It is "Back to School" time again, and purchasing/IT managers are once again faced with making sure their offices are well prepared for another demanding cycle. No matter how many years of experience you have, it is always a daunting task to go through the buying process. So I am here today to give some insights on the basic considerations you must prepare for with purchasing digital printing equipment to help you along! As usual, I aim to sum up the most important items, and make it relevant to you!
The most important things to consider
1. Budget vs needs
2. Service requirements vs vendor service quality
3. Equipment requirements
1. BUDGET VS. NEEDS
First as the decision maker you must ascertain your needs and then do your best to fit it within your budget. This can be difficult when you have many hands in the decision making process, such as the CFO and your end users. One realization you must come to is that your cost of printing is inherent and a crucial part of your daily operations. So the best way to approach this is to minimize high cost usage such as color, and to purchase high volume print equipment that can offer lower usage and service rates. It is always great to implement a cost management system and set user quotas to help further keep a rein on costs. However, always remind your CFO, that these are necessary costs of operation and the budget should be generous enough to reflect this.
2. SERVICE REQUIREMENTS VS. VENDOR SERVICE QUALITY
Service quality is one area that I have always held in a very high professional regard. Many a times have I encountered clients who take on cheap contracts with vendors who provide poor service and offer cheap or used printers. What is the point of having a room full of 8 printers, 3 of them working intermittently, 5 of them constantly down waiting for repair, jams on every job, and having to make service calls everyday? Basically the money you saved on the contract was lost and then some with the number of labor hours wasted dealing with printing issues, along with your precious time spent on the phone yelling at your vendor for all of the issues you are facing.
Overall, if your institution has heavy print demands, not only must you get the right equipment for the job, but you NEED a great service team to make sure your service calls are far and few in between. Qualifications such as G7 certifications and Konica Minolta Pro-tech awards are some of the cap feathers that a good vendor service team will have.
3. EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
If you have read this far you have seen my references why choosing the right equipment is important. So briefly, if your needs require daily high volume printing, high quality color rendering, or heavy stock support then you need the right equipment to handle it! Not only will you be more satisfied with the performance and end product, but you will also be able to spend more of your time focusing on business. There are differences between office grade, light production, and production digital printer models. Make sure you get the product that can handle what you throw at it, and you will see the difference and time saved when you get the right tool for the job.
By the way, if a potential vendor just gives you what you ask for, and does not ask pertinent interview questions to fully understand your needs and make best recommendations, then you should find one who cares enough to do so.
This is the first in a series of blogs I will be posting on this topic, and I hope this helps you to be more prepared for this purchasing process. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me! I am always happy to help!
Sales Manager & Marketing Director