The Nuts and Bolts of a Copier Lease: What Every Small Business Should Know

The Nuts and Bolts of a Copier Lease: What Every Small Business Should Know

How do I submit my meter reading online

(Originally posted on SHARP’s Simply Smarter Blog)

To lease or to buy? This is the question many small business owners face when the time comes to invest in a new copier or multifunction printer (MFP) for the office. Others, perhaps newer to business, may be surprised to learn that leasing is even an option. Isn’t leasing something you do with cars, not printers? But as you shop around and get familiar with the world of office equipment, you’ll learn that printers and copiers come at many different price points, and often it can make more sense to lease a device rather than to buy it outright. But when? It can vary from business to business, but here are some questions to ask when considering a lease.

What kind of device do you need?

MFPs come in many sizes, speeds and capabilities, and their prices are similarly varied, ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Prices are affected by things like speed (generally the more pages per minute the device prints, the higher the price tag), page volumes (some are designed for 5,000 pages a month, some for 50,000), black-and-white or color, document size and more. For example, additional options like stapling, hole-punching, folding or multiple paper drawers will add to the price.

It’s easy to assume only large organizations will need big, high-speed devices with a lot of bells and whistles, but an SMB can easily have in-house printing needs that justify the cost of a fast, color device with multiple finishing options, such as stapling, collating or binding. Since the outright cost of such a device could be prohibitive, leasing allows organizations to acquire these devices and save money long-term without the large up-front expenses.

What are the different leasing plans available?

If you search “office equipment leasing” you’ll find many different financing options, but most of the differences are in the details. Typically, leases come in two basic forms. Fair market value leases, also called operating leases, are flexible and affordable options that offer the lowest monthly payments. Because the company leasing the device does not own the actual hardware, it doesn’t need to be tracked as a company asset; however, the payments are deductible as operating expenses. End-of-lease options include renewing the existing lease, purchasing the equipment at fair market value, simply returning the equipment to the leasing company, or the most common option of upgrading to new equipment through a new lease. You’ll want to fully understand your responsibilities when choosing which end-of-lease option you want to execute.

Capital leases, or $1 buyout leases, allow the company to own the equipment at the end of the lease for $1, as the name implies. Since in this case, you are financing the entire purchase cost, the hardware is an asset owned by the company, and the monthly rates will be higher. However, the tax advantages at year-end under this type of lease can be significant, as Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code and bonus depreciation may allow businesses to deduct up to 100% of capital leases in the first year.*

What type of service plans are available?

Many other variables can come into play when it comes to leasing options, including costs of service and supplies. Just like cars, copiers and MFPs need preventative maintenance and will also need repair or service calls at some point. Service agreements, which cover both, can be bundled into leasing agreements. These agreements can cover all kinds of things – from the obvious, like replacement toner cartridges, to the less obvious, like service technician travel costs.

Whether the printer or MFP is billed on a cost-per-page (CPP) basis, a per-user (or per-seat) basis, or another pricing model, the total amount can be rolled into the cost of the lease. The benefit of this, of course, is that the business has just one regular invoice for all equipment, supplies and service. This makes budgeting much simpler, as there is little risk for unplanned expenses (relating to the office equipment, at least).

Is leasing always a good idea?

It’s impossible to say unilaterally that anything is always a good idea. That’s why you’re reading this blog. The best move for each individual business will depend upon all the factors we’ve touched upon, and that, in turn, is something only users in your business can tell you. Particularly in a smaller business, the “multifunction” part of the MFP will really earn its name, and it is important to understand how much and for what purposes each department or individual worker will use the device.

For an SMB without the resources for a large upfront purchase, but with printing, copying and scanning needs that require something more than a desktop printer, leasing is certainly an option worth exploring. Talk to your local dealer or service provider about the options available and discover whether leasing can benefit your business.

*NOTE: This article is not intended to convey tax advice. Consumers should consult their own tax advisors to confirm the consequences of their business transactions.

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What are the top 5 copier features to save you time and money in your business?

What are the top 5 copier features to save you time and money in your business?

