Picture this: Your organization has signed the dotted line on its copier lease, and all is right in the world (in the world of your organization’s copier lease management, at least). Your office’s copier has begun to dutifully churn out its first few copies and prints. The whole office is aware of the new multi-function copier. All employees expect it to be a reliable, high-functioning system.
Imagine, though, that this is your organization’s first “real” copier lease. Maybe your organization used to have a desktop printer from a big-box store, or maybe it didn’t even have a copying or printing system before. Since this is your organization’s first copier lease, you’re a little nervous and anxious about what to expect. Perhaps you’re anticipating what could go wrong, or if you’ll do everything you’re supposed to do over the course of the lease. Don’t worry! We here at ClearView Business Solutions have managed countless copier leases over the years for organizations of all sizes, from small mom-and-pop businesses to large corporations. So, we are more than qualified to tell you a thing or two about copier lease management.
As you’ll see in this article, just like in life, each stage of a copier lease presents its own unique quirks. As a result of this article, your organization will know how to save money, maximize efficiency and receive the best possible service throughout the lease. Lets examine best practices for copier lease management in chronological order, from start to finish.
Best practices for managing a copier lease early on
The early stage of a copier lease is an exciting time. First, some vendors send an information packet with specifics on the lease from your vendor. This is known as a welcome letter. Be sure to review it for important information such as insurance for your copier. Not all vendors send a welcome letter, so don’t worry if your organization didn’t receive one. However, if you were told that you’d receive such a letter but you didn’t, then check with your vendor.
Another “first” that you’ll encounter is your first invoice. Check it for accuracy to make sure that you’re not being overcharged for any expenses.
Get your sales representative’s number. Within the first three to six months of your lease, be sure to call them up to perform your first account review. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your sales representative with any concerns you may have.
Keep a folder with all the original documentation about the lease. You want to keep an accurate, written record of all lease information for safekeeping, and in case any issues arise with your leasing company or copier dealer.
Ongoing best practices for managing a copier lease.
As we continue our chronological journey through the customer’s lease cycle, we arrive at the halfway point of the lease.
Here are some tips on “copier lease” maintenance when you’ve reached this point of your lease:
- Check to see if your payments and rate per print have increased.
- If your organization has an image allowance, make sure that there is not consistent waste. If your organization never exceeds its allowance, then it might be able to negotiate with its vendor for a lower payment and right size allowance.
Beyond maintenance, your organization might be eligible for an early upgrade, mid-way through the lease. Wouldn’t that be nice, to stay current with the latest and greatest equipment? Your copier dealer is more likely to upgrade your equipment if an upgrade is needed.
What are some best practices for managing a lease that are unique to the end of the lease?
Ah, the end of a copier lease. As the sun sets on your organization’s copier lease, here’s a to-do list:
- Submit your letter of intent in time
Make sure to submit your letter of intent in time, especially if you’re comparing different vendors. Your current vendor needs to know your intentions so that it doesn’t unexpectedly auto-renew your lease. If your lease were auto-renewed, then your organization could potentially again be stuck with undesired equipment left-over from the lease.
- Consider your current vendor
Say that your current equipment actually (and fortunately) is the best fit for your organization’s needs. In such a case, you could keep the equipment and negotiate a new service agreement with your dealer. Most manufacturers guarantee parts for seven years, but you can often get parts long after that until the “sunset” date.
- Loyalty should pay off
If your organization has stayed with the same vendor through multiple upgrades, then hopefully your vendor appreciates the loyalty. Vendors should show their appreciation by providing your organization with a competitive solution and payment. If you don’t think that’s the case, then at the end of the lease, don’t hesitate to quickly compare your current vendor to others.
- Record your final meter reading
Write down your organization’s final meter reading. A verified end counter will help you avoid paying any unnecessary fees if there’s a meter error or billing dispute.
What should your organization look for at all times over the course of its lease?
Now that we’ve covered best practices that are unique to each portion of a lease, let’s look at potential issues that could arise at any point of your lease. Beware of common lease issues such as an annual increase in payment, or unexpected overage bills. Also, take note if your sales representative has left and you haven’t received the same level of service since the representative’s departure.
Finally, be aware if your system doesn’t perform as expected. If a vendor offers you a free demonstration of equipment before signing a lease, why not accept the free demo? A real-world test in your own office environment is one of the best ways to avoid unforeseen disappointment in your choice of equipment.
As you can see, managing your organization’s copier lease is just one of the many essential practices associated with a copier lease. Who knew that copiers could involve so much besides the actual copier? One aspect – copier lease management – involves unique best practices over the course of the lease.
Best practices are important. If your organization doesn’t know some (or all) of the best practices for managing a copier lease, then it’s not as well-off as it could be. Your organization could benefit from this article by minimizing any issues that could occur during the lease. Knowledge really is power, so we hope that the knowledge in this article empowers your organization to enjoy an effortless, productive copier lease.
In some sense, for uninformed organizations that have signed their first copier lease, the real work’s just begun. For informed organizations, however – such as those that read this article – copier lease management is smooth sailing. For nothing but smooth sailing throughout your entire document solutions journey, set sail with ClearView Business Solutions.