Top Ten Things To Look For When Buying Office Equipment Online
At PBS Office, we sell a variety of office equipment supplies. Our supplies can benefit every type of business. These supplies include but are not limited to:
- Paper Shredders
- Banking Equipment
- Cash Handling Supplies (currency counters, change counters, etc)
- Laser Check Printing
- Check Endorsers
- And Much More
To see all of the products that we offer, be sure to check out our website. We are always offering specials and promotions which you can check out by clicking here!
Every business regardless of its size when it was formed, requires office equipment. The range of the equipment increases as the business grows to cater for new roles and the demand to add efficiency to the day to day operations of the business. Of course, some of the equipment may vary depending on the nature of the business but the core office equipment remains similar across all businesses.
Three challenges usually exist for entrepreneurs whenever they are looking to get office equipment for their businesses. The first challenge is identifying quality equipment in a market flooded with so many products. The second challenge is finding a reliable provider of the equipment who can be depended upon to deliver the identified equipment, and offer all expected support and service.
The final challenge is finding affordable but quality equipment, which can be found by clicking here. Making a wrong decision on any one of these three challenges will cost you a lot of money in losses coming from your lost investment. You will also suffer from the negative impact of the decision on business operations. In this guide, I will provide you with ways for overcoming all the three challenges by using a checklist at each stage.
1.) What to look for in office equipment
It is surprising how many businesses hardly do a proper assessment of the kind of equipment they need. Instead, they simply order equipment in a generalized manner. This usually leaves it to the supplier to decide what the best models of supplies to provide to the business are. When a few try shopping for specific items using specifications the business may need, the focus is usually on huge brands, or those widely marketed.
This is a wrong approach you should avoid because you can easily end up paying expensively on an item that is hardly the best in the market or even missing a similar item at a cheaper price. Below are the eight important factors to consider when looking for office equipment.
a. The need for the equipment
Every equipment you get has to be justified by a real need even if you are buying for the future. Having equipment that you are not going to use frequently is one of the ways you will harm your cash flow. Even when purchasing the equipment, the attributes have to meet the volume of work the machine will be expected to do.
For example, getting a laser jet printer when you are only printing about three documents a day or even less is being wasteful. You also have to weigh the cost of getting a particular piece of equipment against the cost of simply outsourcing the work when the need arises.
b. Cost of the equipment
You have to consider the cost of the equipment and the budget you have. Do not focus on the purchasing price alone but consider other aspects such as the cost of operation and maintenance. Some equipment could have high upfront costs but result in long-term savings because of the inbuilt efficiency.
Another aspect of the cost you should consider is the number of functions one piece of equipment offers. It is better to always pick equipment that offers a wider range of utility to save you from purchasing more equipment.
Considering the cost also allows you to weigh the different options in the market of similar equipment to alternative avenues you can still acquire the equipment. This is discussed later in the article.
This is an important aspect to consider in an equipment because it allows you to invest in the future. You have to look at the standards used to build the equipment and the reviews it has from past users. You should also look at the value and length of the warranty that accompanies the piece of equipment.
You should also be wary of counterfeit products which can easily fool you and lead to a loss of investment. This is why it becomes important to shop from reputable suppliers and sources.
d. Ease of use
It will not be worth spending so much on an equipment that requires specialized training to operate and you do not have an employee with such skills. Besides specialized training, every piece of equipment should come with a user-friendly functionality to be able to impact the output of your employees.
Even where little training is required, it should be easy to grasp how to use it in case the equipment is for general use in the office. The manual should be comprehensive and where needed, the installation process should be fast and simple.
Portability is an important issue to consider unless it is hindered by the nature of the equipment’s function. Even then, the equipment has to have an option of easy movement and should not take up much space especially in the case of small business premises.
Technology allows for smaller units which are as powerful as their larger counterparts of the previous era. You have to measure the space available for equipment and its size including an allowance for space to accommodate the people using it.
f. Maintenance and availability of parts
Even the most durable equipment needs regular maintenance. It is very important that you buy equipment that is easy to maintain without risk of damage or need of a specialized technician. The manual should specify the maintenance schedule and what the maintenance entails.
