If you are in the market for a new copier you may feel overwhelmed by all of the options. Between the never-ending list of manufacturers, the vast array of features, and figuring out which dealer you should do business with, it probably feels like you’re getting ready to climb Mt. Everest. Finding the best copier company near you can be tricky. Making the right choice could mean the difference between a productive office or years of frustration.
The reasons you are currently in the market may vary, but your expectation level should not. There are a few key things to look for that can help narrow down your options very quickly.
While you may not currently have a full grip on exactly what copier you are looking for, purchasing directly from a manufacturer or a single-line dealer may limit your options. If you have previously had a positive experience with a specific manufacturing brand and feel confident that their product will serve your needs, this is obviously a viable option for you.
When looking for the best copier company, it’s important to know that each manufacturer’s options do the same basic functions, but their available features and level of dependability can vary greatly. A manufacturer or single-line dealer will sell you on why their product can work for you, even if there are features that could increase your efficiency that are not available with their product.
A multi-line dealer can provide you multiple options that are the best fit for your processes and budget. Additionally, they provide the ability to provide a three-quote bid process that fulfills many company policy requirements.
Manufacturer and dealer technicians go through exactly the same training, so there is no difference in their level of expertise with a particular brand. However, manufacturers and single-line dealers have a team of technicians who are experienced with the same equipment and able to interchangeably service any client at any time. While this might seem advantageous, the single-line dealer or manufacturer may utilize this benefit to employ fewer technicians. This service methodology stretches the technicians thin and increases call response times.
The service technicians for a multi-line dealer are typically cross trained for multiple brands but are most likely experts in one manufacturing line. While this limits the number of technicians available to repair a particular copier brand, it could actually increase response times because they have a reduced number of machines that they are responsible for in a given territory.
The bottom line is, you need to ask one very important question when doing your research: “What is your average service response time?”
When making the decision as to who to purchase or lease your office equipment from (see our article “Is it better to lease or purchase your copier?” for more information on financing options), you may be wondering whether it is in your best financial interest to deal directly with the manufacturer. The truth is that both options purchase their equipment at the same wholesale price. Copier manufacturers are publicly held companies who are responsible for meeting their annual fiscal goals, so handicapping their dealers with a higher cost product is not in their best interest. This being said, the manufacturer is ultimately responsible to their shareholders, which means that bottom line numbers are their key focus. This fact holds them to strict budgets that limit their expenses and payroll that can wind up being to the detriment of service levels.
A local dealer is only responsible to the owner and the owner is ultimately responsible to their customers. This equates to a higher priority being placed on service. Local business owners have a vested interest in the success of their customers and their community rather than shareholders, and work to build relationships that establish long-term loyalty.
For more guidance on how to pick the best copier company near you, feel free to contact a Ford Business Machines sales representative at 800.633.3673 and they will be happy to explain all of your options.
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