IGNORING A4 OPPORTUNITY

I observe the marketplace for copiers on a regular basis and I find trends interesting.  The emergence of the less expensive A4 MFPs was just as significant as the trend from laptops to Ipads.  Yet I still see people evaluating quotes on copiers that are larger and more expensive than they need.  It’s not their fault though.

When you contact a copier company for a quote they will typically bring out a brochure and quote on a larger copier that has 11 x 17 capability.  However, only 6% of businesses in the US make 11 x 17 copies or prints.  The fault is with the copier dealer.  They are still trying to push the more expensive stuff with larger profit margins.  It may not be the sales reps fault since they are under pressure to please the management or owners.

The other day I was on a sales call at a place that had minimal copying and printing needs.  They were low volume and had no need for 11 x 17 so I quoted them a smallish commercial grade color copier from Kyocera with a nice discount.  Then she showed me the competitive quote from a well known company.  Their lease payment was three times higher and had the ability to make 11 x 17 copies and prints.

So the buyer is going to have to be self-educated and ask the sales rep about their A4 offerings.  Most of the disadvantages of the smaller A4 MFPs have gone away.  They now have cheaper long lasting supplies and can handle a lot of print volume.  Larger copiers have slightly less expensive supplies but again, they typically cost three times as much.

Another important aspect of your self education needs to be support and warranty work.  I got a call from a very upset person recently wanting free support help to get his new MFP scanning properly.  Unfortunately, he didn’t buy from an authorized reseller and no one was willing  to help him for free.  Even the smaller A4 copiers need occasional ‘hand holding’ from the copier dealer and you just can’t get that from some out of town guy.  So make sure the warranties can be performed by the person you’re buying from.