When was the last time you refreshed your printers and copiers? It’s a task that many IT directors and managers dread. But choosing the right partner can be the difference between a productive workforce and copiers that are consistently down or in need of repair. If you haven’t purchased or leased a copier recently, it’s hard to know what to look for. When you select the best copier dealer, they will help you select the equipment that will work best for your business. Many will say that all copier dealers are the same, but if you do a little research and dig beneath the surface, you’ll see that copier dealers are very different from one another. Here are 12 questions to help you find and work with a new copier dealer.
- Does your dealer take the time to understand your business needs? Your print fleet is like any investment. You don’t buy or lease your equipment for no rhyme or reason. You need to match your equipment with the needs of your business.
- Does the dealer offer a range of well-known brand products? Dealers that offer a wide range of equipment – from either one or multiple manufacturers – will be able to provide you the right devices for your needs. They’ll be able to lay out a plan for all of your MFPs and fit your business with devices that help you reach your goals.
- Is the dealer an authorized dealer? Authorized dealers have access to many benefits that unauthorized dealers don’t such as product training and an established and nurtured relationship with a manufacturer. With more knowledge and training, you will be able to get better service and a better price.
- Can the dealer keep you stocked with supplies? Keeping track of toner can be quite a chore. A great dealer will be able to offer you a program that keeps track of your toner usage and is able to send you supplies BEFORE you run out.
- Does the dealer have happy customers? Ask for references, and TALK TO THEM! Does the company have a good reputation for honesty and timely service? A dealer may offer a cheap price that initially looks great, but when you need service, they may nickel and dime you or just not show up. Look for a copier dealer that is invested in their clients’ success. Also, ask if they use a customer satisfaction metric system, like Net Promoter Score. Good dealers seek the feedback of their customers to find out areas for improvement and to learn what they’re doing well. At Fraser, we utilize the Net Promoter Score to gauge customer loyalty and happiness.
- Are their service technicians factory trained? At some point in time, your MFPs will need maintenance and repair. Just like any other piece of equipment, it takes maintenance to keep it running optimally. When the need arises, you will want factory-certified trained professionals working on your equipment. Find out if the technicians are factory trained, how often they receive training and how experienced their technicians are.
- Does the dealer focus on YOUR uptime and quickly resolve your issues? A good dealer will track your service metrics and strive to improve them. Fraser measures several important service metrics to ensure we’re providing the best customer service, and one of those is First Call Efficiency. This means how efficient are we at fixing your equipment on our first visit. You’ll also want a dealer who has parts and supplies on hand at all times and rarely has to order parts. Fraser technicians each have more than $7,000 worth of parts in their company vehicles and our 30,000-square foot warehouse is full of supplies as well. This means that calls are fixed the first time the technician visits, and for Fraser, that’s nearly 9 times out of 10!
- Do they focus on doing the job right instead of quickly? Many times, a copier dealer will incentivize their technicians for completing as many jobs as possible in one day. This can often lead to shoddy repairs and lack of preventive maintenance. When Fraser sends a technician, they are encouraged to do the job right, and to address all maintenance issues while there. This means that the technician is 100%-focused on the job they are doing and not rushing to get to the next call to meet an incentive.
- Do they provide product training? MFPs have so many capabilities, but most people aren’t even aware of all of the features. To help you get the most out of your investment, your new copier dealer should provide you with full user training. And if you need more training, you should be able to contact the dealer and schedule additional sessions if necessary.
- Do they offer other services that fit with your business? Many copier dealers today aren’t just copier dealers. They offer additional business services such as document management, managed print services, managed IT services and more. Consolidation of services with one vendor can really help you develop a true partnership with your technology vendor, which in turn can streamline your business.
- What are their financing options? 9 times out of 10, a business doesn’t want to purchase a piece of equipment outright. So make sure that leasing options are available. This will give you the greatest flexibility to add new equipment as you grow and provide you with a predictable monthly cost over time versus a large capital expenditure all at once.
- Can the copier deal do it all for you? Can the copier dealer manage your entire print fleet? Often times, small businesses don’t have the internal staff to manage copiers and printers. This is when it pays to outsource the management of that fleet of equipment. With managed print services, all of the maintenance of your print fleet moves to the copier dealer, and you don’t have to worry about toner or supplies (except maybe paper) anymore.
Maybe a bit more than you thought about when you originally set out to buy a new copier, but these questions will work to get you the best dealer that meets your needs and can help you business grow. Fraser is more than ready to answer all of your questions and help!