Most of us are well-aware of falling prices in office equipment. From copiers to faxes to postage meters, the cost of increasingly complex and multifunctional technology is plummeting.
To keep your office equipment costs down, use these strategies:
1) Use short-term operating leases for equipment with rapidly changing technology. Using short leases will allow you to fix costs and upgrade equipment regularly, taking advantage of technological advances. Lease rates, however, vary widely from great deals to almost usury high rate deals. Be sure to get competitive quotes.
2) Utilize only cost-effective maintenance agreements. Avoid service contracts if you don’t anticipate a need for the service. For instance, at Meridian we buy HP printers and forgo all service contracts since the quality of the equipment is so high that service calls are rarely, if ever needed. Purchasing an extended warranty or maintenance service for these printers would be throwing money away.
3) Avoid overpaying for needed contract services. For instance, if you have a copier maintenance agreement which calls for you to do 25,000 copies per month, but your actual volume is only 10,000 copies per month, you are overpaying for the service. Renegotiate the service contract at your actual volume. At a market rate of a penny per page, you will save $150 per month or almost $2,000 per year!
4) Outsource seldom-needed services. If you only need a folding machine twice per month for billings, get outside vendors to quote their fee to do this task rather than buy a folding machine. You’ll likely find it much cheaper.
5) Unbundle package deals – For instance, you need new company brochures. A graphics company quotes you a inclusive price for design, production and quantity of copies all in one lump sum. They are taking a mark-up, however, on everything they don’t do in house. You’ll save costs by going direct.
6) Manage telephone lines and service – Many companies forget to check line utilization. Don’t pay for unneeded lines.
7) Make office equipment expense reduction a game. Consider setting a realistic target dollar amount that you want to save. Next, establish a bonus system that rewards employees for hitting the target and any further cost-reduction. Track your savings and consider paying out to employees a portion (such as 50%) of all savings beyond the target .