By Sarah Daley
In the realm of office equipment, brand used to mean something. There is definitely still distinction between brands but in my opinion it is more in terms of feel than in terms of functionality, longevity or overall reliability. At the very least the gaps that used to exist between brands have narrowed significantly in the past few years. That being said, there can still be a big difference in overall satisfaction and performance of your office machines from one brand or machine to the next. I would argue that your overall experience has more to do with the supplier than the machine. Here’s how to ensure you choose a great supplier.
1. They ask a lot of questions. Your supplier should ask you detailed questions about your requirements, volume and the applications you use. If they are simply duplicating you have now or trying to push a “hot deal” on you without asking about your business you could end up with a machine that is not suited for your volume and needs.
2. They have references. Your supplier should be able to provide the names and numbers of people in similar companies who have purchased from them and who are satisfied with their service.
3. They have multiple methods to solve your problem. If your supplier only has one technician to serve a large area, chances are your problems will not be solved in a timely manner. A good supplier has a help desk you can call for problems that can be solved remotely and an adequate number of technicians to be able to respond to a service call in under 4 hours.
As the differentiating factors between machines dissipate, who you buy from becomes increasingly important to ensuring that you get the most out of your office equipment. A good brand does not guarantee a great experience.