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:

cut print costs

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

What are the Risks of Using Aftermarket vs. OEM Parts?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 @ 12:10 PM

describe the image

When you purchase a brand new car from a dealership, you have two basic options when it comes to servicing it: you can have it serviced by the dealership or you can take it to an independent garage for repairs.

While dealerships are notorious for charging a premium price for onsite servicing, you can feel good knowing that only OEM parts will be used. Alternatively, when you opt to have your vehicle serviced by an independent garage, the quality of the parts used to make the repairs can be questionable. 

The servicing options for your photocopier or MFP are not as flexible as you generally will have the machine serviced by whoever leased it or sold it to you. This is why it's so important for you to select a reputable vender on the front end. 

Unfortunately, few businesses ask about the types of parts that are being used to service their equipment and focus more on the service cost per impression. Some venders are able to offer very competitive pricing for their service and this aggressive pricing is typically because they are using aftermarket parts, which can cost anywhere from 20 to 40 percent less than OEM parts.

What are the risks of using aftermarket parts versus OEM parts?

Is the cost savings worth it to use aftermarket parts to make repairs? The biggest risk that businesses take when choosing this option is that the non-original manufactured parts will void any type of warranty if one is offered.

As a prudent business owner, you should always ask up front if the parts that will be used to service your equipment are OEM or aftermarket. Have the vender show you where this is specified in the maintenance contract and have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions before signing it. 

Understand the terms of your warranty.

Assuming that you will want a photocopier or MFP that is under warranty, make sure that you understand the terms of your warranty and how it will work in conjunction with the parts that are used to service your machine. In some cases, aftermarket parts are not covered by the warranty. Most warranties in the industry tend to operate on an annual basis, so it's recommended that you know what the term of the warranty is up front and what it entails.

Having a clear understanding of your warranty and which parts will be used to service your machine can help to avoid any unwanted surprises down the road.

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

Print Assessment

Tags: warranty, OEM parts, total cost of operation

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

Do you Know the True Cost of Printing?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Mar 07, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

Do You Know the True Cost of Printing

Between invoicing, record keeping and communications, most businesses are thought to be spending between one and three percent of their annual revenue on print costs. In addition, few Small Medium Sized Business owners are aware of the exact amount of inventory their company is carrying between equipment and supplies. Multiple devices may also rely on multiple vendors for repairs and replacement equipment adding to the confusion. 

Knowing the true cost of printing can pave the way to a reduction in print usage and expenditures, streamline work and printing processes and increase your bottom line. Managed Print Services (MPS) can help get you on your way; here’s how.

What is the True Cost of Printing?

Because printing is a necessary part of doing business, it isn’t an area often considered when management is looking to trim costs, but the fact is, if you don’t know what you’re spending, how do you know how much you could be saving?

Ask yourself the following:

  • How many printers are in your office?
  • Of those how many are multi-function printers (MFPs)?
  • Are they all from the same manufacturer?
  • Do they each carry separate maintenance/service agreements?
  • Do the supplies for each come from the same vendor?
  • How much are you spending each year on ink cartridges, toner cartridges, paper and hardware?
  • How many steps are necessary to print?
  • Do you have a sustainability initiative in place for office printing
If you don’t know the answers, it’s time to consider MPS.

The Benefits of MPS


The road to the successful management of your print services begins with an in-depth assessment of current inventory and expenditures. By examining document workflow improvements can be made to streamline processes and get costs under control.

Cost Reduction

Savings can be realized by:

  • Eliminating redundant or outdated equipment.
  • Optimizing the ratio between employees and equipment.
  • Reducing the amount of devices and supplies.
  • Streamlining document workflow to eliminate unnecessary steps.
  • Introducing print rules such as double-sided or monochrome printing for certain applications.

Increased Efficiency

Through proper placement of equipment within the office, employees can save steps and increase production. Optimizing processes to take advantage of digital solutions can save both time and money.

Through managed print services, you can free your IT resources. As a rule IT will be responsible for call outs for malfunctioning printers, many of which then require a second call out to a service vendor.

Enhanced Security

By introducing secure print practices and protocols, the level of security for printed documents within your organization can increase exponentially. Features such as data encryption, PIN or password enhanced printing and image overwriting can help keep sensitive documents safe and secure.  

Environmental Sustainability

Small changes can make a big difference.

  • Protocols can be put in place to re-route or outsource jobs to the most cost effective printing method, saving toner, paper and emissions.
  • Print rules such as double-sided printing or toner saver settings can be enacted.
  • Through the use of recycled products and materials such as paper or toner cartridges your company can reduce its carbon footprint substantially.

The true cost of printing within your organization is most likely higher than you think. MPS can successfully manage all your printing needs, while minimizing the cost. By assessing current practices and procedures, improvements can be made that result in the increased productivity and efficiency of your business, where employees spend less time on printing and more time working towards increasing your bottom line.

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

Print Assessment

Tags: managed print services, MPS, TCO, true cost of printing, total cost of operation, MFP