When I Own and Service My Copier, I Save Money, Right?
We all know that if you plan on using something more than a few times, it is best to own that thing — whether it is our favorite movie, a snowblower, or something else. If you owning a movie costs $20, and renting that movie costs $5, but you plan on watching that movie at least four times, it makes sense to own it.
It stands to reason that since you use your copier so frequently, that owning it would be the most cost effective option, right? And even better, just like a mechanic can save money by servicing their own car, forgoing a service contract for a copier will save money as well, correct?
In most situations, it is actually the opposite — leasing a new machine with a service contract is more often than not actually cheaper than owning and servicing your own copier.
Let’s go over why.
SERVICE CONTRACTS, SERVICE ESCALATION, AND LABOR
A service contract can often come across in the same manner as a warranty on an item like a TV or laptop — just another way to make a buck off of you. This natural suspicion of a service contract is only increased when presented with the knowledge that the price of a service contract increases as time goes on.
So, what does a service contract actually do? It provides you with a guaranteed amount of time dedicated to maintaining and servicing your copier — from user training and routine checkups to supplying toner and replacing parts that have come to yield.
The service rates on your copier increase with the age of the machine due to one simple reason: as parts age, they wear out faster. As your machine ages, it becomes more prone to failure. To compensate for this, service providers will increase their service costs for every year the copier is leased.
This is why upgrading to a new copier can often save a business money. While they will have extended the lifetime of their lease period, they will immediately see a reduction in their service rates — including their cost per click.
But what does all of this mean when you actually own your machine? Simply put, whoever is responsible for maintaining your office’s copier will spend more time servicing the copier as it ages. Most likely, this employee’s main responsibility is not maintaining the office’s copier — but something else.
And as that copier ages, that employee will be pulled more often, and for longer periods of time from their daily workflow in order to service a continually-malfunctioning copier. This can lead to a steep rise in your business’s labor costs, as this employee will now need to work extra hours to complete their main responsibilities.
Maintaining a copier is more than simply unjamming paper from the document feeder — it is researching error codes, searching for parts, placing orders, waiting for shipping, and then replacing parts that have come to yield. When totaled, this can account for a significant portion of this employee’s week.
No matter what, everything comes to an end. And eventually, your copier will too. There is a lot more that goes into the disposal of a copier than you would expect: shipping costs, hard drive extraction and deletion, and safely disposing of environmentally hazardous toner. In addition to all of these worries, as your copier ages a breaks down repeatedly, this will lead to a loss of employee productivity, ultimately culminating in possible weeks of workflows grinding to a halt as a replacement copier is shipped to your office.
DON’T LET SHORT TERM COSTS OUTWEIGH LIFETIME SAVINGS
It can often be difficult to warrant a business expense like a copier, especially when you already own your copier, and are not currently paying a service bill. Even if your five-year-old copier is running smoothly, however, it is only a matter of time before parts begin to wear out, and productivity starts to plummet.
A new copier and a service contract may be additional reoccurring costs, but they are much easier to budget for, and will end up saving you money when compared to the loss of productivity, wasted labor, and cost of maintenance of owning and servicing your own copier.
For more about service contracts, read our blog, Do I Need a Service Contract For My Copier?