9.1 What to look for in an MPS provider
Photocopiers and printers are big investments that do not often require to be replaced, however certain variables can lead to the need for new machines. Corporations and consumers alike need to ask themselves whether their current supplier is meeting their needs. Hidden extras should be taken into account here, meaning whether toner and other consumable costs are as predicted, or whether contractual small print has led to you having to increase your annual print budget. So, try to find out whether an MPS provider has transparent billing, and whether things such as toner are included within their service, as not all providers include toner!
Service from engineers is also a key variable. Are your current supplier’s engineers reliable and able to actually fix issues with an excellent response time? Does your current supplier have a managed print service that allows you to keep printing as needed and as smoothly as possible?
You should also consider the location of your print provider, as they may not have offices that cater to your location, so delivery teams and service engineers may not be able to reach you in a timely manner. The easiest way to decide whether your print provider is right for you is to find out beforehand if the company is reputable, as this normally means transparent pricing due to the company’s high profile. You can also do a number of different credit checks on the company by checking it’s first report, or looking at their published accounts at Companies House or via websites such as: https://companycheck.co.uk
9.2 Do you need a better machine?
Another consideration should be whether you are getting the best output from the printer or photocopier you have.
- Do you require a higher speed from your printer?
- Is colour printing important or would mono (black and white) be sufficient?
- Do you need a better print quality or larger print sizes?
- Do you need extra functionality not currently available to you?
- Do you require more document finishing options?
Lastly the cost of machines may be a deciding factor for replacing your existing machines. Organisations should consider whether they can afford to buy or lease their new equipment. Typically leasing is the most popular option as the cost of the hardware can be spread out over usually a 3 to 5-year term and then the option to upgrade this equipment is given. With constant advancements in technology this means you are not left with tired and out of date devices, and can often lower monthly or quarterly costs and even tax benefits as well. If you are leasing your machines then there are a few things to be considered such as how far into your lease you are, as some leasing contracts allow you to upgrade early. If your current printer is costing too much, a second hand device could be the way forward in order to get the functionality and features you need whilst keeping the costs low.
It may be useful to do some of your own research into the best machines and specifications. One way of making this process easier is to look for awards from organisations such as the Buyers Laboratory Inc. (BLI), an independent body who asses all new equipment and all models launched by manufacturers. It recognises excellent equipment and gives them awards. The company also offers products and software that allows you to access their research yourself, including customer research data.
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