In today’s business world, copiers play a crucial role in serving essential functions around the office. From documentation to communication, they are the cornerstone of business environments even despite digital advancements. Consumers can purchase or lease a copier from one of two basic options: from a manufacturer itself or from a copier dealer. Manufacturers such as Canon, Sharp, and Konica Minolta produce the machines, and then many of them are sold and leased by local copier dealers who are looking to provide tailored solutions, maintenance, and support to their clients.
Copier dealers act as an intermediary in the copier industry, sourcing the machines from manufacturers and supplying them to business and organizations. Beyond just selling, they play a holistic role in serving the copying needs of their clients. Their primary responsibilities encompass not only the distribution of these machines but also the offering of essential services such as setup, maintenance, training, and customer support. Dealers also provide highly specialized solutions for their clients to meet their exact needs.
Advantages of Choosing a Copier Dealer
Choosing a copier dealer offers several benefits, including access to a wide range of copier models and brands, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your business needs. These dealers often provide expert guidance and support, helping you select the right machine and offering maintenance services to keep your equipment running smoothly.
Of all the benefits of local authorized copier dealers, perhaps the most significant is the wide range of products and brands that they offer. Unlike manufacturers who promote their own line of products, dealers have access to multiple brands and all the product lines within those brands. On top of that, copier dealers might expand beyond just copiers, and be able to equip your business with additional office technology. For these reasons, businesses often find that dealers are able to meet their specific business needs in a much more tailored way than manufacturers.
Expertise and Consultation
A defining attribute of copier dealers is their deep-seeded expertise in understanding various customer needs. Compare this level of knowledge with buying from a manufacturer, who are only educated about one brand. Able to recommend suitable copiers based on different variables such as business size, usage rates, and budget, the support found at dealers often makes for a more thorough consultative experience. Dealers are not just selling a machine, but offering a long-term relationship that ensures each clients’ office technology needs are taken care of to the fullest.
Copier dealers often work with a leasing company in order to provide you with flexible financing options. These options are designed to be tailored to diverse business needs, allowing for varying lease durations, end-of-lease choices, adjustable down payments, and competitive interest rates. By leveraging these options, businesses can optimize their cash flow and stay up-to-date on the latest technology by not having to own their equipment.
A major advantage of working with a local copier dealer is the availability of fast on-site support and maintenance. When your business experiences a problem or just needs regular maintenance, downtime is minimized and business continuity is maximized by local, highly trained technicians being able to quickly come and fix the issue. Furthermore, choosing a local dealer means that you are staying connected to your local community, especially since local dealers tend to care deeply about fostering long relationships, getting involved in local charities, and initiating word-of-mouth connections.
Copier Manufacturers are the people who bring the machines into existence. Their role encompasses the full life cycle of a copier, from conceptualization to end-of-life disposal or recycling. After innovation, design and quality-checked production is completed, the manufacturers distribute these copiers either directly to consumers or through a network of dealers.
Advantages of Choosing a Copier Manufacturer
Being the innovators, producers and primary experts of your office technology equipment, there are multiple advantages of working directly with the copier manufacturer instead of a middle-man.
Direct Access to Latest Technology
Copier manufacturers are the headquarters of technological advancements in the copier world. Investing heavily in their research and development, they’re the first to integrate cutting-edge features and innovations into their products. This means that they often have a competitive edge over dealers in copier capabilities, because they’re the home of the latest and greatest before those innovations reach the dealers.
Warranty and Support
Manufacturers are often the most reliable when it comes to warranties and customer support, because of their unmatched confidence in their products. These warranties ensure that in the event of any malfunction, defect or other reason for dissatisfaction, the user can expect timely and effective solutions. In addition, when you get technical assistance directly from the source who made the machine, you can expect only genuine parts and technicians trained specifically for that brand and model. Finally, resolutions are usually quicker as there is no middle-man to communicate through and potentially create room for delays or miscommunications.
Customization and Scalability
Manufacturers often possess the in-depth knowledge and resources to offer copiers tailored to specific business requirements. Because of their direct involvement in the design and production, they can offer the exact software integration, hardware modifications, or specific feature enhancements that work best for you. This expertise also means that they are equipped to help your business scale as you evolve. They will have excellent advice on exactly how to integrate new features, add to your current fleet, and ensure compatibility with other systems, making sure your operation is robust and future-ready.
Establishing a direct relationship with a specific manufacturer can be a wise decision as it helps grow your knowledge of long-term business needs. Rather than short-term transactional partnerships, this deep-seeded relationship helps the manufacturer become privy to the particular dynamics, challenges, and growth trajectories of your business. This means that they can anticipate your needs for upgrades, proactive servicing, and other perks that come from knowing your manufacturer for a long period of time.
