7 Tips to Consider Before Buying New Office Equipment
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to replace old equipment or if you want to buy the most recent technology in office equipment, it is important to select the right equipment for your workplace. Do fax machines really need to be purchased? Or is it cheaper to use internet faxing capabilities? A mail machine is a smart investment if your office regularly sends large volumes of mail. Do you need a multi-purpose copier or multi-purpose printing device that can scan, copy, fax, fax and print for your office? It is important to do your research before you make any major equipment purchases. There is a perfect solution for every office, all you have to do is research.
Here are 7 things to remember before you buy new office equipment.
Price is always an important factor when purchasing office equipment new or used. The purchase price should not only be considered, but also how much it will cost to maintain the equipment over its lifetime; what are the costs of replacement parts and consumables; and how does this compare with other comparable models and makes on the market. Many websites, such as Nextag and Consumer Reports, offer easy-to-read side-by-side comparisons of similar models and makes of office equipment.
The selection of green office equipment may be limited if your company is committed to being environmentally responsible. There may not be enough product features that you need. Although the initial purchase may be higher than expected, maintenance costs are often significantly lower over the life of the equipment. Energystar.gov allows you to see ratings for different types of energy-efficient office equipment.
The use of the equipment will also be a major factor in deciding whether to purchase new or used office equipment. What frequency and in what environments will the equipment be used? These are just a few examples of the scenarios that could be used. The environment in which the equipment is used will determine what features will be required to complete the task efficiently and effectively. To determine the real needs of your end-users, it might be worthwhile to conduct a survey in your office.
Before making any major purchases, it is important to consider the job functions and skills of employees who will be using the equipment. Is training required for end-users to use the equipment properly? If so, is it provided free of charge. End-users will have unlimited online access to usage, maintenance and vendor performance reports.
Because warranty terms vary from one manufacturer to the next, it is important to find out how long your manufacturer warranty will last. It is important to determine what terms and conditions the service contract offers, and what they cost. What is the length of the service contract? Is it long-term or short-term? What cancellation fees are there; how fast can the company respond to your inquiries; and what is the cost of travel and parts. It is important to fully understand what you are signing before entering into any contract with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), or Third-Party Vendor. Do not assume that the contract will have favorable terms and conditions. No matter how resistance the salesperson may offer, the consumer should consult an expert before signing any contract. There are many ways to negotiate favorable terms and conditions. After the service contract is signed, consumers lose all their negotiating power. There are many alternatives to traditional service contracts. These include time & materials and preventative maintenance, depot or loaner service, as well as utilizing an Equipment Maintenance Management Program.
Technical Support and Software Updates
Software updates and technical support are often included in terms & conditions when you purchase a service contract. Both should be included in the initial purchase of office equipment. Consumers have other options than the traditional service contract. Technical support should be available via a toll free number. Software updates should also be offered at no cost. Their goal is to fix a malfunction by the manufacturer or improve the performance of the equipment.
Parts & Consumables Availability
Decide whether OEM certified parts and new consumables are more important to you than refurbished parts. Each option has its pros and cons. Is it possible to find new or refurbished parts at prices that are within your maintenance budget? You should review the terms governing parts and consumables in your service contract. Also, you can interview potential time & material vendors that are able to perform the necessary maintenance on the equipment.
Your due diligence with regard to the above criteria will allow you to determine which make, model and product features best suit your needs. When making such a large purchase, it is important to make the right decision. Don’t rush. Final purchase will come down to choosing the right piece office equipment that fulfills your needs, is most beneficial for the company, and the end-users.
We want to hear about your shopping experience. You followed a checklist, or did you buy on impulse? Did you get the result that you wanted? What would you do to improve your buying experience in the future?