In the event of damage or malfunction, you do not want to be stuck with equipment that cannot be repaired. You also have to inquire about the availability and cost of spares to see if the equipment will serve your long-term plans. At times the cost of spare parts is so high it makes more sense to buy new equipment.
g. Technology used
In your shopping for office equipment, it is important to consider equipment coming with the latest technology. This does not necessarily mean going for the top end equipment but rather, working with what is the current standard technology.
Even though older generation models may still work as good and come at a cheaper cost, they have a higher risk of becoming obsolete, lacking manufacturer’s support and also lacking the ability of integration with other equipment and software.
This is why it is important to ensure the equipment you use will not be rendered useless by a simple upgrade whether in software changes or new hardware designs.
h. Quality of the Equipment
This is the crucial aspect because it largely determines whether you get the value for your money or not. The first aspect you have to consider is the performance offered. You also have to look at other factors like its ergonomics, energy consumption and inbuilt safety factors.
To help you with deciding on whether the quality of the equipment is great for you, ask yourself these questions; does the equipment meet your production or operation needs with the expected efficiency? How does the equipment rate against other equipment in the market belonging to its class? What is it about the equipment that serves you better than competing models?
2.) What to look for in an office provider
To a large extent, the price and quality of the equipment you buy are largely dependent on where you get it or who your provider is. For most businesses, it makes sense shopping from one outlet since they get to enjoy the convenience and discounts that come with dealing with one office equipment provider.
Finding the right provider has to be done carefully since when you get it right you earn your business a crucial partner for the long term. To achieve this, here are a few tips to work with;
a. Experience in the business
You want to work with a provider who has enough years in the business. Such an equipment provider has had time to streamline operations and service. Experience also gives a provider a better idea of what clients want, the best equipment for their needs and makes the whole process easier since you are dealing with an expert and informed provider.
b. Variety of products
This is important because some providers choose to specialize in only one kind of equipment. If that is the only equipment you are looking for then you can consider them.
However, for small businesses still looking to expand and acquire more equipment, it is a better alternative to go for office equipment providers with a wide variety of products. In both cases, you also have to consider the range of models of each product. This gives you a wide field of choice and a chance to find the right fit equipment for you.
c. Customer care and support
The best provider is the one who responds to your issues from the first instance you make an inquiry regarding different equipment. You have to consider the time they take to give responses, their understanding of the equipment they sell and how they function, and the quality of their service among other things.
You also have to consider if the company provides support for their equipment. This includes a live demo of the equipment use and further assistance regarding installation and maintenance.
d. Reputation in the business
You want an equipment provider that is able to keep their word on deliveries even on short notice. Look at their abilities to deliver their service as they promise you and ask about their strategies to ensure the equipment is original and is safely delivered to your premises.
The best measure of their reliability is their plan to mitigate anytime they inconvenience you. Are they willing to shoulder the cost of any loss incurred?
As already highlighted earlier, while the upfront cost of equipment is important to determine your decision, you also have to consider several other aspects such as the discounts a company may be offering, service contracts after the warranties are up and other factors which may influence the long-term cost of the equipment.
You have to work with an equipment provider who gives warranties for all the equipment being sold. The supplier should also have a reputation for honoring the warranties with minimum fuss. As earlier mentioned, check on the duration of the warranty as it is the easiest way to tell the provider’s confidence in the quality of equipment being sold.
