Copier Leases & Managed Print Services, DON'T Sign Until You Read!

Posted by Gary Skalyo on Thu, Jan 05, 2012

Read Before SigningHas anyone else noticed how things continue to change in the workplace? Technology, Hardware, Software, Devices, Apps. These are things that continue to change the way we work. These are the things that are slowly taking paper out of a lot of our routine business processes. Understanding that your Copier and Print Volume is going to decrease even in a growing enterprise going forward, is key to capturing savings that would normally be rubber stamped.

The copier industry knows that their “Machines in Field” (MIF) as well, will continue to decrease over the next X number of years. They have think tanks like Gartner, etc. telling them what to expect, and it doesn’t look good in terms of growth. As proof of this, major copier manufacturers and mega dealers are attempting to replace a lot of this business with “Solutions” based products for revenue and of course they are attempting to manage your Laser Printers, this is called MPS or Managed Print Services.

The current reality is that Sales Staff from Copier Dealers are struggling to keep their MIF quota, which is how they get paid, but doing a poor job (generally) with “Solutions” based products like Workflow, Archival and Document Management Software. Many of them are doing pretty well with selling Managed Print Services and this is helping them, because copiers are going away. In the short term, the Dealer and the Sales Staff has to make a living until this thing shakes out.

Copier Dealers have developed some short term strategies that will keep them afloat, but they seem to revolve around predatory lease agreements that will cost your organization dearly in “Pages” that you will never use, and certainly pay for anyway. Even worse, they use their historical copier lease methodology to combine copier sales and Managed Print “Pages” which fosters their rubber stamping. Score!

This is what you need to look at before you Sign a Lease for Copiers and/or Printer “Pages”:

No Contracts

  • “Pages” – “Pages” are the sheets that you print from your contracted copiers and printers. A “page” normally consists of toner, maintenance, service and sometimes support. Is the lease you are considering signing making you commit to a number of Pages Monthly? We already know your page volume is going to decrease organically over time. Ask for an agreement that allows you to pay only for the pages you print or copy. Sure your payments will be variable month to month, but they will probably continue to decrease.

  • “Buyout” at the end of the Lease Period. One of the  reasons copier dealers like to bundle “Copiers” with laser printer “Pages” in their leases is because the hardware allows them to use Fair Market Value (FMV) Lease Agreements. This is what forces a lot of companies to continue to renew or rubber-stamp leases for products and services that they don’t need. Always insist on a $1.00 buy-out lease, so at the end of 36 or 48 months, you have all of your options available to you and can move forward with what is current and not historical. History plays less of a role as technology continues to evolve.

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    These are just a couple of things. More on copier leases in another post...

Topics: Managed Print Services, Waste Reduction, ECM