were down but what was really interesting was the pattern of business that was emerging with the changing economic conditions. Photocopiers suppliers were witnessing a noticeable shift in business away from outright purchase of towards leasing. In fact, leasing levels in 2009 reached a new high of 61.9%, having been hovering around the mid-50’s for several years previously. Well, the link between photocopier leasing and the recession seems even more tangible looking at the figures for 2010 – as much of 80% of new business last year came from photocopier lease customers. Here we’ll examine why it is copier rental seems to have been working so well for UK businesses during the tougher economic times and what businesses looking for new photocopiers can expect from agreements.
A Dramatic Rise in Photocopier Lease Volumes
Photocopier leasing levels have been consistently growing since the start of the recession in 2008. From an almost even split between purchases and leases in previous years, 2009 saw photocopier leasing increase to over 60%. Falcon reported at the time that both the recession as well as the way photocopier companies had begun to respond to it, had been attracting a much greater proportion of customers to lease photocopiers rather than buy them outright. Well, with the economic situation not improving in 2010, that tendency on the part of customers towards photocopier leasing was even more pronounced. Across 2010, Falcon saw an average 75% of new business coming from customers looking to lease devices, as against 25% preferring to buy outright.
Why Are So Many Businesses Leasing Photocopiers?
Leasing photocopiers rather than buying outright has a number of advantages, many of which seem even more attractive to businesses as their economic fortunes become increasingly tenuous:
Firstly, it offers businesses the chance to avoid any up-front payment. With the latest photocopiers costing as much as £10,000 or more, leasing doesn’t require the initial cash (or perhaps credit) input that outright purchase would.
Terms can be tailored to customer requirements, shorter or longer, as is needed, businesses never pay anything for photocopiers outside of the time they’ve agreed to lease.
Leasing provides businesses with the opportunity to keep up-to-date with the latest technology and switch to newer technologies at the end of a term.
With a lease agreement, businesses are often able to choose all-inclusive packages which can cover everything but the paper – that’s toner, parts, maintenance and servicing and ensuring proper integration of photocopiers into back-end systems and networks upon installation.
Obviously, as cash flow for many businesses isn’t what it was, the big advantage pf photocopier leasing is avoiding what could now seem almost punishing up-front costs. But significantly, more businesses that would not have been able to consider either photocopier leasing or photocopier purchases before the recession are now finding the structure of ‘new style’ photocopier leasing agreements is enabling them to lease photocopiers. Many photocopiers suppliers have responded to the recession by helping to improve access for businesses which might not have been able to risk photocopier leasing beforehand. Shorter typical lease terms, mean lower total outlay and also lower future financial commitment. Planning for the future has almost become an impossibility for businesses, so this sort of arrangement which minimises their exposure and also in fact accentuates some of the benefits, such as an even greater ability to take advantage of improvements in technology as they occur, provides businesses with much greater control. As well as the more flexible structuring of agreements, suppliers of photocopiers, aware of the growing difficulties for businesses as far as securing credit is concerned are providing added assistance to prospective customers to help ensure leases are approved by lease financers.