Leasing a copier/printer remains the best option for most companies, as it allows them to maintain their cash flow and upgrade equipment without having to worry about significant capital costs. But even the most beneficial copier contract eventually comes to an end.
If you’re close to the end of your lease, don’t fret. This is the perfect time to start thinking about how technology has changed since your previous contract, as well as possible equipment upgrades and replacements. Regardless of whether you choose to stay with your current copier provider or sign with another copier leasing partner, it’s important to understand your options so you can make the best decision.
The Big Question: Should You Stay with Your Current Copier/Printer Lease Provider?
The most critical thing to determine toward the end of your copier contract is whether to stay with your current provider or not. Before making any hasty decisions, ask yourself these questions:
- Can you get a better deal elsewhere?
The answer to this is almost always yes — but you have to decide if it’s worth the hassle. If you choose to look for another provider, you’ll have your work cut out for you. You’ll need to vet different copier leasing rates, equipment, services, and support. You’ll also need to negotiate for the best deals; for instance, many companies that lease equipment offer discounts if you are willing to sign a long-term contract with them.
- Is your current provider keeping abreast of the latest technology?
A lot can happen during the term of your lease. Copiers can become outdated, and newer computer software may no longer be compatible with older models. If your provider isn’t keeping up with the changes and staying on top of the latest trends, they won’t be able to offer you top value. In this case, it’s best to find a provider that can.
- Has the customer service been on point?
Copiers may break down from time to time, but a great supplier will have a process for dealing with issues quickly and efficiently so that you can get back to work as soon as possible. If you’ve been happy with the support you’re getting from your current provider, it’s one good reason to renew or extend your contract with them. But if your copier provider’s service has been subpar and it takes too long to get a problem solved, that’s a clear sign that you should look elsewhere for copier leasing services.
Apart from asking the three questions above, it’s also essential to research your options. Picking a copier/printer lease provider can be hard work because there are many companies to choose from, each offering a range of services that can help your business in some way. By reading online reviews and testimonials or talking to clients of other copier providers, you can better determine if it’s worth extending your current copier contract.
Whether you choose to stay with your provider or look for another, be sure to pick the option that will ensure smooth business operations and drive better operability and profitability.
Option 1: Stay with Your Current Copier/Printer Lease Provider
If you’re satisfied with your current provider’s services thus far, staying with them may be the best choice for you. You may even opt to extend the current lease as it is. But you can also take this chance to look for ways to improve on certain things or discuss new agreements. Do you want to upgrade the equipment? Do you want to purchase the copiers instead of leasing them? These are just some things to consider under the new contract.
You also need to discuss specific details with the copier/printer lease provider moving forward. In particular, it’s critical to talk about the costs involved in the new lease; you can even try to get more flexible payment terms for being a loyal client or discounts for early renewal. It’s also prudent to discuss the grounds for possible termination for fault or breach.
And even if you’re staying with the same provider, review the new copier lease agreement meticulously. Confirm the general provisions, expenses, and service level agreements stipulated in the contract. Also, keep in mind that you may not want to sign with the same provider when the new contract ends, so make sure that procedures about transitioning to another provider are clearly laid out to avoid problems down the road. Copier dealers often offer their customers better rates for copier rentals, but some will insist on charging a cancellation fee when the latter switch providers.
Option 2: Switch to a New Copier/Printer Lease Provider
But before signing up with a new provider, ask these four questions to evaluate their suitability to your business:
- Are they more efficient than your current one?
Copier leasing is a highly specialized industry, and it is important to partner with a company that has experience in this area. This is because experience, coupled with skill, will allow them to efficiently address any problems that may arise, preventing unnecessary costs and downtime. So before you decide on a new provider, you will need to find a company that offers better-quality customer service than your current copier/printer lease contractor.
Make sure to ask what kind of customer service is available if you need assistance; copier leases are often long-term commitments, so the company must be willing to stand behind their work.
- Can they tailor the equipment according to your business needs?
Before signing a new copier contract, ask if your prospective provider offers custom leasing plans for copiers and printers. Some companies will offer tailored leases at affordable rates as long as the need for the printer or copier meets certain criteria, such as the need for color printing or faxing capabilities.
Just because a company offers customized leasing doesn’t necessarily mean that it is expensive. Some providers charge higher monthly rates but offer lower overall maintenance costs. In any case, do not settle for a provider that offers one-size-fits-all solutions.
- What are the costs involved, and how do they compare with your current provider’s?
Finding the right copier leasing rates can be tricky because copier lease providers offer many different options, services, and products that can affect pricing. Look for a provider that will not only give you access to the highest-quality equipment available but also provide excellent value for money. For instance, some copier leasing providers let clients own the leased equipment eventually and pay for these over time rather than in one lump sum.
Ask your supplier about available custom leasing options that may help lower monthly rates or improve printing capabilities for color printing or high-volume printing. Make sure that the provider you choose allows you to do more with less purchasing power.
- How do they fare on the security front?
Copier/Printer lease dealers often provide enhanced security measures depending on their clients’ needs. Copiers that hold certain confidential information, for example, can be configured to require scanning an ID card before it can be used.
If you handle sensitive data that needs to be protected from theft or tampering, ask your dealer for any available security features such as passwords and copier tracking software. With these technologies, copiers and printers can be tracked using a smart card or a specific IP address, thus helping prevent unauthorized personnel from using the printer or copier, especially during off-hours. Also, be sure to clarify with your copier if such security features are included in their leasing price, or if these will be provided for an additional fee.
Should you decide to part ways with your current contractor, look for ways to make the transition smoother. For instance, purchasing copiers and printers from your provider eliminates the need to transport equipment, shortening the transition period. Keep in mind that without a proper transition strategy, moving from one provider to another can be expensive, complicated, and burdensome.
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