Trivial errors and issues frustrate us all. You’re in a rush to prepare for a presentation, or an important client is waiting, and your office equipment is faulty. Your sense of urgency grows and anger intensifies as you look down at a jammed photocopier or a printer that prints nothing.
Whether small or big, every business and its employees work hard to provide superior services or products, in order to stay competitive. But if the tools for work don’t complete their functions properly, the entire workplace productivity decreases.
Here are a few signs you should keep track of if you wish to recognize this critical moment before it happens.
Costs are increasing
Upgrading office equipment usually gets delayed because of the costs that come with it, but in the long run, you will be able to save money as the expenses from using outdated machines would only increase your overhead. After some time, repairing old machines only brings diminishing returns, while starting to cost too much when compared to just buying new machines.
As expenses of maintaining older machines increase, upgrading to newer and better machines become more economically viable. For instance, the expenses that come with repairing printers as they get closer to the end of their lifespan, and buying toner cartridges for them is more expensive than buying new printers. Not to mention their non-existent toner and paper-saving features found in more recent devices.
To put it differently, you start to spend more on consumables while the office equipment becomes less efficient. And it’s not just about consumables – the older the equipment, the bigger the energy bill will be. New machines always come with better energy efficiency, thus when upgrading you lower your overhead costs.
As technology goes forward, older models easily become obsolete. They stop processing assignment as they experience problems in communications with other devices. They struggle to receive the required updates and changes. Machine parts also become more difficult to find as their production goes down.
Remember that you can always replace some less important paper processes with digital workflows in order to reduce paper consumption.
Service calls are more frequent while their availability decreases
As your equipment experiences more accidents and starts breaking down more than it has in the past, this might be seen as a sign that an upgrade might be required. Occasional faults and scheduled maintenances are normal for any machine. But if some of them require more servicing than average, the productivity in the workspace will go down as daily business operations become disrupted.
The older the equipment, the more repairs it will need. While machines are no longer able to keep up with daily demands, show signs of slowing down and are consistently sustaining malfunctions.
And the service itself becomes less and less available. You may struggle to find solutions or experts that can fix your faulty machines. The more outdated the device, the more chances are that the manufacturers have updated the technology and don’t support the older models as before.
Look at printers, for instance. There will come a time when the manufacturer stops updating their devices and you get left with a printer that is unresponsive and has low-quality output. Lower technological capabilities will decrease your company’s productivity.
The benefits for your business
For starters, newer equipment takes up less space, usually has multiple functions and reduces the waste of time, energy and materials. Trivial errors don’t bother your employees, leaving them to operate with increased workflow. Besides this, better models naturally come with improved efficiency and functionality while being more secure from cyber-attacks.
Not to mention that now you won’t experience problems with devices communicating with one another, not receiving necessary updates and compatibility issues with newer programs and apps.
Although necessary, business equipment can be expensive. However, there are ways to upgrade your equipment without breaking the bank. One of the best ways to achieve this is opting for pre-owned equipment instead of brand new. This might not sound like a much of an upgrade, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to find well-preserved, perfectly functional second-hand equipment for a fraction of its original price. In fact, many businesses are selling their equipment, not because it’s outdated, but because they’re closing. This is a perfect opportunity for you to repurchase some barely used equipment for a good price.
Another great way to save money is buying refurbished electronics. For example, buying new laptops can be a huge expense, but you easily can find low-priced Apple refurbished iPhones and MacBooks for your entire team.
Your business isn’t the same
Your business has grown, and the equipment didn’t follow. Just as other parts of your business changed, the equipment that you used at the beginning of your business will need to transform. Because most of us have to bear numerous start-up costs, there will always be sacrifices when it comes to starting office equipment.
But as your business changes and develops so too will its wants and needs transform. You incorporated new tasks that dovetail with older models and wholly transformed the field in which the business operates. There is a need for higher-quality, more functional equipment that will follow the increases in daily operations demands and let your current business stay successful.
Delay it as much as you wish, but at some point, the benefits of upgrading will override the savings made from not doing it. If technology lags, the business will lag also. While you may believe that you’re spending the money unnecessarily, the expense will be made up in saved time and reduced frustrations as your equipment remain sharp.