When acquiring new equipment, executives in charge of office administration tend to favor original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) over independent dealers. The reasoning behind this is easy to understand – OEMs typically offer the lowest prices for new equipment.
But low prices don’t always translate to stakeholder value. Executive boards are beholden to their stakeholders for producing value – not for being thrifty.
There is more than goes into the decision to purchase office hardware than simply choosing the equipment with the highest specifications. Choosing the right equipment for the job at hand and being able to leverage that equipment towards long-term value is key.
This is most evident when it comes to print equipment. Most small offices do not need to invest in a million-dollar printing press. But since OEMs exist expressly for the purpose of selling print equipment, they are likely to try to upsell to their customers whenever possible.
Independent print dealers focus on delivering value that both includes and extends beyond initial hardware deployment. For an independent dealer, choosing the right equipment means choosing the best-performing equipment for its customers’ long-term needs.
How Independent Print Dealers Generate Value
There are many factors more important to print efficiency and value than the acquisition cost of print equipment. The hardware cost of a printer is only one element of its total cost of ownership, which includes consumables, infrastructure, maintenance, and document management.
Independent print dealers generate value by taking these elements into consideration and presenting customers with solutions that streamline the value equation throughout the hardware’s expected shelf-life.
Managed service providers take things one step further by including maintenance and updates into their service contracts.
This approach results in 5 concrete benefits to choosing independent print dealers over OEMs when acquiring print equipment:
1. Boutique Service
Most OEMs have a close-ended way of thinking about their transactions. Notwithstanding the terms of their explicit warranties, their responsibility ends the moment print equipment arrives at customers’ doors.
This means that it is up to you to choose the right equipment, accessories, and peripherals for optimizing your workflows. It’s up to you to deploy your equipment intelligently and minimize waste. It’s up to your IT team to maintain that equipment and keep your shelves well-stocked with print consumables.
All of these tasks require time and effort on behalf of your IT team.
2. Brand Agnosticism
When an equipment dealer says it is “brand-agnostic”, it means that it operates independently of its partnerships with OEMs. That means that it is free to choose between any number of equipment
manufacturers and software developers to find the most efficient solution for its customers.
An OEM will never knowingly tell its customer that it could get a better deal with a competitor. But an independent print dealer will know – and has a clear incentive to make the argument.
The ability to scale your services up or down on an as-needed basis is a clear benefit when dealing with complex equipment acquisition deals. Most vendors are not likely to take equipment back once it has been purchased, and place the responsibility of choosing the most efficient solutions squarely on their customers’ shoulders.
An independent print dealer can mix and match products and services to create a flexible, customized plan that allows for long-term scalability. This can be a powerful value differentiator when buying for fast-growing companies.
4. Customer Service Consistency
It’s very easy for on-site print fleets to become fragmented between multiple brands over years of doing business. Multiple acquisition rounds can result in a confusing mismatch of manufacturer brands, service providers, help desk staff, and consumable vendors.
This can complicate even the simplest customer service queries. What you think is a problem with your printer could actually be a problem with your laser toner cartridge, or even your paper.
With an independent print dealer handling your acquisitions, your account representative is responsible for every aspect of your print solution. All of your customer service queries go through a smooth, consistent process.
5. Fast and Reliable On-Site Work
One of the main pain points of working exclusively with OEMs is a lack of reliable on-site service. Since OEMs focus on selling products, they typically outsource on-site service calls to local providers – who may or may not be the best-equipped teams for the job.
Your local independent print provider prides itself on offering products and service as part of its print solution. You can rely on reputable local technicians to fix on-site issues quickly and professionally.
Get a Print Audit Today
The first step to finding the perfect combination of print hardware and software for your office is the print audit.
By analyzing your print usage using sophisticated tracking software, workflow optimization experts can pinpoint exactly what type of equipment you need to maximize efficiency while mitigating security risks and eliminating waste.
Is your office ready to start cutting print costs and boosting productivity? Contact us and schedule your print audit today!