5 Pieces of Office Equipment That Are Worth Shopping Around
Posted by business on March 21, 2013 in Business Technology [ 0 Comments ]
Everyone is under pressure to keep the costs of business under control. By shopping around and developing good working relationships with supply vendors, you can cut costs on everything from pens to business cards. When it comes to office equipment, the savings can be even greater when you shop around. Here are 5 pieces of office equipment that you should take the time to compare prices on before buying.
1. Compare Postage Meters
The actual machine that applies postage to your letters or parcels is leased, rather than purchased, but there are numerous add-ons and options — like scales and letter feeders — you can purchase. If you mail a lot of packages, compare the costs for buying a separate postal scale with buying a meter with a built-in scale. Ask yourself if you need a postage scale with a letter feeder, which can save massive amounts of time for companies that mail out large numbers of letters, invoices, or statements. When you compare postage meters, find out if you prepay postage, or if you pay as you go. Also compare costs of maintenance and service contracts and what they cover, as well as costs for postage meter supplies.
2. Compare Office Chairs
Over the course of a year, workers in offices spend nearly 2,000 hours sitting in a chair, so it’s important that your office chairs can handle wear and tear, that they’re comfortable, and that they’re affordable. Supportive chairs increase productivity, while poorly-designed chairs can lead to back and leg pain and lower productivity. The typical office chair is adjustable, is on wheels, and swivels. Look for good back support, breathable fabric covering, and adequate cushioning. Some office suppliers will bring several chairs to your office so that people can try them out. Once designs are selected, get quotes from three or four office suppliers before completing your purchase order.
3. Compare All-in-One Machines
Most offices don’t need either a scanner or a fax machine very often, but when they do, there are really no easy alternatives. Fortunately, you can get all-in-one machines that scan, fax, and print, and having one around can save you and others from having to go to a shipping center or use another office’s fax or scanner. These items are not expensive, but they do vary in quality. Read plenty of online user reviews concerning cost and durability. You can sometimes find these machines used for very low prices and save even more.
4. Compare Office Printers
The so-called paperless office we’ve been promised for 30 years may never arrive, and high-quality office printers are still very much a necessity. The key to saving money on your office printers is to know exactly what you will use them for, how many people will be using them, and what features you will need regularly. Some offices need full suites of capabilities, including punching and binding, while others only need basic printing capabilities. Know your real needs up front, and you can keep from paying for features you don’t need. The savings could even allow you to buy an extra printer, which can be a lifesaver if one malfunctions.
5. Compare Photocopiers
Like printers, photocopier needs vary greatly. Some offices only need the occasional copy, while others need sorting, stacking, binding, or stapling. The key is understanding what you need and the volume of copying your office does on a daily basis. You don’t want your assistants spending hours stapling reports together every month if you can get your photocopier to do it for you. On the other hand, if you only make a handful of individual copies per week, there’s really no need to pay for advanced capabilities. Know your needs and get multiple quotes, and you can keep the cost of your office photocopiers as low as possible.
The key with saving money on any office equipment is defining your needs. The number of people in the office, the amount of paper you go through, and the amount of mail you send should be major determinants of which office machine models you choose. You may not think it’s worth investing time to compare postage meters, for example, but in reality, getting multiple quotes and comparing them is the surest way to know you’re using your company’s capital wisely.
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