If you’ve been thinking about a new color copier for your office and have been putting it off, now may be the time to take action. Amidst fast-rising inflation and the global supply chain shortages, the costs of purchasing or leasing a color copying system has been on a meteoric rise.
Few industries have been impacted by the global supply chain issues as has the copier industry. With copier manufacturers struggling to keep up with demand and all of the products coming from China and Japan, most copier providers are faced with backorders that are routinely 6+ months out with a year or more not being uncommon. In a nutshell, local copier providers simply don’t have the inventory to meet the demand for new copiers. The copier lease industry has estimated that there are several hundred thousand signed copier leases that have yet to be fulfilled and there appears to me no end in sight for these supply chain issues.
What Does This Mean For You?
What this means to the consumer is that the cost of purchasing or leasing a color copying system has risen dramatically over the past year and continues to climb amidst the supply shortages and multiple price increases passed down from the manufacturers to the copier providers that make up the distribution channels. In the past 12 months, many copier providers have seen a 20% increase in the costs of new color copiers, coupled with higher shipping costs and higher supply prices. When you combine these higher prices with the difficulty of keeping products on their shelves, it makes for a daunting market for companies looking to lease or purchase copiers and printers.
Based on the information outlined above, waiting until the last minute to order a copier is not the safest route for companies that foresee the need to add or upgrade their existing color copying system. My recommendation, as the owner and general manager of a local copier provider, it makes sense to evaluate your needs now, have a conversation with your copier service provider, and make sure you are well set heading into the coming year. If your existing copier is beginning to show the results of age or if the lease contract is heading into the final year of the term, I strongly recommend making arrangements for a copier early rather than later, knowing there may be a delay from the time you place your order, to the time you actually receive your new copier.
3 Questions to Ask Your Copier Service Provider About the Supply Chain and Inflation
- Ask your copier service provider how they are set up regarding onsite copier inventory and supplies and the lag time you can expect between the time when you place an order and when you can realistically expect to receive a machine. With this information, you can plan accordingly. If the copier you need is currently in inventory, it might make sense to order the machine right away and if the model you choose is not currently available, it would make sense to consider placing an order so at least you will be in line for a new machine when inventory becomes available. I suggest asking your copier service company to provide a written guarantee that the price you agree to for the copier will not increase during the period between you placing the order and you receiving the machine.
- Ask your copier service provider about the copier parts and supplies inventory they currently have on hand to support the model of copier you are considering leasing or purchasing. There are many thousands of copiers all over the world that are down and out of action because copier service providers are unable to meet the demand for toner, drums, and other parts and supplies. Backorders on copier and printer parts and supplies have become the rule and not the exception. My suggestion is to find a copier service provider that can verify a large, onsite supply inventory that shields customers from potential downtime on their copiers. As an example, this author’s company maintains a local inventory of toner, drums, and other parts and supplies to meet the expected demand over the next 6-12 months. Even with this huge inventory, our company continues to keep orders in our manufacturer’s queues to ensure that none of our customers will feel the impact of the shortages facing our inventory.
- Ask your copier service provider to share their contingency plans if the copier you choose is not available during the expected time frame and what measures they have taken to shield your company from any negative impact that can be connected to the supply chain issues outlined in this article. It may make sense to ask your copier service provider for several companies that have ordered and received new copiers during the past 12 months and then contact these companies to gauge their experiences.
We are all learning to adjust to these challenges being encountered by so many industries, especially in the trades and onsite customer service fields. As a consumer, it has never been more important that you perform due diligence and make sure you have all of the information to help you make the best decision. If you need help or have additional questions, contact Common Sense Business Solutions today!