Do you waste time hanging out in the copier room waiting for pages to print? Are your old printers eating up your profits in toner and supplies? Is tired, old office equipment killing your productivity?
We believe leasing is the best way to get newer equipment and stay up-to-date with the newest printers and other technology. The problem is that printer leasing companies are not all the same and can offer wildly different results.Most companies looking for leases seek the lowest lease rate. Getting a low rate is always a key piece of any leasing arrangement, but it is not a reliable standard for getting the best lease or leasing experience. To get the best possible lease options, make sure you first choose reputable leasing companies to bid on your project. Choosing the wrong leasing partner could result in hidden fees or the wrong technology solutions for your company.
What’s the Difference? How to Establish Leasing Criteria
Leasing companies are not alike. Most specialize in specific industries, some in lease types, some in certain equipment types, and still others in transaction sizes. It is important to understand the specialization of the those bidding on your lease. To get the most attractive deal and to avoid the run-around, stick with lessors who focus on the types of equipment and transaction you are seeking.
The time to start your search for a leasing company is early in the planning phase — once you’ve established criteria for a leasing arrangement. Some criteria to consider for a leasing arrangement include:
- Monthly cash outlay
- Financial statement impact
- Appropriate lease type
- Lease term
- Lease flexibility
- Lease facility size
- Whether your equipment will be accepted for lease
Leasing companies also differ in resources and capabilities. Many large leasing companies are owned by banks or large financial companies. These firms usually have nearly unlimited resources but do not often have experience or expertise in servicing any particular type of equipment lease. To them, your printer is just a line item on a balance sheet, not an important technology investment.
These large banks obviously have the money, but do not often understand the flexibility or ideal terms for your particular company’s needs. Mid-size and smaller leasing companies may not have the resources of the big banks, but they often have highly skilled professionals, sufficient resources and more flexibility to meet lessee needs. The question is whether you simply need access to capital or a lease agreement that is more flexible and customizable.
We recommend finding a dealer that can work with your organization’s unique requirements. The company should be able to structure leases to fit your needs with lease terms or the length of the lease and offer flexible purchase options when the lease term is up. At that point, you should be able to purchase the machine, return it or lease it again — whatever makes sense for your business.
Getting to Know Your Printer Leasing Company
Interview prospective bidders carefully. Ask about experience with the type of transaction you are looking for, involvement with similar firms in your industry, and the types of lease products they offer to firms like yours. Discuss your particular equipment needs. Ask whether they will finance your lease using internal funding or whether they will broker the lease to an outside funding source. Is there a possibility they sell your lease to another servicer at some point in the lease — a common practice among many leasing companies?
As with any important decision, ask for references and financial information from potential bidders to evaluate their financial condition. Search online for unresolved problems, fraud, financial problems, poor reviews, success stories and awards. Lastly, make sure prospective bidders belong to one or more industry trade associations. While membership alone does not speak for the integrity or expertise of a company, most of the associations set standards of conduct for their members.
And, as with anything in life, avoid high-pressure lease sellers. Your lease terms should offer flexible terms and options so that you can:
Keep up to date with technology. A lease agreement should make it possible to have the most current generation of technology, not impeding your company with out-of-date machines.
Outsource asset management. An experienced printer leasing company can manage your equipment from delivery to disposal.
Get custom terms. An experienced printer leasing company can bundle the equipment, installation and servicing in one contract.
Hedge against inflation. Inflation is low right now, but a lease agreement can protect against sudden inflationary cycles.
Get a real return on investment on your technology. By leasing your equipment, you can make smaller payments while the equipment generates revenue.
Choosing the right leasing company is worth the effort. By taking a few easy steps during the planning and bidding phases of the lease process, you can find printer leasing companies with high integrity, great reputations for performance and authentic and excellent communication skills. You will invest a little time upfront, but you will thank yourself later.
Contact the leasing professionals at the Gordon Flesch Company today to learn more about how equipment leasing can enhance your operation. Or, request a complimentary General Business Technology Needs Assessment by clicking the button below.