3.) Getting equipment on a budget
If you are looking for office equipment but you are working on a budget there are several ways you can get them. You should, however, be prepared to do much of the shopping on your own and working with different providers. Here are steps to follow;
a. Do your research
Looking for bargain deals will require you to do a lot of searching both among the different outlets and also the various brands of equipment you are looking for. Compare the prices and added benefits, read the reviews and see where you can get a money saving deal. The big outlets are a good place to start with and you can also ask around from other businesses for referrals.
b. Clearance sales
Clearance sales present an opportunity to grab yourself quality equipment at great prices. Major outlets usually have this periodically especially towards the end of the year where they move out equipment that is not selling at cut prices. It is an opportunity for you to make major savings without compromising on quality. This will, however, require a lot of research work and patience.
c. Ask for Discounts
Whether you are buying online or in a physical store, do not hesitate to request for discounts. Many stores are willing to negotiate a favorable price for both parties especially if you are purchasing in bulk. Be frank with your budget and your needs and you will be surprised how much you can save because aside from discounts, they can show you alternative but equally quality products you can acquire on a budget.
d. Purchase your equipment online
Online stores do not have a lot of overhead costs in their operations. Secondly, most easily order their equipment straight from the manufacturer sparing you the costs of the middleman. They also have a large inventory of goods which needs to be moving. The increase in competing for online stores, makes them offer huge discounts and several other benefits to be attractive to potential clients like you.
e. Consider second-hand options
Second-hand equipment can still serve the purpose you want and it comes at a fraction of the price of brand new equipment. However, the thing you would be missing is a longer lifespan of the equipment and a shorter warranty or in some cases none.
Office equipment plays an important role when it comes to increasing your productivity and allowing for smooth and fast operations. However, when their purchase is not done diligently with a clear plan, it is very easy for you to run into losses and incur further expenses.
4.) Why is a paper shredder a must?
A shredder is a must simply because of the sophistication of yesterday’s criminal that is still lurking in today’s electronic world. They will do whatever they need to do to steal personal information. They are the ones that will still relish in going through the dumpsters in the back alleys of businesses hoping to come across discarded customer paperwork. By not shredding sensitive documents, you can expose an estimated 9 million people to identity theft according to the Federal Trade Commission. With office grade shredders costing less than $50 each, not only are they affordable for business offices but for at home use as well. There is no excuse not to have a shredder at your disposal. The biggest problem is, the shredder is rarely located where it can be readily used. If a shredder is not within three to five seconds from where you are, chances are you are not going to use it. To remedy this problem, purchase multiple shredders and place them where they are accessible to everyone in all directions. To purchase the shredders that are right for your office, use the following tips:
- Choose your cut
- A cross-cut shredder will do the job quite efficiently and detour any tenacious crook that would not mind taking the time to put those strips back together to glean information from them.
- Choose a spot to place your shredder
- Make sure it is within close proximity to where it can be used regularly.
- Select the best sheet capacity for your office
If you produce a lot of shred material, then you would do best to purchase a shredder with an industrial-sized feeder capacity such as the Kobra 400 HS6 High Security Shredder. In addition, a shredder that can destroy paper and plastic would be advantageous for your office, especially if you also discard CDs and DVDs.
5.) The many applications and business check endorsers are used in
When considering the efficiency of your business office, keeping tabs on the number of checks written can be time-consuming. It takes time to review, adjust the accounting line item, cut the check and then sign the check. Well, those times can be in the past as there is a more efficient way to conduct this segment of your business in a more efficient and time-saving manner. A check signer when connected to your computer system and a printer will allow you to have one step check signing on pre-printed sheet laser checks or continuous form checks. A check signer can give you the following features such as:
- The elimination of having to sign individual checks and multiple checks by hand.
- You control the check approval and signing process in your office.
- The system can be upgraded to allow complete laser check printing.
- This will eliminate other outdated mechanical check signers.
- Offers enhanced graphics amount line and signature security features.
Having a check signer will increase proficiency and give you back the ability to have tighter controls over the check writing processes in your business.
6.) When purchasing office equipment, how to choose quality over price.
Someone once said, “Good quality comes at a high price.” There is also another saying that is very familiar to many of us, “You get what you pay for.” It seems both of those sayings were born out of the dissatisfaction of a customer who purchased an item that did not live up to expectations. We all would rather purchase an item expecting it to last a long time, even under heavy use. However, to get the long-term use we want, should we really have to spend more money and buy the higher priced item? Does buying the most expensive item really mean you will get the best quality? Many believe that the best quality office equipment begins with the company that created it. If that company strives to give their customers their best quality merchandise at an affordable price, then what the consumer will end up with is a bargain. This can be a plus when purchasing office equipment. You want your office equipment to withstand the test of time and weather the storm of use and misuse by staff.
