Alternatives to Buying a Photocopier
Photocopiers are an important part of any business. Whether you need them to serve your company’s day-to-day document management needs or to take on a higher volume load of printing and scanning, it is invaluable to own one.
Purchasing, however, is only one of the ways to get your hands on such a machine. If your business cannot afford the hefty sum required to buy a new business photocopier, you may want to consider photocopier leasing, hiring or rental one, depending on your specific needs.
This option presents the most flexibility in the shortest possible time frame for owning a photocopying unit (i.e. from a few days up to a year). It is typically suitable for situations like:
Special events such as tradeshows, conventions, festivals, commercial fairs, exhibitions, presentations etc. or whenever you need to print a lot of materials and do not want to rely on a third party to get the job done right, you can hire a printer that fits your demands and get the quality and flexibility of owning the machine, without the extra inconvenience.
Periods of high volume document production. During end-of-the-year reporting, tax season, the quarterly audits or unplanned marketing projects, your printing activities can spike and encumber the staff and equipment you have on hand, In such cases you need a flexible solution for keeping your document production running smoothly.
When you’ve assessed your needs for the occasion at hand, most suppliers will let you choose from a range of MFPs (multifunction printers), fax machines and copiers in desktop or high-volume format, complete with delivery, removal, full user training, supplies and support.
Rent a Photocopier
Companies that offer photocopier rental deals usually refer to a mid-term agreement ranging anywhere between a few months and a few years.
The main difference between the two is that renting provides more flexibility in the form of a month-to-month agreement, which can be terminated quickly (generally by giving a 30 days’ notice to the supplier).
Another difference is that the monthly rental fee is based on a pre-determined number of pages or a general copy volume and includes parts, labour, service, consumables (such as toner, ink etc.). Renting becomes cheaper than hiring when the period spans a few months.It is typically suitable for companies that need a photocopier for more than acouple of weeks, but less than a couple of years, when working on periodic project basis without any unexpected fluctuations in printing volume.
Renting a photocopier often involves agreement on maintenance and repairs, which eliminate any unexpected costs. Additionally, your supplier may also cover the replenishment of consumables such as toner and ink (paper, however is almost never included).
Another advantage of renting is the option to upgrade your equipment. This is particularly appealing, because with advancements in technology nowadays, a photocopier might be obsolete in a year, and this way you are ensured a top quality machine whenever one is available. Unlike owning the unit, you would have the freedom to upgrade without having to dispose of the old one and to re-invest.
For new businesses, renting may be the only option. With limited capital, start-ups may need to invest elsewhere in order to survive and grow, therefore buying a photocopier would be terribly impeding on the budget. Renting one, however, would allow them to acquire a better and more sophisticated machine than what they can actually afford. That way the company can enjoy the benefits of owning a top-shelf model with all of its advantages at a minimum risk and expense.
Lease a Photocopier
A lease agreement for a photocopier typically spans anywhere from six months to five years. It is the next best thing to owning the machine in the long run. This is the option of choice for small companies that simply cannot afford purchasing a unit in the size that fits their needs, as well as larger companies that prefer to have the maintenance, repair and consumables replenishment services all bundled up and handled by the supplier.
When should you lease?
If you are confident that your company can cover the monthly lease fee on time each month for the entire duration of the contract, then photocopier leasing is the way to go. It has a number of benefits, not least of all it helps conserve capital and is cheaper than renting or hiring for longer periods of time.
When should you not lease?
If you are a new company, planning your long term survival, it may be unwise to enter a long-term binding contract with no way out. Additionally, you may not need to lease altogether. Make sure to inspect your monthly printing needs before jumping to conclusions. If you make less than 700 copies a month, instead of leasing, a more suitable deal would be to buy a desktop MFP which will sufficiently cover your daily needs.
A few things to consider
As mentioned before, you need to properly assess the photocopying needs of your business. Most leasing deals revolve around machines that can produce anything between 5,000 and 50,000 copies a month. If your output is below that, you might want to consider renting a smaller model. If you need to produce more than that, outright buying a heavyweight model, that can handle such a load, might be the best solution.
Knowing your needs will let you make a list of the special features that your machine needs to have. In some cases this can spare you the unnecessary expenses of all the bells and whistles that you might not need. In other cases it can save you the trouble of purchasing additional equipment such as an automatic document feeder, once you realize you need one.
What kind of organization do you work for? Some suppliers may offer discounts or special offers to companies in the public service sector, non-profit organizations, charity foundations etc. Make sure to explore the options with the potential suppliers as this may fit you with a better deal.
Compare photocopier rental deals by completing the quote request form for free. This is the easiest and fastest way to get the facts you need to make a well informed decision for your business.