Imaging – Cheaper Isn’t Better…. This is Why
Recently while participating in Protocol Technologies 20th Anniversary event, which included a round of golf with some of our awesome customers, I was asked, “so what do you do at Protocol and how long have you been in the business?” As it turns out, after some quick finger and toe counting……hmmm, don’t have enough for those digits, just slightly over 40 years…geez. Where did the time go?
When I started in the office equipment business, electric typewriters, noisy mechanical calculators that did the 4 basic functions (add, subtract, multiply and divide), 2 stage process plain paper copiers, liquid roll feed treated paper copiers, and “spirit” duplicators were the leading edge of technology in my world. Some popular names at that time were 3M, IBM, Olympia, Olivetti, SCM (Smith Corona), Adler, Facit, Hermes, Royal, Addox, Burroughs, Frieden, Monroe, Remington Rand and Underwood. So, how many of these names to you recognize today? Before 1980 mechanical was being replaced by electronic technology. Some of those companies were Commodore, Canon, Brother, Casio, Lloyds, Panasonic, Rockwell, Sharp, Olympia, Sperry-Rand, Sanyo, Radio Shack, Toshiba, Xerox, Unix and yes IBM. These are only a few, but here is a link to how many small calculator manufacturers there actually were.
So, how many of those do you recognize?
Anyways, I digress. My focus these days is on the new technological phrase, “imaging.” It puzzles me to no end how many business owners don’t understand the value of their time. Many of these important people consistently waste their valuable production time “shopping” for bargain priced MFP’s (multi-function printers) without understanding TCO (total cost of ownership). When you buy an imaging device without understanding the true TCO, you haven’t saved $200 or $300 (sale price), you quite possibly have wasted the entire actual purchase price. The money saved is not what is important. The money that you will spend/save in the life cycle of your purchase is where the value is. Buying inferior quality imaging products that need to be replaced every year or two is not a wise investment and here’s why:
- Inexpensive to buy – maintenance and repair… non-existent
- High toner cost (divide the cost by the yield; that is for 5% dark area per page … not realistic in today’s print and copy environment).
- Productivity? Does this device enhance productivity in your office?
- Reliability? Is it reliable or does it make everyone in your office miserable because it’s “a piece of junk!!”
- Not environmentally friendly – empty toner cartridges filling up the landfill
- Not environmentally friendly – full toner cartridges filling up the landfill (check your supply cupboard… see all those unopened toner cartridges from those last mfp’s that died prematurely? … Now, that’s’ a waste of money for sure.
- Time wasted researching new models every time a replacement is required.
- Time wasted taking broken technology for warranty repair.
- We have recycling centers now, thank goodness for old broken or worn out and yes, new broken technology as well. But does every piece end up at the recycling center?
- And one last thing…. oh I almost forgot the original reason to purchase this product; the quality of reproduction! Is it really sufficient? are you really satisfied with the image? Or is it just barely acceptable, or will it just have to do?
In summary, please remember that imaging and the documents that you circulate in your business environment is a reflection of your business image in the eyes of your peers. Don’t you want it to look professional? I think so…..
Blog Post by Harold Schaffner, Imaging sales Consultant