Just think about it. How many copiers end up being the object of the office worker temper tantrum? So, having a copier of low quality would not give your office many years of continued use before having to be replaced. So what is the best way to go about getting the quality equipment you need for the economical price you want?
Consider the following steps:
- Make a list. Take the time to determine what it is you really need versus what you really want. Make this list a part of your business plan. It should become a habit to update your list and make changes to your equipment list as your business changes or grows. Create it as somewhat of a spreadsheet. The first row should list all the necessary and basic pieces of equipment that you need now and are essential for operating your business. The second row will be your “wish list”. It should contain all the items that could possibly help your business but are not a necessity at this time. It is advisable to shop for everything on the first row of items first and leave the items on the second row for later after your business is on a good keel.
- Consider getting rid of current items that are obsolete or expensive to use. Think about what you use it for, how much you are using it and what is it costing you to keep it. Take for example, how cost effective is it for you to keep that postage machine in your office? You are paying the post office a monthly fee for the rights to use it. You only use it for maybe 20 letters a month at the most. What makes more sense is simply placing 20 stamps on letters by hand and handing them to the mail carrier when they bring in your new mail deliveries that day. That is the better cost-effective way to send your mail. Use that train of thought for your other equipment as well.
- You can also save money by determining whether you can get the equipment you need by purchasing new or used. Buying used is always a good idea when you have a limited budget. Purchasing working equipment that has been gently used is always a good fiscal idea. There is a chance that you can get savings upwards 50% by purchasing used.
- When it comes to purchasing the most important equipment items, choose quality over price. For these things, you should focus on the best quality. If you are not sure of the quality of a certain item and would like to preview the reviews others have given this piece of equipment, try browsing ConsumerReports.org for the latest information. This will save you a lot of anxiety over a broken piece of equipment before you purchase it and give you the chance to make an informed decision.
7.) How to carefully measure what equipment you need
There are times when an office can become a catalyst to its own demise. To find out if your office is not functionally supplied and arranged, answer these questions. Can you open your file cabinet drawer without it bumping into another piece of office furniture in front of it? Is your copier on one side of the office and the fax machine on another? When you go from one side of the office to the other, do you walk through like a mouse in a maze? Do simple tasks go undone simply because the current equipment is substandard to handle the duty? If you have answered yes to these questions, then it is time that you do something to eliminate the clutter, rearrange the workspace and purchase better equipment.
When furnishing your office, consider doing these helpful suggestions.
- Draw your office floor plan out on paper first. By first drawing the floors, walls, doors, windows and twists and turns of your office on paper, you will be able to get a bird’s eye view of where you would like each piece of equipment and furnishing placed. This will help you to maintain an open walkway, a continuous flow of foot traffic and quick access to equipment that is used most often. Take, for instance, you would benefit from having the copier, fax machine and shredder within the same proximity. This will eliminate the user having to take too many steps to get a task done.
- Determine how and where everyone would go in case of an emergency prompting the need to evacuate. Look at your floor plan and assure that there will not be a piece of furniture or equipment that would deter quick access to an emergency exit. You would want these areas free and clear.
- Have your tape measure at hand. Whether you will purchase your office equipment and furniture online or from the showroom floor, it would be a good point to place the dimensions of your usable office space on your floor plan drawing for quick reference. Always having a tape measure within reach would come in handy when ordering your office equipment. This way, you are able to determine quickly whether or not a piece would easily fit into a predetermined place.
- If you are not one to trust your own drawing skills, try using an online space planning tool such as RoomSketcher or FloorPlanner. These online resources will help you bring your office ideas to life. They will make planning your new office easy and give you the space to work in and make your business the success you’ve dreamed of.
