Don’t buy cheap!

Purchasing cheap equipment and/or systems won’t end well.

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 growing start-ups. I know how to identify their needs and meet their expectations by providing them with the best services at an affordable price and keeping their work environment running smoothly with no interruption.

Every so often, people ask me, “Why should we spend money for new equipment if we can buy refurbished equipment that is half the price? It will be more than enough!” or “In the past, we purchased a custom-built computer\laptop\server from a private company and it worked well for two years. Now there is an issue. Can you fix it for less than it would cost to buy a new one?”

Sometimes, people don’t check into the 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?

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 device given to users. Why is that? Because a company with 10,000 people does not want 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 for a business environment, yet businesses are purchasing them because they are 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 computers are made to be working all the time. How is it possible that these computers can operate for so long? This is mainly because they are lab-made and tested in extreme conditions and must pass all necessary tests.

Business computers are made with high durability with an original warranty, which includes a three-year parts and service warranty and they do not require IT to fix hardware issues, and some companies decide to replace all devices once the manufacture’s warranty expires after three years. 

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

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 Word or Excel, it will probably be fine. 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, and cables, and much more internal equipment. It would have to pass specific tests (i.e., stress, weather conditions, humidity.). Some company computers have a laboratory to test their devices for months or years to ensure that their computers are reliable and sustainable.

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 and easily integrated with current devices at home.  For home use, it may be all that is required. But, the using the same system 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. 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.

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 big picture. 

For example, their accounting and law offices have equipment that is sometimes so old, the business has to spend extra, unbillable time waiting for the computer to work well. 

Take, for example, a small or medium office, where there are ten administrative employees and five certified/professional employees.

  1. An administrative employee charges $20 per hour.
  2. A certified/professional employee charges $100 per hour.

From my experience, 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 wasted. It should happen very quickly—at most four minutes 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. This only refers to the time it takes to turn the computer on and off! If the same computer were 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 and many other issues.

Let’s take it one more step. Multiply the loss of $350 per day by 20 business days per month. That amounts to a $7,000 loss per month just because of old workstations. I think that is too much money to lose and a business cannot afford to go cheap.

If the same business has newer computers, efficiency will be much higher. So, to have old or incompatible equipment equals money lost. At Sytex Ltd., we have all the necessary sources to provide support and service. 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 problem might exist with their computers. We offer a wide variety of services that can assist your business in assessing your 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.