Understanding Print Costs

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Investing in a new multifunction printing device for your business is usually based on a need and not a want. Maybe your device is near the end of its life, or it’s missing functionality or features that are necessary to fit your changing needs, or maybe it’s broken down one too many times and it’s time for something new. 

It’s seemingly a simple purchase, you go to your copier vendor (or find a new one) and get a few quotes, and then sign on the dotted line. You take the dealer at their word, after all, they’re the expert, and you’re relatively happy with your decision. Then something changes. Either the device you purchased doesn’t work how you want it to, or you find your monthly contract costing you a significant amount each month and you aren’t even sure what you’re paying for. 

Our goal at PiF is to demystify the copier buying and print cost processes because while a copier purchase may be necessary, it doesn’t have to be painful. We’ll dive into ways you can make a more informed decision when purchasing your next copier.

Using “Facts & Data” to inform business decisions

When investing in new technology for your business, you base much of your decision on what you already know. For example, if you only use Black and White in certain parts of your business, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a new Color device. Using historical data to influence your purchasing decisions extends beyond just the devices you buy, it can also heavily influence the contract you enter into with your dealer. 

In the world of copiers and printers, it’s often a “dealer knows best” Wild West. You get inundated with promises that only that one dealer offers the lowest prices, only to find yourself years later in a recurring contract that you don’t understand what exactly you’re paying for. Sometimes it’s easier to stick with your current dealer and sign your contract every year or every few years rather than seek out better options. After all, it’s a hassle trying to get quotes and you may not want to be talking to a neverending rotation of dealers who all seem to promise the same thing. 

Using analytics is the only real way to know that your printing habits are in alignment with your future investment. Analytics help measure things such as reducing unnecessary paper usage, improving business processes and workflow automation, reducing environmental impact and also, reducing the burden on staff. 

Your total copier costs are comprised of two parts, the device itself and the vendor contract. Taking both of these into account when making your purchase decision can help you get a device that fits your needs and a contract that fits your budget.

Choosing a copier that works for you

These days, a copier isn’t just a copier. It’s expected to connect seamlessly to any device wirelessly, print the highest quality, and work quickly and effectively. For many organizations who are enamored with sleek new features and exciting functionality, making a purchasing decision can be seemingly simple. You see the device, you like it, and you buy it. Because this decision is feature-focused, manufacturers and dealers see an opportunity to charge organizations at a premium for what’s touted as “premium features.”

Other organizations simply focus on whatever the cheapest option is, skimming over other details in search of the best bargain. While they’ll walk away from the deal feeling confident about not overspending, the device may be lackluster, or even worse, may break more often, causing more repair calls and a shorter device lifespan. 

Many manufacturers are focused on your dollars more than your business’ needs and require you to invest additional time, money, and resources in order to use it to its full abilities, meaning seemingly simple tasks can become unintentionally more difficult.  

Determining what features would make completing daily tasks simpler can make it easier to find a copier that works better for your business and budget. For example, if you have an office that’s on the go and regularly relies on smartphones to receive information, Ricoh’s smart device connector app can enhance the print from your phone experience, allowing for easy customization. 

Buying into features that look enticing, but wouldn’t make sense for your business, can cause you to spend way more money than you need to, while also potentially missing out on a device that better fits your needs.

Of course, having the right device is just one piece of the puzzle.

A broad range of contract options

Pay as you go

Pay for “Actuals Only”; with no minimums or overages – pay for what you use, and don’t overpay for what you don’t!

Benefits

This pricing program’s biggest benefit is in its name, you pay depending on your actual copier use, meaning that you aren’t paying for copies you aren’t making and you can save your organization money during slower printing periods.

Drawbacks

Because what you pay fluctuates with how you use your device, your billing isn’t as predictable month to month.

Flat Rate

Pay for all copies, toner, and service at one flat rate. Get a predictable expense that won’t disrupt your budget.

Benefits

Predictable, easy-to-understand pricing and a “set it and forget it” structure that allows you to make your monthly bill an afterthought.

Drawbacks

If your use fluctuates month to month you may wind up paying for copies you aren’t making.

Traditional Cost Per Click (CPC) + Overages

Prefer to not make any change and stick with a familiar program? We can provide that option and beat your current pricing.

Benefits

A familiar, predictable pricing program that is ideal for organizations that know exactly what their monthly use is and don’t want to change from their existing pricing structure.

Drawbacks

If you consistently go over your previously established monthly usage, you wind up paying far more than initially intended (or budgeted for).

There is no wrong answer when it comes to choosing a contract option for your organization. What’s important is that you assess you organization’s needs and make a fully informed decision.

How PiF can help

We can discuss your current situation and determine if your needs have changed. We’ll configure a device that fits your exact needs, and discuss the budget with you to determine the right direction to move forward. Once you have a device you want, we’ll review our contract options and allow you to make an informed decision. 

Let’s get started with your new copier purchase with a no-commitment assessment.

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