8.) Identify Potential Suppliers
There is so much to consider when purchasing your office equipment and supplies. Making the decision to use only one vendor for your office equipment needs can take time. Being cautious is in the hopes that you will find a supplier that will not only give you the quality equipment you need but also get it for an affordable price. Sure, you could waste time and endless hours looking at price lists. But ultimately, your final decision will depend upon many factors. One of these factors should be the question of what exactly you will get for the money you spend. Why pay for something that will not last the length of time you expect? Therefore, the quality of the purchase is of utmost importance. In addition, you want a piece of equipment that you can rely on to continue to work even through days of high volume usage. So, reliability is also important. One other thing to consider is servicing your equipment. When you make a service call, what is the length of time you would have to wait for a service technician to come?
All these questions could be answered with some online research. This research could yield a good list of prospective vendors that have the possibility of doing business with you. What you want is a vendor you can trust to give you quality and quantity especially when it comes to needing multiple pieces. There are a few key points you could follow to help you to find the right supplier for your needs. One that offers special sales that can help make your supplies more affordable.
When trying to select suppliers, try strategic thinking. We have all been there, trying to find that sweet deal on whatever the product was we were wanting to purchase. What you should do is create your list by compiling all the most effective suppliers. That means listing the ones that offer products and services that match or exceed the needs of your business. Look at suppliers that office fast delivery and fast service. What you are looking for is a first, second and third choice. This is to expand your chances that if your first choice lets you down in one way or another, you have a second and third chance to find your satisfactory supplier.
Know what you are looking for in a supplier. What is that you want most from a supplier. When asked, many business owners said they were looking first and foremost for, reliability. You have customers to satisfy and when your supplier lets you down, it may interfere with you fulfilling your customer’s order. Building a trusting relationship with that supplier is important not only to you but to your customer as well. In a close second, was quality. Poor quality materials could affect your customer’s reliability in you and could potentially lose that customer. Get that value for the money you are paying. Know that your supplier can offer you the best service and the clearest communication.
9.) Tips for drawing up a short list of suppliers
This is the part that so many have trouble with. This can be due to not knowing the resources available to them. However, the best resources can be found all around, such as,
- The use of recommendations. By getting a recommendation from a current or past customer can speak volumes about the type of service the supplier can offer.
- Try the Yellow Pages. Although the Yellow Pages may no longer be in book form in your area, they can still be found online and still be a valuable source of information about a supplier.
- Trade associations are great sources of information when the supplier you want is in a certain trade or industry.
- Your local Chamber of Commerce can point you in the right direction of a supplier that they know of having a trusting relationship with the business community.
- Exhibitions also offer the chance for you to meet the representatives of many suppliers, pick up literature and pricing and shake some hands.
Once you have found your way through this path of information, use it to finalize the decision of a supplier. You can start by asking a few questions:
- Are they able to deliver my supplies quickly and when I need them?
- How long have they been in business?
- How solid are their finances?
- Are they on an approved supplier list?
Now comes the hardest part of all. Making the pick. With a manageable short list ready, start making phone calls and asking for written quotes. Let them know what you are looking for and what you expect from your supplier. Make it clear to them what type of business you have and your expectations from the supplier you will pick to serve those needs. Ask them if they will offer discounts for long-term and/or large quantity orders. Remember, although pricing is important, it must not be the only reason you will choose a supplier. Investigate to find out if they use in-house employees to do the work or if they outsource their work orders to subcontractors to be fulfilled. Take the time to negotiate, you are looking for the best price, right?
You must be sure that you know your business needs. The sales pitch they throw your way may not include the services you need. You must be careful as not to jump at the first offer right away without first considering the offer fits what you want to achieve. Do your research. Do not be afraid to ask around and get those recommendations at every step of the way. Do a credit check on the potentials. Every little bit of information helps you make the right decision. Make sure that any agreements you finally make must be clear and concise. Spread your business out across multiple suppliers, but not too many suppliers. Have an alternative just in case your main supplier does not come through. You know you need suppliers, without them, you would have no business.
10.) The benefits of choosing us as your supplier
Finding the best supplier for your office equipment is just as important as the business itself. Keep in mind, the business cannot run smoothly without the best equipment to keep it going. Over the past few months, we covered,
- Identifying potential suppliers.
