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Remember that old adage, “you get what you pay for”? How many times have you chosen a product or business service based on the lowest price? If you’re a guilty party to this, you may be missing out on superior quality and value-added services, which really translates into “true value” for your investment.

We all feel pressure to reduce costs when it comes to running a business or department but choosing business solutions solely based on price can be bad for business. It’s commonplace for large corporations and government offices to distribute RFPs when searching for service providers and most times, it’s their policy to heavily weigh in the lowest bid when considering a successor. But if yours is a business without such stringent practices, it pays to investigate what exactly is included in that “deal” you just scored.

Here are some reasons why it’s not always a good idea to choose your scanning service provider based on the lowest price:

  • Lack of value-added services: Sometimes it pays to spend a bit more, especially if it means capturing discounts or free extras. Service providers may give you quantity discounts if you have over a certain amount of records and files that need scanning and indexing. You may also capture discounts on usage: the more files you have to convert to electronic form, the more of a discount you could get on your services.
  • Lower quality of work: Choosing the most inexpensive service provider may leave you with an end result that you’re not happy with. A less expensive scanning bureau may not charge as much because they don’t have the best technologies in order to provide the highest quality of work. Electronic images and files may be lacking in clarity due to poorer quality control processes. It’s no secret that labour costs in Canada are on the higher end of the international spectrum, so if a service provider is offering a “lower” rate, then what corners are being cut? Is the work being completed locally? How is the service bureau ensuring you receive the highest quality images?
  • Reduced level of service and support: You may find that you’re not getting the level of support you need from your imaging provider if you cut costs. It’s important that you compare service level before committing to a provider. A more expensive option may provide 24/7/365 emergency support and technical assistance, a less expensive provider may not have comprehensive customer support and IT resources at your disposal. Be diligent in finding out exactly what’s included in the cost of the scanning services.
  • It may not actually be the lowest price: Another reason for not basing your decision on price alone is that some providers structure their costs in such a way that it just seems less expensive. The price tag may state that’s it’s less expensive but investigate further and you may find out when comparing “apples-to-apples” and looking at the total overall bottom-line, that it’s about the same as a service provider that is priced slightly higher.

Companies providing exactly the same product or service, generally keep prices fairly consistent, otherwise, customers would only purchase the less expensive of the two. If there is a price difference, it’s probably because one service is superior to the other. You need to decide if you’re willing to give up higher quality output, better service and premium customer support in order to save on cost.

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