After the long search for the perfect color copying system; which brand of color copier is the best, which copier model is the perfect fit for your needs, which optional accessories to add, lease or purchase, many companies are facing decision fatigue.
There is one more critical decision to be made; Does it make sense to add the Copier Service Contract?
Based on 30+ years of experience in the industry, the author of this blog will share a compelling reason as to why you absolutely do want to have a service contract covering your color copier.
Almost every company that provides color copying systems offers a virtually identical copier service contract to their customers. The service contract will include all parts and all labor needed to fix and maintain your machine along with all supplies except for paper and staples. In most if not all cases the cost of the service contract is based upon the number of printed pages that the customer makes.
Generally, a copier service contract has a base rate that includes a set allowance consisting of a certain number of printed pages. If the customer exceeds this print allowance, they’ll pay an additional cost for the excess copies based on a pre-determined per page rate.
As an example, a typical maintenance agreement may be as follows;
- The base monthly fee for the agreement is $55.00.
- That $55.00 includes up to 2,000 black prints a month and up to 500 color prints a month.
- Any black prints in excess of 2,000 a month will be billed at $.01 each.
- Any color prints in excess of 500 a month will be billed at $.07 each.
*Note that the $.01 per page rate for black prints and the $.07 per page rate for color prints is the same rate that goes into factoring the base fee. (2,000 black prints x $.01 = $20.00 and 500 color prints x $.07 = $35.00 makes up the base fee of $55.00 a month.)
Essentially, the customer is paying the per-page rate for every print produced.
The base fee is simply the copier service provider’s minimum charge for providing the copier service contract.
3 Reasons Why You Need a Copier Service Contract
1. Pay wholesale prices instead of full retail price:
All parts, supplies, and labor are included in the copier service contract at a low, wholesale price.
There are dozens of parts and supplies that need to be periodically replaced in order to effectively maintain your color copying system. This includes but is not limited to:
- 4 toner cartridges
- 4 drum units
- 4 developer units
- Dozens of feed rollers and gears
- Transfer belt
- Fusing unit, etc.
A service contract is going to factor in all of these parts and supplies along with the labor needed to install these components. These costs will determine the rate that a copier service provider is going to charge the customer for the service contract.
Because the copier industry is a very competitive industry, the overall cost of the maintenance agreement is driven down to the very lowest rate. This is so a copier service provider remains competitive with other companies in their industry offering the same contracts. In effect, an all-inclusive, full-service contract is essentially priced out as close to cost as copier service providers can get.
In contrast, a company that purchases or leases a color copier and chooses not to purchase a service contract will generally pay full retail price. This includes paying full price for each hour of labor and for each toner cartridge, each drum, each developer unit, and every part that needs to be replaced.
It may seem like you’re saving money in the short run by choosing against adding the copier service contract. However, in the long run, you’ll almost certainly pay considerably more.
2. Eliminate unnecessary delays when copier service is needed
Companies that have an all-inclusive, full-coverage copier service contract have no need to run every repair through a decision making process. With a service contract, everything is covered so when the color copier needs something, any employee in the company can contact the copier service provider to come and remedy the problem. They know there will be no added cost to the company for any repair that is performed.
Contrast that to a company that does not have a service contract that needs to have every pending copier repair run through a decision-making process.
Here’s a common example for a company that has a copier service issue and does not have a copier service contract. An employee notices that print image quality on the color copy machine is not up to snuff so they call their copier service provider:
The copier service provider dispatches a technician to the customer and charges a $50.00 trip charge. He’ll also charge a minimum one-hour labor charge of $150.00. A technician arrives and quickly diagnoses that the copier needs a color drum unit and informs the customer the cost for the drum is $300.00. The customer says they need approval from the boss who is not currently available so the technician leaves.
On the following day the customer calls back with approval for the $300.00 drum. The customer pays another $50.00 trip charge plus another $150.00 hourly charge to have the technician return and replace the drum for a total cost of $700.00.
In summary, using this example, it took two days and $700.00 to remedy the issue whereas if this same customer had a service contract, the issue would have been fixed on the initial call. The cost would have also been included in their monthly service contract at $55.00 a month.
3. Increase the consistent productivity and efficiency of your color copying system
There is no doubt that any color copying system is going to have a longer and more productive life than the same copier that does not have a service contract. The simple reason for this is that with a service contract there is no reason for customers to defer maintenance and repairs.
A customer that has a copier service contract is going to promptly call and have each and every maintenance need addressed since all maintenance is included in the base monthly fee they pay for the contract.
Contrast this with a company that pays for every pending repair, part or supply replacement. The result is that many repairs are delayed and put off until absolutely necessary due to cost concerns.
When pending repairs are postponed, this puts added stress on the color copy system. It also forces the customer to live with reduced quality and productivity from their color copying system.
In summary, having an all-inclusive copier service contract covering your color copying system will almost certainly:
- Save money,
- Lessen downtime,
- Increase the usable life of the copier,
- Eliminate wasted employee time
- Greatly improve the efficiency and productivity of the copying system.