Cheap Home Office Printers - Use Caution!

printwasteWhen this pandemic began, many businesses jumped into action to get employees up and running from their homes.  From laptops to VPNs, the race was on to get the tools for a remote workforce.  The adjustments all businesses have made over the last six weeks were likely made out of necessity of the situation, but may not be ideal for long-term solutions.  And while states are making decisions on when to reopen their economies, the likelihood is that workers will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future for the following reasons:

  • Continued social distancing measures
  • Increased employee productivity due to fewer distractions
  • Lower utility costs for businesses with less people in office locations
  • Less liability in the workplace

So with all that being said, what does a long-term remote work strategy look like?  What sort of business technology do remote employees need to continue working effectively from home?  One of the snap decisions many employers made was to purchase cheap home office printers for employees from big box stores or online.  At the time, the decision was made out of necessity, but over the long term, is this strategy really what's best for your bottom line?  Let's take a moment to consider some important questions.

  • What happens when my printer has a problem?  Who do I call?  If you purchased a one-off printer from a big box retailer or online, support is going to involve spending some money to get whatever the issue is resolved.  You'll also need to find a reputable repair shop to do the fixes, and you'll be working on their time, not your own.
  • What will I do about maintenance and supplies?  Who do I contact to get new toner?  Is it safe to buy some off label cartridges for the device?
  • Is the cheap home office printer really going to hold up to the volume of a full-time home work routine?  Is the quality of the device going to stand the test of time?

A big box retailer or online purchase will not provide you with the support you will likely need to keep your work from home printing running.  But with a qualified business technology company, who only focuses on technology, will be able to provide your remote workers with dedicated support they require.  They will have factory-certified technicians, a call center for remote assistance and references of others who they are providing similar services for that you can all.

What About The Cost?

Everybody loves a good deal, especially when you're making purchases you hadn't planned on.  With remote work technology purchases, cheaper isn't always better.  You need to consider all of the costs involved with that cheap office printer.  In a previous article, we did a cost comparison of a $79.99 inkjet printer vs. a $6,000 MFP.  Obviously, a $6,000 MFP isn't necessary for a work from home situation, but it gives you a big idea into how much those cheap inkjet printers are going to run you.  You can also use this previous article to calculate your print costs so you can make an informed decision when purchasing remote work technology.

Along with these costs, a remote Managed Print Services Program may be something you could also consider.  With a remote Managed Print Services Program, maintenance and supplies are included in one easy agreement that allows your remote employees to have dedicated support for their print devices, along with one set way to order toner and supplies.  You can easily keep track of costs, instead of having employees ordering supplies from online sources or buying them at local stores and having no insight into what they are spending.

So What Options Do I Have?

As we continue to work remotely now and for the foreseeable future, it's important to start to make these technology decisions based on your long-term business strategy.  Talk to your local business technology dealer to learn how they can help you save money at this time and moving forward.  With a solid remote print strategy, you can rest assured you're spending money wisely and keeping your remote workforce productive. 

Fraser has several remote smart office printer and MFP packages available that offer special financing and may qualify for 90-day deferred payment options.  Our staff will work with you to find what's best for your employee needs, and packages can be customized for your requirements.