1. Don't just renew, have a review. Never auto renew contracts for your business. Always take time out to explore your options. Time well invested.

  2. Understand the total cost of ownership. Make sure you ask and understand the total cost of running your next purchase.

  3. Where possible always try to allow for upgrade paths. It is more cost effective to add additional modules rather than total upgrades.

  4. Seek advice and then challenge it. When purchasing there are always alternatives, speak to as many independent sources as time allows, giving you the total picture of the choices you have.

  5. Beware of bargains. If a deal seems too good to be true then it normally is. There are value deals and promotions available but always check the "total cost".

  6. Before purchasing vet your supplier. Will you require after sales service from your supplier? If yes check their Service Level Agreements (SLA's) and ask for testimonials.

  7. Check terms and conditions. Understand your commitments to any contract including minimum terms and minimum contract costs. Also check for contract variations such as price increases. Ithas been known for customers to be caught in contracts that spiral out ofcontrol but with punitive cancellation costs they have to accept it.

  8. When purchasing a product or service ask for the alternatives both in upgrade and downgrade terms. Understand the cost versus feature/functionality before deciding on the final solution.

  9. Uniformed printer fleet. Where possible avoid mixing your fleet with different printing manufacturers. Whilst there will be attractive deals out there from time to time businesses with mixed printers often waste far more money than they think they saved. If you have different printers in your business have a look in the storage cupboards for those printer cartridges that were not used and the printer has now been replaced.

  10. Environmental message. If you haven't already, consider the environment when making that purchasing decision. The WEEE directive will encourage the safe and appropriate disposal of electronic equipment. Understand your responsibility versus your suppliers' responsibility when upgrading all electronic equipment in your business.

Although these tips may seem obvious it is amazing how many people do not to consider them when making purchases for their business.

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