Don’t buy cheap!

I’m going to explain why purchasing cheap equipment and/or systems won’t provide the best qualitative results for your requirements.

Three years ago, with over 20+ years of experience in an enterprise environment, I decided to start my own company, Sytex Ltd., providing I.T. consulting services in Manitoba and Ontario. Most of my clients are accountants, lawyers, engineers, heavy lifting equipment companies or start-ups who are growing, as well as other professionals. I know how to identify their needs and meet their expectations by providing them with the best services, at affordable price and, keeping their work environment running smoothly with no interruption.

Every so often, I’m asked these questions: “Why should we spend money for new equipment if we can buy refurbished equipment that is two times cheaper? It will be more than enough!” or “In the past, we purchased a custom-built computer\laptop\server from a private company and it was working fine for two years. Now there is an issue. Can you fix it for less than it would cost for a new one?”

Sometimes, people don’t check into their sources of where they are purchasing used equipment. Not so long ago, the FBI found a spy chip embedded in computer motherboards that were sold to computer giants like Apple and Amazon. Do you think this can’t happen to you?

For the last two years, I’ve heard comments like “I want it cheaper” too many times and so I decided to apply my experience and I did my research. When I was in an enterprise environment, every single device was checked first, then the device was provided to a small group of people to test it out and see how it ran for a month. Only after that, was a laptop\workstation or any user device given to users. Why is that? Because a company with 10,000 people is not looking to repair the same device 10,000 times. 

Do you know that some computers available on the market are made for home use and not made for a business environment, yet businesses are purchasing them because it is cheaper?

Do you know that it’s possible to use refurbished business computers for home? The computer will work great in a home environment because it’s designed to operate for many hours. Some business computers are designed to operate for up to 115,000 hours and a business workstation is designed to operate up to 368,000 hours. Businesses don’t usually shut down their computers each night because the computers are made to work all of the time. How is it possible that these computers can operate for so long? Mainly because they are lab-made and tested in extreme conditions and must pass all necessary tests.

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Business computers are made with high durability with an original warranty is “3/3/3”. 

This means 3 years parts and service on the client site; do not require I.T. to fix hardware issues, and some companies decide to replace all devices after manufacture warranty every 3 years. 

They do this to be safe, but they never factor in how long that machine will actually last. I know if one enterprise company workstation, where a computer continued to function without any issue for nine years.

When you purchase refurbished business equipment you can easily identify, by the serial number, when the warranty expires. If the warranty expired over five years ago, it can be still a good computer, but that depends on what programs you want to run on the computer. If you just want to run a Word or Excel program, it will probably be good. If you want to use it for 3D graphics, the computer won’t be good enough, and the computer won’t support adding a new card for graphics.

Business computers can not only operate for many hours, they are also built with higher quality plastic, screws, cables etc. and much more internal equipment. It would have to pass specific tests (i.e., stress, weather condition, humidity, etc.). Some computers in enterprise companies have a laboratory to test their computers, laptops and devices for months or years to ensure that computers are reliable and sustainable devices.

Computers made for home use are not made with the same materials as business computers. Home computers are marketed as “future desktop with advanced design” with nice advanced features, easily integrated with current devices at home.  For home use, it may be all that is required. But, the same system being used in a business environment won’t work. 

The computer made for home use is not able to pass the same tests as a computer made for business use. With a home use computer, you get the Windows Home Operating System, which can be Windows 10 Home or Windows 7 Home or Home Premium. For computers made for business use you get the popular Windows 7 Pro or Windows 10 Pro, etc. A “Pro” operating system has many features, such as the option to be part of a domain, as well as many other features. Please take a look at the following link https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/compare

For computers used in a business environment, you should always get Windows Pro because there are important features that are not available in a home version for business.

I share this topic for information purposes, because when businesses see a price of $400 to $800 for a new desktop computer for home and a price of $600 to $2,000 for business, they are just not looking at the whole picture. 

For example, there accounting and law offices have equipment, which is sometimes so old, which then means the business has to spend time for unrelated hours.  Let’s make a minimal statistic per day for a small or medium office, where there are ten administrative employees and five certified/professional employees.

1.       The administrative employee’s charge for work is $20 per hour.

2.      The certified/professional employee’s charge for work is $100 per hour.

From my experience, usually when a company has old equipment, it takes approximately 15 minutes to boot up the computer and 15 minutes to turn the computer off. That’s 30 minutes. It should happen very quickly – at least 4 minutes or less to turn it on and off.  Let’s do another calculation:

1.      30 minutes X 10 administrative employees = 5 hours; multiplied by $20 per hour = $100/day

2.      30 min X 5 certified/professional employee = 2.5 hours; multiplied by $100 per hour = $250/day

Based on the above calculations, statistics indicate that for just one day, there is a $350 loss to the business. I’m only talking about the time it takes to turn the computer on and off! If the same computer was newer and working efficiently, the loss in time would be close to zero. Keep in mind that there still can be incompatible applications or files any many more issues.

Let’s take it one more step. Multiply the loss of $350 per day by 20 business days a month. That amounts to a $7,000 loss per month just because of old workstations. I think that is too much money lost and business can`t do that at all.

If the same business has newer computers, efficiency will be much higher. So, to have old or incompatible equipment is a loss of money. At Sytex Ltd., we have all the necessary sources to provide support and service. However, we can run an audit program to provide appropriate information to the business for their equipment, which will include diagnostics on what has to be changed and what issues might exist with their computers. We offer a wide variety of services that can assist a business in assessing their environment in a short time.

Please feel free to contact Sytex Ltd. at (204) 956-9453 or (204) 894-7301, or visit our website at https://sytex.ca

We look forward to assisting you.