(Submitted by Wayne Parrish)

This week’s blog is going to focus on the top (5) copier features that will help you to save time and money in your business.

Those features are:

  1. Customizable User Interface
  2. Staple-less Stapling & Offline Stapling
  3. Enhanced Edit Preview
  4. Walk-up Proxy Sensor
  5. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)


  1. Customizable User Interface

With this feature, you can create a custom look as well as customized workflow buttons directly on the touchscreen interface on the copier!

Sharp multifunction devices have touchscreen user interfaces that are not only simple and intuitive to use, but also offers the ability for customers to create a custom background design with their logo or any other graphic that they choose. Additionally, the display has the flexibility to enable businesses to set up a custom menu which is configured specifically to the user’s document workflow. By including on this custom menu the buttons that correspond to the customer’s most commonly used functions, the user enjoys an expedited experience, saving time and thereby allowing the user to be more efficient in their workflow.

Finally, if there are certain functions that are repeatedly used in the customer’s document workflow, such as a complex scanning process or a specific copy/print function, then a custom button can be created for that purpose and named whatever the customer desires, such as “Nancy’s Receipt Scanning Process,” for example. The options are almost unlimited for this feature!


  1. Stapleless Stapling and Offline Stapling

Some multifunction devices include a finishing feature that is capable of a stapling method which uses pressure, instead of a metal staple, to bind pages together, up to 10 sheets at a time! The benefits include:

  • No need to remove staples for shredding
  • Cost-savings (since the customer doesn’t have to purchase staples)
  • Ecological benefits (no metal to worry about recycling)
  • Increased safety (For educational or other settings, there are no metal staples to cause injury or get snagged on.)

Other finishers for the multifunction device are also available which offer walk-up offline stapling. This allows a user to walk up to a machine, documents in hand, and staple on the fly without having to set a copy job that has the staple function included.


  1. Enhanced Edit Preview

With Sharp’s real-time scan preview and edit functions, you can save time and help reduce waste by correctly executing your copy or scan job the first time. Quickly rotate or delete pages, insert blank sheets, remove artifacts, change the color mode, even check the staple position before executing your job. 

The best part of this feature is that you can use it to quickly and easily redact a document that is being scanned or copied, and then send a copy of that redacted document to your email. No more whiting out or putting a blank page on top of the document to redact!


  1. Walk-up Proxy Sensor

Create an enhanced workflow experience with an integrated walk-up sensor that wakes up the multifunction device when it senses a user approaching. With a fast warm up time—less than 18 seconds—this feature saves not only time but also energy as the machine is in a low-power mode when not in use.


  1. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

With this feature, users can either convert a scanned document into an editable document in popular Microsoft Office formats or create a variety of PDF formats from the scan.

Once a document is scanned, the copier can convert the scan into an editable document in either Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel formats.

In terms of PDF formats, scans can be used to create Searchable PDFs, Encrypted PDFs, Compact PDFs, and others.

A user can also directly print these same file types from a thumb drive, cloud applications, and mobile devices. (This function is enabled via DirectOfficeTM technology. With this much flexibility, you can speed through your workflow tasks faster than ever!


Want to learn even more about Sharp MFD features? We would be happy to assist you! Contact us to schedule a personalized demo with a member of our sales team.

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How much energy does my copier use?

How much energy does my copier use?

(Submitted by Chip Turner)

The answer to the question of how much energy a copier uses is determined by so many variables but there are six basic costs that make up the electricity costs for operating a copier. The information provided in this blog post is based on a newer BP-70C45 (45 page per minute) Sharp color copier. However, these costs would likely be similar to other comparable ENERYSTAR 3 compliant copiers.