Considerations for Choosing Between a Dealer and a Manufacturer
It can be challenging to decide between the significantly different options of choosing between a copier dealer or a manufacturer. While there are benefits and drawbacks to both, it is important to understand them all so you can make the most informed decision for your business.
Budget and Cost
Initial costs can differ when choosing between a copier dealer and a manufacturer. Dealers might offer competitive pricing due to bulk buying or bundled deals, while manufacturers may provide more comprehensive warranties, leading to long-term savings in many cases. Long-term expenses related to warranties, maintenance, and repairs should be evaluated to determine the most economical choice, because each business has different long-term needs and wants.
Business Size and Complexity
Whether you choose a manufacturer or a dealer can depend heavily on the size and operational complexity of your business. Small businesses might benefit from a dealer’s personalized service, because of the flexible packages and localized, personalized service. On the other hand, large corporations or those with specialized requirements might favor direct manufacturer relationships due to their ability to provide consistent, large-scale solutions. Essentially, while dealers might be apt for localized and tailor offerings, manufacturers cater to scale and customization for more intricate operations. Of course, not all dealers are the same size either, and a larger-scale dealer might also be able to provide the large-scale consistency of a manufacturer.
Service and Support Preferences
Service and support preferences can significantly influence the choice between a dealer and a manufacturer. The local presence of dealers often means that they can ensure rapid response times and personalized support. On the other hand, manufacturers are more suited to provide in-depth expertise and genuine parts, but are less able to come out and perform physical repairs and maintenance. The decision ultimately comes down to your business’s specific needs and preferences.
The technological needs of business can vary widely, and can play a large role in whether you choose a dealer or a manufacturer. Dealers have multiple brand partnerships, which means that they have a wide array of options and can thus provide varied technological solutions. However, manufacturers offer immediate access to the latest innovations that could very well be what your business needs to gain the highest competitive edge. Therefore, the decision ultimately comes down to whether you prioritize variety or the desire to be as cutting-edge as possible in your operations.
Top Copier Dealers
The top copier dealers are all very good options if you decide to go with a dealer. What we consider the “best” hinges on the following factors: having a Google rating of 4 stars or higher, having a Glassdor rating of 3 stars or higher, and having a great reputation of outstanding service.
All Copy Products: Based in Denver and with branches all over the midwest and western US, All Copy Products is a comprehensive office technology provider, offering solutions in copiers, printers, and managed print services. Google rating: 4.1 stars. Glassdoor rating: 3 stars.
AIS (Advanced Imaging Solutions): A Minnesota-based company, AIS provides digital office solutions including copiers, printers, and managed IT services, focusing on enhancing business productivity. Google rating: 4.3 stars. Glassdoor rating: 3 stars.
Applied Imaging: Based in Michigan, Applied Imaging is a prominent name in office solutions, offering a range of services from managed print to IT management. Google rating: 4.7 stars. Glassdoor rating: 3.9 stars.
Loffler: Based in Minnesota, Loffler Companies provides integrated office technology solutions, including copiers, printers, and IT services, with a focus on excellent customer service. Google rating: 4 stars. Glassdoor rating: 4 stars.
Fraser: A Pennsylvania-based company, Fraser Advanced Information Systems offers innovative solutions in document management, IT services, and imaging systems. Google rating: 4.6 stars. Glassdoor rating: 3.8 stars.
RJYoung: RJ Young is a comprehensive office solutions provider, offering products and services ranging from copiers and printers to managed IT. Google rating: 4.7 stars. Glassdoor rating: 3.8 stars.
Fischer’s Technology: Fisher's Technology is a solutions provider specializing in copiers, printers, and IT services. They emphasize streamlining operations and enhancing productivity for businesses. Google rating: 4.9 stars. Glassdoor rating: 4.9 stars.
Copiers have and will remain indispensable for office landscapes for a very long time. While manufacturers such as Canon, Sharp, and Monica Minolta conceptualize, design, and produce these machines, local copier dealers do much of their distribution and offer tailored solutions with varied capabilities. The advantages of partnering with a dealer include a wider product variety, in-depth consultation based on their broad brand knowledge, flexible financing options, and quick local support. Conversely, working directly with a manufacturer ensures access to the newest technologies, reliable warranties, direct support, customized solutions, and a potentially deeper long-term relationship. Factors such as budget, company size & complexity, preferred service level, and technological requirements are all key points of consideration when deciding between the two. Ultimately, it is up to you and the specific needs of your business.