In the business of office machines, many avenues exist to concentrate on to make money. Like any other business, you can focus what will drive the company profits, potentially causing sacrifice in other areas. For example, a copy machine dealer may rely on pushing new machines and selling leases with them. Other dealers may rely on service contracts.
We have noticed a few things in the recent past. That many office machine companies are now beginning to rely more on consumables than anything else. Specifically, these companies are attempting to rely on the sale of remanufactured toner cartridges and the like. After all, every office machine needs some type of consumable to print. It is only natural for your office machine vendor to also sell the consumables.
Many office machine vendors take this one more step further and attempt to offer free office machine service if you purchase their remanufactured toner cartridges. This allows the office machine company to do a few things:
1) Block other office machine companies from getting into this current client.
2) Block other service technicians from possibly seeing the mess that a certain brand of remanufactured toner has potentially made of a machine.
3) Allow the office machine company to send lower skilled technicians to a call without much care since the service is ‘free’.
4) Makes the client feel that they are getting the deal of the century.
5) Hiding the fact that the client is paying more in downtime, poor quality toner and weak service.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If the service you are being offered seems to be excessively cheap, you are likely getting more of a disservice. Time is money, and downtime is lost money. If you purchase consumables from a company simply because they offer free service when you do so, you may be getting exactly what you paid for.
If I told you that quality service technicians cost an office machine company a fair amount in salaries, you’d probably agree. So if I was to send a well paid service technician to do a free service call, I’d need to recoup the lost revenue from somewhere, right? So if I sold you consumables I’d expect to make such a handsome profit from that I’d send all the service you could handle your way. The issue arises when we see that in any selling proposition the customer needs to decide on one major thing. Look at service, price and quality, and pick 2.
No company offers the best of all 3. If they did, they would have no competition, or they would quickly go under for not making any money. So when someone offers something for free, are they sacrificing service or quality to get to that price point? Like any cut throat business, office machine sales and service companies are constantly trying to find the next big thing to give them a step ahead of the competition. Many of these companies may not have realized that if you give great service and lasting quality, price really doesn’t matter. At least not for the clients and machines we work with.