I Watch Customers Throw Away Cash and I Can’t Do a Thing About It!
We all keep hearing about the economy and how terrible it is in Fort Collins. Yet as a copier dealer, I sometimes wonder because resources can be spent so inefficiently! So, this is a horror story blog/rant today…
I was working with a real estate agency and there were about 25 people in the real estate office. It is a thriving agency with many talented people. They have had Oce copiers for about 3 years and their lease is coming up. They had asked for some pricing and comparative analysis. I ran their current numbers and they were spending close to 50k per year between the 5 offices they had. This was for all their copiers, so it seemed reasonable. Until I asked questions. Once I started asking questions, well… the whole logic seemed crazy!
First of all, they were only making about 10,000 prints and black and white copiers in their biggest office. Now, this sounds like a lot, but they had a 65 page per minute copier there rather than something like an HP Laserjet 4345x. That surprised me because this was a $30,000 copier instead of a $4,000 copier. Their reasoning was that they couldn’t be waiting for copy jobs. Problem with the logic, the Oce had a warm up time of 90 seconds… our suggestion had a 10 second warm up time. For 99% of the jobs this office did, the “slower” 55 page per minute copier would finish a job about 45 seconds faster.
“It’s too small”
Yes, that’s right, that is what the customer (actually, not a customer because we couldn’t talk any sense into them) said. We want a big machine because of our heavy volume. Wow. 10,000 pages, fyi, is not heavy volume! When I ran what I was proposing vs what they were doing and getting quoted on, our bid came in at $75,000 for 3 years rather than $150,000. They went with the “big copier” and we are left scratching our heads. For all of you who find copier reps annoying and dishonest in Fort Collins… I am beginning to see where you are coming from. Becasue they trusted their rep on this one, they’ll be paying $25k extra a year. I hope he is right!