The TDSIT Blog

Multifunction Printers: They’re Not All Created Equal!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Sun, May 31, 2015 @ 09:20 PM

not all mfps created equalIf you’re planning on adding a multifunction device in your office, you’ve probably noticed that they all look alike! They all print, fax, scan, and copy. The only difference seems to be the price, but even then, there’s not much difference! So how do you differentiate between MFPs to find the right one for your business? It starts by asking the right questions!

Look Behind the Curtain

The true differences can be found in the level of support provided by the manufacturer or reseller. Examine the warranty. Who covers it, the manufacturer or the reseller? How long does it last, 90 days, six months, three years? 

Is there a service agreement attached? Does the agreement offer service credits?  Your machine will inevitably require service at some point in its lifecycle. When the service tech comes to your office to repair your machine and prints multiple color and black and white test prints, who pays? Believe it or not, small differences like these can make a world of difference.

Check Under The Hood

MFPs generally use one of two engine systems. The first is a drum based engine. This requires a service technician to maintain the machines. The second is a cartridge-based engine.  Much like laser printers they have replaceable components like toner cartridges. They generally require less onsite maintenance.

Another area that should be examined is mobile printing.  As more businesses move more functions online, mobile print is a growing trend. There are a variety of devices, each with different requirements. Make sure the printer you choose supports the devices your workforce employs. Also, if leasing there may be an additional charge to enable mobile print. Ask your vendor before signing any contract.

Finally, security is an issue on every business owner’s mind. Since You MFP basically functions as a computer with an internal hard drive, memory, and Internet connectivity, it can become a security risk.  Look for systems offering full system security. Certified by the manufacturer and verified by a third party service such as Common Criteria Certification, this typically is installed by the manufacturer.

With a little bit of research, you’ll soon see that not all multifunction printers are created equal. Go beyond simple price point and functionality to find the true value when making a choice!

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Tags: multifunction print devices, warranty, purchase office equipment, multifunction printer, Purchase multifunction Printer

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

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

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

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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