leaves your building you should be aware of the costs that can be incurred for copier removal.

Typical copier lease agreements have a three to five year term.  In the agreement there are typically stipulations outlining the removal of the copier when the lease expires or if the copier is to be removed before the term of the lease is completed.  Hefty fees can be involved in these cases.

As with any lease agreement business owners and managers should carefully review the entire lease before signing.  Far too many times, however, the copier removal fees happen by surprise because that portion of the lease was overlooked or misinterpreted.

Copier leases can have two different options available.  The first is for the business to completely manage and pay for preparation, transport and shipping expenses for the copier removal.  The second option is for the business to have the copier company handle all of the preparation and transportation expenses.  Both situations can be quite costly for the business.

Copiers are not easily transported because they are heavy and contain toner or ink that must be carefully moved.  Copiers are delicate devices that can be broken if not properly protected during the removal process.

Thoroughly reviewing your copier lease is the best way to avoid the surprise copier removal fees.  Xerox takes pride in having an end of lease program that is business-friendly and can protect you from unanticipated expenses.

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Tags: document management, lease multifunction printer, Total Document Solutions, TDS, service agreement, MFP

Before Buying an MFP, What Service Questions Should You Have Answered?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 @ 12:23 PM

TDS service

All businesses are looking for ways to spend less when it comes to internal office expenses, with one of the biggest being print and toner expenses. While your office can easily switch over to monochrome printing or limit the number of print jobs on a weekly basis, there might be something else entirely that you're overlooking which could result in a very expensive annual bill. That overlooked expense - Paying for copies or prints being made on a service call.

When your service technician comes in to check out your printers or MFPs to ensure that they are working properly, they typically have to make some impressions or test prints or copies in order to make sure that the problem has been rectified and that the machine is operating properly.

However, some technicians will do hundreds of impressions in a single service call that the business will have to pay for and that can really add up throughout the year. So, what exactly can you do?

  • First and foremost, ask about rates when it comes to service calls. Be honest and open, understand what happens to the impressions the service technician is doing when working on your machine. If you're going to be billed an additional amount how can you get a credit back?
  • Keep track of all service calls, just in case. If you are not credited for a certain time a technician came out to service your system and they created extra impressions, you can bring it up with the dealer.
  • If you're working with Xerox and they are providing the service directly there is a line item known as "copy credits" on the invoice that you receive after the service call. You can get a credit back for both black and white and color impressions made during any service call.

Don't be left out of the loop when it comes to expenses and additional costs when service calls are performed, especially when you have to foot the bill! Instead, know exactly what to ask your service technician ahead of time and make sure that you get credit for the impressions they make on your machines.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: multifunction printer, service agreement, total cost of operation

Digital Copier Service Agreements Demystified

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Aug 09, 2012 @ 02:09 PM


The exercise of buying or leasing a new Multi-Function Printer (MFP) and service contract for your office can be eerily similar to that of buying or leasing a new car. You buy from the salesman but the real relationship will be with the mechanic. In the case of office equipment, you deal with a sales person up front, and then the service department for the next few years. In the office equipment business service contracts can be a tricky matter, with ever-evolving yearly renewals; renewals which often involve contract changes unbeknownst to the customer. Since an evolving, product life-long service contract can be a scary proposition, it is critical that you have a thorough understanding of exactly what you are getting into.

When reviewing a service contract--prior to purchase--there are a few key points that you should have clarified. To demystify the process we have broken down the key points to review and questions to ask before purchasing or leasing a new system:

Toll Free Technical Support
With the sophistication of today's MFPs many of the minor issues that result can be fixed over the phone without having to wait for a technician to be dispatched, so 24-hour toll-free tech support can be very beneficial to maintaining machine up-time.

Retrofits and Software Upgrades
Since coverage varies contract to contract ask whether your service agreement requires an additional surcharge be paid for machine retrofits and software upgrades or whether they are included. In some cases retrofits may be referred to as a system overhaul and may be accompanied by an unanticipated invoice.  

Remote Diagnostic Capability
Ask whether the MFP can be accessed, monitored and managed remotely when it comes to status and software upgrades.

Service Credits
Onsite service technicians may have to run numerous test copies or prints in order to check the functionality and performance of the machine after a repair has been completed. So be sure to ask whether the cost of these “test” copies or prints will be credited to your account in order to offset the cost of running them. Test copies or prints, especially on color systems, can be expensive over the life of the equipment if a credit is not applied.

Parts & Supplies
Ask whether only genuine manufacturer parts and supplies will be used throughout the life of the contract when repairing your MFP. This is critical because warranties and guarantees can be voided by the manufacturer if aftermarket or third-party parts and supplies are used. 

Inquire how long the machine and system will be under warranty, and most importantly, who decides(and how is it decided) when a faulty or problematic system needs to be replaced.

When discussing your digital copier service contract, before you lease or purchase, be sure to involve all parties who will be responsible for it and cover all the points above. Ensure when discussing the service to inquire specifically about what is included and what isn't, ask to speak with a technician when reviewing the terms and conditions since these are the 'mechanics' that your established relationship will be with. 

Make sure you ask the right questions to get exactly what you are looking for because post-purchase changes may be difficult, or could require additional, and often expensive, upgrade costs. For more information you may want to review our Free Buyer Checklist.

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Tags: MPS, Remote printing, printer warranty, OEM, service agreement, cloud printing, MFP, digital copier, Remote diagnostics