When Should I Switch Copier Dealers?

It’s human nature to resist change. We like sticking to what we know, even if things aren’t going as smoothly as we had hoped.

Unfortunately, this mentality can keep your organization stuck in a business relationship that won’t help you reach your goals — and can even detract from your success in achieving those goals.

It’s a conversation I have had more times than I can count. When speaking to a potential client about a new copier for their business or organization, I hear something along the lines of, “We’ve used this dealer for years and we are happy right now,” quite frequently.

You’d be surprised at how much people will put up with simply because sticking with what you’ve got is perceived as easier than making a change — even if that change results in thousands of dollars saved in a year.

THE WARNING SIGNS OF A BAD COPIER DEALER

If you’ve read our blog MSP Problems, you may notice a pattern here — the most important aspect of any business partnership, just like personal relationships, is the quality of communication between you and your provider.

You can measure the value your copier dealer brings to your organization by how often they communicate with you. The truth is, anyone can sell you a copier. There’s nothing special about a machine that prints, scans, and copies. What matters is the people who provide that tool, and their attitude towards your organization’s mission and goals.

Below, you’ll find the warning signs of a bad copier dealer:

  1. A lack of communication
  2. A lack of understanding of your organization’s goals
  3. You do not know how to effectively get in contact with your dealer
  4. They do not educate your employees or provide training for their services
  5. Slow response times to service calls
  6. Unexpected and un-explained charges on your usage reports

You probably noticed that these specific warning signs all boil down to one key ingredient: communication. There will always be bumps in the road, but these can be curtailed and prepared for with proper communication.

For example, a booklet finisher is a great tool to add-on to a copier, but only if your organization will actually use it. If your dealer suggested you add-on this tool to your copier lease, but never trained your employees on how to use it, and you find yourself rarely using it, (if at all) then they most likely don’t have your best interests at heart.

Adding on tools to your copier that ultimately don’t provide your organization is a good way to increase the amount of roadblocks you face when using your copier. A booklet finisher, for instance, requires upkeep and maintenance, just like any other part of a copier.

The more moving parts in a machine, the more often it must be tended to — a disreputable copier dealer will attempt to up-sell you on copier components you don’t actually need, in order to make more money off of their sale, and increase the amount they take from service charges.

If a copier dealer is attempting to convince you to add-on a copier component, but can’t tell you why you need that add-on, you’re most likely dealing with an organization that is only after your money, not your business.

There is also the chance of the opposite happening — sometimes, you may want an add-on that you actually don’t need, or there is a different option that would save you both time and money. A good copier dealer will look at your wants and needs, and educate you about the best options for you, based on what tasks your organization is planning to complete with your new copier.

WHEN SHOULD YOU SWITCH COPIER DEALERS?

Ending a relationship is never easy. Due to the awkward nature of the “break-up” conversations, many organizations find it difficult to actually pull the trigger on ending a partnership with their copier provider.

If you’re in the process of upgrading to a new lease for a new copier, and you’re communicating with a few different copier dealers, and your current provider’s offer comes with a higher overall cost, don’t be afraid to ask why.

Like the example above, copier dealers can attempt to add-on aspects to a lease that your organization doesn’t actually need. Don’t, however, fall into the cost-trap. Some copier dealers will always be a little more expensive than their competitors, but this is often for a few reasons:

  • - Quality of service
  • - Higher salaries for technicians
  • - More training for technicians
  • - A higher number of parts available at any given time, reducing downtime when parts come to yield

An organization that is willing to communicate why their prices are higher is always better than one that is cheaper, but won’t tell you why.

If the last time your copier dealer communicated with you was the last time you were signing your lease with them, it’s probably time to find a new dealer. A good relationship requires open communication — if you vote for the president as often as you communicate with your copier dealer, you may need to find a new copier dealer.

We’ve spent a lot of time going over the red flags, but there is one green flag that is easy to spot: the quality of education your copier dealer provides. Even more important than the frequency of communication is the quality of communication you receive from your dealer.

Essentially, if you have a question, and your copier dealer provides you with an answer that educates you, that is a good dealer. If they provide you with information that is designed to compel you to do something, they might not be the right dealer for you.

Ultimately, you should always trust your instincts, and set your own expectations. If you want your dealer to speak with you once a year, they should respect that — and conversely, if you expect communication bi-weekly, that expectation should be met.

If you have any questions about your copier, or it’s service, you can find many different topics about this on our blog.

Don Amyx
Don is a business improvement specialist for Cobb Technologies, and has been finding efficient workflow solutions for businesses with Cobb since 2019. Don has twenty years of sales experience, and when he's not helping companies improve the productivity of their workflows, he's cooking with family and friends, traveling, or camping in one of Virginia's many state parks with his wife, and toy poodle.