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It’s common for businesses to hang onto their office equipment for as long as they can, but what many don’t realize is that buying or leasing new office equipment is usually more cost-efficient in the long run.

Furthermore, outdated office equipment can significantly harm a business in terms of productivity, efficiency, security, and, ultimately, profitability. It’s a good idea for all companies to evaluate the status of their office equipment periodically.

The Disadvantages of Outdated Office Equipment

Outdated office equipment, while affordable on the surface, can be expensive in the long run. You don’t want to underestimate the true costs associated with outdated office equipment. Consider the following disadvantages of outdated office equipment:

  • Increased downtime. Older equipment tends to malfunction or crash more often than their modern counterparts, and downtime costs your business thousands of dollars a minute.
  • Increased costs. Machinery that frequently breaks down means more money needs to be spent on repairs. Additionally, there comes the point where parts are harder to find, which increases the costs associated with repairing older equipment.
  • Hindered productivity. Downtime has a direct impact on productivity and, in many cases, can lead to a significant disruption of employees’ ability to get their tasks done.
  • Higher security risks. Outdated equipment equates to increased security risks. Companies can protect their equipment against common malware when they can apply the most up-to-date patches and updates.
  • Compliance issues. Companies that suffer a data breach learn this is a costly problem with both tangible (i.e., fines, recovery, etc.) and intangible (i.e., damage to the brand name) costs.

Time is money. Anything that impacts the ability to work efficiently will turn out to be very costly. On the other hand, smooth-running machinery that operates as expected eliminates most of the above problems.

Signs it’s Time to Upgrade Your Office Equipment

You don’t want to purchase equipment too frequently because it puts an excessive and unnecessary financial burden on your company. Conversely, you don’t want to put it off too long either. To help you determine the right time to start shopping, you can look for specific signs, including:

  • Equipment downtime is constant. If you find your employees are waiting in line trying to make copies or struggling to get their print jobs complete in a timely manner, it’s time for an upgrade. You don’t want your employees to be counterproductive if they’re spending more time trying to get work done than actually getting work done.
  • Projects consistently delayed. You rely on your printers and copiers to complete tasks. If you’re changing deadlines, making customers wait, or postponing meetings regularly, this is a sign you should be looking to upgrade.
  • Equipment costs are rising. If you notice that a large part of your budget is frequently being spent on equipment repairs or replacement parts, this is a sign you should be seriously comparing what it costs you to maintain your current office equipment as opposed to what it would cost to buy or lease new equipment.
  • Software and firmware no longer receive updates or patches. At some point, manufacturers stop supporting outdated equipment. With tens of thousands of malware threats discovered daily, this means increased risks of data breach or theft. If updates and patches are no longer available for your office equipment’s software or firmware, it’s a definite signal it’s time to upgrade.

If you can estimate the shelf life of your equipment needs, it’ll help you put a replacement plan and schedule in place. Proactive planning goes a long way in helping your bottom line.

What to Consider When Buying New Office Equipment

Years ago, businesses didn’t have many options when it came to new office equipment, such as copiers and printers. With the growth and evolution of technology occurring so rapidly, the choices of products on the market are vast and change quickly. Buying new office equipment can be a tiresome process without organization. Here are some primary factors to consider when purchasing new machinery.

  • Price. Most businesses consider the cost of new equipment as a primary factor, as it should be. But much like any other purchase, such as a car or a mobile phone, you’ll want to consider what exactly you’re paying for and if it’ll meet your needs. Determine what price point fits your budget and work from there.
  • Function. What do you need your office equipment to do? You can buy the cheapest, but it may not perform the way you need it, whereas a multifunction printer may be a better investment. On the other hand, if you don’t need the additional features, a basic printer or copier model might meet your needs.
  • Quality. What is the output of the models you’re considering purchasing? How about the quality? Always be sure both of these meet your minimum in any equipment you buy, but ideally above. This way, as your equipment ages, it may last you a bit longer before your next replacement is needed.
  • Security. Security is an essential part of life, especially with wireless, connectivity, and cloud dominating society. When buying new office equipment, you need to ensure your vulnerabilities are minimized as much as possible. Be sure to ask about and understand all of the security features associated with any equipment before you buy it.

Buying new office equipment is a big decision and not one any manager wants to rush into at a moment’s notice. However, by doing a proper assessment of your operational and daily needs, along with proactive planning in your budget, you can position your business to remain competitive without breaking the bank.

To learn more about options to update your office equipment in the Houston area, contact On Demand today.