- How to think strategically when looking at your selection of suppliers.
- What attributes are you looking for in your supplier?
- Weighing the pros and cons of suppliers before making your final choice.
- Drawing up a list of suppliers that best fit your needs.
- And finally, choosing the supplier that will give you the support you need.
You can see that deciding on the right supplier is much more involved than just comparing price lists. There is Progressive Business Systems, Inc. with a supplier’s track record of great customer service and client recommendations. You should act quickly to make them the supplier for your company’s equipment. Whether you need shredders, check writing equipment and accessories or a better way of cash control, PBSoffice.com has a solution for you that is practical and affordable. Could it be that you are you looking for a shredder? All it takes is a moment on the PBS Office website. There, you will be able to compare brands, prices, features, and accessories. Once you see what the website has to offer, all that is left for you to do is order what will fit your office situation. Whether you have a large or small office, it is guaranteed that you will be able to find the shredder tailored to your needs. This is the best way to secure the privacy and confidentiality of your customers. Be sure to get a shredder that you can rely on to work and complete the job every time without paper jams, continuous oiling or overheating. If you are still not sure of what your office need, give them a phone call. A helpful sales representative can help to match you with the shredding solution to keep your office running smoothly and securely. It is great to know that you can get free consultation and savings for your budget as well from a company that has many years of office equipment supplier experience. What is it about the shredders that make them the right choice for your office? With a name like Destroyit, you know what you are getting. You get reliable, commercial-grade paper shredders that can handle the shredding needs of even the most high-volume office. These shredders are quick and smooth operators. Forget the time you would spend with other brands having to remove the paperclips and staples before you can put them in the shredder. With Destroyit, simply leave them attached to the paper and allow the Destroyit to do the job.
In addition, PBS Office offers the best in a number of unparalleled support options for the equipment you purchase from them. Your company can never be left without the support of the product you have in your office. Not only will they service the equipment you have purchased from them, but they will service equipment purchased elsewhere as well. They offer a full selection of support options for your business that is very affordable. When you purchase any one of their annual support contracts, you can get depot and on-site maintenance. You can be assured that PBS Office has a tailor-made support option that will meet the maintenance needs of your company. Take, for instance, if you’ve purchased a Semacon product, surely you would like to make sure it is in working condition and available to use whenever needed. That is why having the Semacon S-2500 1 Year Advance Service Replacement Plan would be to your advantage. Just in case there comes a time when your Semacon product fails to perform as it should during the warranty period, you will have access to technical support. You have access to one of the knowledgeable technical support representatives that will help you will troubleshooting the problem by phone. They will walk you through the steps in an attempt to get your Semacon product back up and running on your own. If by chance the problem cannot be fixed with the representative by phone, the item will be replaced with a new or refurbished machine, of the same age or newer than the machine you currently have. Ground delivery of the replacement machine will be free. Now you can have peace of mind knowing that you will never be without access to your cash handling equipment when you purchase the advance service replacement plan. Click here to find out why paper shredders are a necessity so that you can feel confident in your purchase from our company.
What if you find a supplier that has the same equipment, but at a lower price? No problem. PBS Office can offer you the best price and the best customer service. By simply giving the folks at PBS Office a call, they will be happy to show you how purchasing them would be your best option.Sometimes, money can be tight and your company budget may be small. No worries. There can still be a solution for you to get the equipment your office needs. We all want a deal when it comes to making purchases. From time to time at PBS Office there is the availability of gently used and demonstration equipment that they want to take out of their inventory. That way everyone can benefit from the deal. They can move that item from their inventory. You can end up with a steal of a deal that will save you money and not put a dent in your budget. What is even better, they want to make sure that you are happy and satisfied with the purchase you’ve just made. They give you two days to try out and evaluate your purchase. If perchance you are unhappy with the item, you can ship it back for a 100% refund of your money. At PBS Office, they care about the company they keep. They make it their job to help you smoothly run yours.