6 Basic Copier Energy Costs:

  1. The power costs when in use = 1500 watts
    (This refers to the copier’s maximum power consumption when it is producing copies and prints, with the fusing unit energized.)
  2. The power cost when in ready mode = 95 watts
    (This refers to when the start key on the copier is green indicating that the device is ready for use. This current power usage represents a nearly 70% reduction when compared to the MX-4071 model.)
  3. The power cost when in pre-heat mode = 53 watts
    (At this point, the fusing temperature is lowered putting the device in a low-consumption state).
  4. The power cost in sleep mode = .20 watts
    (In sleep mode, typically the device’s touchscreen panel will be turned off or will be darkened and the fuser heating will be minimized or shut off.)
  5. The power cost while the device is plugged into an outlet, but turned off = .20 watts
  6. The final power cost
    (This final cost is determined by the affect of the heat generated by the device(s) on the customers AC system. For more detailed data, a customer may wish to contact an HVAC professional to conduct a heat load calculation for their office space.)

To our clients, we recommend maximizing the adjustable energy-save settings on their device(s) while still making their office efficient. Although there is little that can be done by the end-user to save energy when the copier is in use and making copies, the real energy savings can be capitalized on by shifting how swiftly the machine can go into preheat and sleep modes and the duration of the recovery from the sleep mode. From a power savings perspective, having the device set to fall asleep the quickest and then elongating the recovery time will maximize power savings. These settings are customizable based on the customer’s preferences.

Another desirable power-saving feature that some copiers have is what is sometimes referred to as a “walk-up” or human sensor. This sensor will begin the warmup process as soon as it detects someone walking up to the copier. On the BP-70C45 Sharp device, the maximum recovery time is 18 seconds. With the human sensor, that time shrinks as the user walks up as opposed to the device having to wait for a user to strike a key to wake.

The final power savings can come from the reduced amount of heat produced by the device. Many newer devices have reformulated toner that has a much lower melt temperature and, along with redesigned fusing methods that allow for a much faster temperature recovery, produce much less heat that previously possible. Because of the lower melting point of the toner, all modes from ready to sleep mode have significantly less heat generated which equates to less demand on the customers air conditioning system.  As a secondary benefit, the reduced heat improves reliability and extends part life.

All these little changes can save you money and have a positive environmental impact. Feel free to ask your service representative what your options are and together you can come up with the perfect balance between costs savings and office efficiency.

RITE Technology is committed to providing products that support our customer’s environmental sustainability goals. Download this informative PDF to learn more about how Sharp products not only save you money by being more energy-efficient, but also help to preserve the environment.

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What additional costs could I expect to see on my copier contract? (Part 2)

What additional costs could I expect to see on my copier contract? (Part 2)

(Submitted by Gareth Stevenson) In last week’s blog we covered the (5) additional costs of administrative fees, transitional billing, property tax, toner shipping fees, and insurance costs. In this week’s blog, we are going to cover (5) additional costs that you may see on your contract when leasing a copier or multifunction device (MFD). Those additional charges may include:
  1. Contract Overages
  2. Name Change Fee
  3. Remote Support Billing
  4. Staples
  5. Additional Billing for Service
1. Contract Overages Typically, when you agree to a contract for a copier, this contract includes a service proviso for the leased or purchased device and includes a contracted base amount of copies, either monochrome, color, or both. When you exceed this contracted base amount, then you can expect to pay overages. The overage charges can vary dependent on the age of your device, promotional deals, etc. There are ways to use rules and reporting to assist with managing overages, such as:
  • Account Codes – These codes can be used to limit the amount of color prints allowed or to provide reporting of prints, whether color or monochrome.
  • 3rd Party Print Management Tools – Ex. Papercut.
2. Name Change Fee Some leasing providers charge a small fee for any business name changes. This fee can range from free up to $100.00. 3. Remote Support Billing Remote support for assistance with print drivers, scanning issues, etc. is more often than not included in your contract, but could have yearly limits on use. If you don’t have remote support included in your contract, then you will receive an additional bill with a per-hour charge for any service calls that you place. The per-hour charges can vary from $150.00 – $250 per hour, depending on the provider. 4. Staples Staples are not typically included in most contracts, apart from some government contracts. In commercial contracts, if they are not included in the contract, then they are added as a chargeable item. In those cases, the price for this add-on can vary from $50.00 – $100.00 per box of 10,000 staples. 5. Additional Billing for Service Some organizations offer different types of service contracts, but the most common contract is an “All-Inclusive Contract” that includes everything except the paper and staples. Other contracts, like those listed below, may incur additional charges to the customer.
  • A. Basic Contract:
    • Includes parts and supplies only
    • No toner, developer, or drum included
    • Other additional charges may apply
  • B. Mono Toner:
    • Monochromatic toner and all monochromatic toner parts and supplies are included
    • Additional charges for color toner
  • C. No Service Contract:
    • Service calls are billed on a per-call basis with charges ranging from $150 per hour plus the cost of parts, labor, and travel time
If you have any additional questions regarding contract charges, please let us know. We would be happy to assist you!

