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Copier Dealer vs. Direct Manufacturer: Which is a Better Option?

Copier Dealer or Direct Manufacturer?

Here are 7 points to consider when evaluating whether to choose a copier dealer or a direct manufacturer.

Discovering the right blend of printers and copiers for your office, from brand to specific model to where these devices are strategically placed, comes with no shortage of options and decisions.  Signing on to a 60+ month lease is a big move, raising the stakes on choosing wisely.

One such choice involves partnering with a local, independent copier dealership or leasing/purchasing from a direct manufacturer, such as Canon or Konica Minolta. The decision to use a copier dealer or a direct manufacturer for your printing needs depends on various factors and considerations. Here are 7 points to consider when evaluating whether to choose a copier dealer or a direct manufacturer.

Copier Dealer or Direct Manufacturer: 7 Factors You Should Consider.

1. Product Range.

Copier dealers often offer a broader range of products from multiple manufacturers. If you have specific requirements and preferences, working with a copier dealer may provide more options to choose from compared to a direct manufacturer who may have a limited product lineup.

2. Customization and Flexibility:

Copier dealers are generally more flexible when it comes to customizing solutions to meet your specific needs. They can assess your requirements, suggest suitable equipment, and provide tailored solutions. Direct manufacturers may have more standardized offerings that might not be as flexible.

3. Service and Support:

The level of support you can expect is a critical part of the decision process. Error codes and misfeeds are inevitable. Rollers eventually need to be replaced. Copier dealers typically provide their own service and support teams to handle installations, maintenance, and repairs. They can offer personalized attention, quick response times, and local support. But before we go further: Don't be afraid to ask about a dealer's service numbers, i.e. Average Response Time, Average Resolution Time, First Call Completion Rate, Parts and Inventory statistics, etc. These are numbers that SHOULD be available. 

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On the other hand, direct manufacturers may have their own service teams or outsource service to authorized partners and are often spread out over a higher geographical range vs a local dealer. The level of service and support can vary between dealers and manufacturers, so it's essential to research and compare their reputation and customer reviews.

4. Pricing and Cost:

Both copier dealers and direct manufacturers can offer competitive pricing, but the specifics may differ. Copier dealers may have more flexibility in negotiating pricing and package deals, as they often have relationships with multiple manufacturers. Direct manufacturers may have their pricing structures and promotions, but there might be less room for negotiation.

5. The Leasing Options.

Not all, but some copier dealers may have their own in-house leasing program available for your equipment. This option can dramatically increase your financial flexibility, as well as general accountability by your provider... since they service the equipment AND own the lease. 

6. Expertise and Consultation.

Copier dealers typically have a deep understanding of the industry and can provide consultative advice based on their experience with various brands and models. They can assess your printing needs, recommend suitable devices, and help you optimize your print fleet. Direct manufacturers may offer product information and support, but their expertise might be more focused on their specific products.

7. Long-Term Relationship.

Building a long-term relationship with a copier dealer can offer benefits such as ongoing support, regular maintenance, and equipment upgrades. Your account representative may very well become a trusted partner who understands your business needs. Direct manufacturers might have programs or service contracts, but the personal touch and relationship-building may not go as deep. 

Ultimately, it's important to research and evaluate the reputation, customer reviews, service numbers, and offerings of both copier dealers and direct manufacturers. Consider your specific requirements, budget, and preferences to make an informed decision that best aligns with your organization's needs.

We believe that finding the right office equipment shouldn't be an aimless process. Enter the Datamax Discovery™ process. Datamax Discovery™ is a multi-faceted business technology needs assessment designed to help identify opportunities for streamlining business processes, maximizing the productivity of technology assets and people, and improving your total cost of technology ownership. Click to schedule your visit with at Datamax Technology Specialist! 

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Topics: Office Equipment Copier Service Copier Repair