Most workers in office environments print and manage documents every day, but likely give very little thought to where the hardware and software they use to do so comes from – until it’s time to replace it. When that time does come, it’s important to know your options for purchasing everything from multifunction printers (MFPs) to information management software and managed print services. Buying direct from the manufacturer is certainly one option. Another considerations is working with an independent local solution provider. Many independent providers carry the same products you can get from the manufacturer, are authorized by the manufacturer to sell and service those products, and have factory trained technicians and support personnel. So which option should you choose? From a long-term business standpoint it may make more sense to work with a local solution provider. Here’s why.
Choice and Selection that Drive Innovation
The selection available from a manufacturer is limited to its own brand, particularly in the case of hardware such as printers, copiers and MFPs. This immediately limits the range of solutions available to an organization with specific document management needs. An independent solutions provider, as the term implies, is not tied to any one manufacturer’s offering. This allows them to not only offer a variety of products, but to mix and match to put together a comprehensive solution that best suits a customer’s specific needs. By having this choice and selection, an independent provider isn’t restricted to a cookie-cutter approach, unlike a manufacturer who must tailor the solution to fit their product. Instead, independent providers can be innovative, mix and match their offerings, ultimately tailoring a solution to meet the unique needs of an organization.
Nimbleness in Delivery, Service, and Support
While a manufacturer generally must rely on regional warehouses to stock products, parts, and supplies, a local solution provider will stock these items locally, close to its customers. This gives it an advantage in delivery speed as well as in servicing and supporting the solutions it installs. That can mean the difference between receiving parts or supplies the next day or waiting for a multi-day turnaround from the manufacturer’s warehouse. The local provider’s nimbleness allows for quicker initial installations, more efficient servicing, and faster support if a problem should arise. This can have a positive impact on the overall productivity of an organization, since it reduces the wait time for a piece of technology to be installed, repaired or resupplied.
There’s another benefit to doing business locally and avoiding shipping products long distances as well, and that’s the environmental benefits. Shipping takes a toll on the environment, so by purchasing from a local solution provider that doesn’t need to ship the products from its warehouse, you’re helping limit your carbon footprint. Every little bit helps.
A business that originated and expanded in a community is much different than a branch office placed in a location by a manufacturer. Local solution providers built their businesses facing the same challenges as their customers, giving them a unique understanding and awareness of the communities they serve. They can provide a personalized sales, service, and customer support experience because they don’t just see clients as account numbers, but as fellow businesses and neighbors. The success of a local provider is based on developing customer relationships by being community-driven.
Buying document management solutions locally may not be exactly the same as buying fresh vegetables at the local farmers market, but it does have some of the same advantages – including the knowledge that you’re supporting local business. Combine that with the custom-tailored solutions implemented quickly, fast turnaround on installations, repairs, and service, and the empathy that comes with being part of the local business community, you’ve got a winning combination.
As the only locally owned document management solutions provider serving the mid-Atlantic region, Centric has earned its reputation for outstanding solutions, unparalleled support, and reliable service. Encouraging our employees to remember the community they are part of by volunteering, supporting local organizations, and buying local, we’ve found that measuring success is not just about the business done in the community, but on the positive impact of giving back to the communities we serve. For more information on how we can serve you visit www.centricbiz.com.