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What is AV and how can it help my business?

What is AV and how can it help my business?

(Submitted by Lamar Brantley)

At RITE Technology we are embracing digital transformation by offering a wide range of Professional A/V (Audio Visual) solutions so that we can best serve the evolving needs of our clients.

Although we have many years of experience selling interactive displays, like many other Sharp dealers, AQUOS BOARD® display systems are only a small component in an effective A/V strategy.  Remote meetings have become widely accepted as a method of communication across most industries. As such, the needs of many customers have grown far beyond simple displays or interactive whiteboards. Here at RITE Technology, we have chosen to invest into this area of digital technology by constructing a client experience center as well as sourcing the technical expertise to drive the success of this division. We have discovered ways to help our customers use A/V technology to not only increase productivity in their workplace, but also to enhance their company culture.  A display that has a primary purpose of hosting virtual meetings can serve a multitude of additional functions. For example, the use of digital signage solutions will allow our clients to announce birthdays, work anniversaries, or even play new employee welcome videos.

In the video you will see that we have a variety of types and sizes of displays in our Client Experience Center. We have a large format DVLED that we can drive content to from multiple platforms or sources. This capability includes screen-sharing hardware, cameras, digital signage, as well as content from a PC. We have two AQUOS BOARD® interactive displays setup so that they can be used either as (1) one contiguous screen using a SHUTTLE PC or they can be used as (2) two separate displays showing individual content being sent either through our control system in-house. We also have a HUDDLE station that is setup with both screen-casting gear as well as an all-in-one camera/mic/speaker bar for doing quick and easy remote meetings. You’ll also notice in the video that we have a PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera on our wall that can be used for virtual meetings on any of the displays. Speaking of company culture, our Client Experience Center includes the RITE Technology golf simulator. Believe me when I say it is one of the highlights of the room for all of us duffers around here.

Our experience center has paved the way for us to earn several opportunities from both current our customers and prospects. One of the opportunities is an A/V solution that we created for a large athletic facility that will include multiple displays and a sound system, all of which will be supported by a control system that will provide the customer the ability to send any video source in their system to any display throughout the facility.  This opportunity for the first location has now expanded to include 15 additional locations all around the state of Florida. 

An additional aspect of our own RITE Technology facility design was to include two separate conference areas that each incorporate different A/V solutions. These configurations allow us to host virtual meetings between these areas so that when our clients visit us in-house, they can compare the various levels of product experience between the two rooms. By allowing our clients to experience the various levels of hardware and software before they make a buying decision, we can have more intelligent and fact-based dialogue on which of our solutions will be the best for each customer’s individual needs. These customer experiences also enable us to overcome some of the pricing objections that would otherwise have been subjective.  Lastly, the experience center aids us in setting clear expectations for the video and sound quality that the customer will experience post-install.

One aspect of our business that A/V has changed is the presence of “emotion” for the buyer. We often engage the client in conversation that causes them to view their business differently.  Our goal is to expand the customer’s point of view about what can be done digitally to enhance their businesses.  From this initial strategy meeting in our experience center, we then design and engineer a solution that accommodates the customer’s current and future plans as businesses continue to evolve in this post-pandemic era.

Bottom line for RITE is that this endeavor has opened a multitude of opportunities to earn new business in AV and our other core business offerings!

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