College of Liberal Arts


Ricoh & Konica Minolta Rightsizing

Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS) is now offering to help Liberal Arts units save money and improve office efficiency by "rightsizing" when making decisions about equipment purchases and lease agreements. By rightsizing, we mean choosing office equipment and functions based on actual business needs -- and eliminating superfluous equipment. Many units have been able to reduce the number of individual printers in an office by centralizing tasks with multifunction machines that simultaneously serve as a copier, network printer, fax machine, and scanner. The "scan to PDF" capability of these machines can make an office significantly more "paperless".

In addition to providing purchasing guidance and technical support, LAITS is offering to manage all copier and printer contracts made between Liberal Arts units and two vendors: RICOH and KONICA MINOLTA.

Ricoh for many years has done business with the university and enjoyed "preferred status" with the UT Purchasing Office. In January 2013, UT Purchasing signed a new contract with Konica Minolta (KM) and is now referring to KM as the "preferred" university provider of office equipment lease agreements. Both companies have made their pricing competitive in an attempt to woo UT units. Generally, the best pricing for lease agreements can be obtained by making five-year commitments.

For the time being, LAITS will be recommending that all Liberal Arts units consider using either KM or Ricoh for office equipment leases. There are some differences in what the companies are offering, and LAITS staff would like to offer our guidance as you make purchasing decisions for your unit.

Please contact LAITS IT Manager Brad Van Schouwen for information regarding the Ricoh and KM agreements. He gladly will offer advice, connect you with the appropriate sales representatives, and steer you through the process of establishing a lease agreement.

Once Ricoh or KM lease agreements are in place, LAITS also is offering to manage the administrative support for the contracts -- including meter reporting and invoice payments. If you currently have Ricoh or KM contracts and have not discussed them with us already, please contact us. The college is not requiring that LAITS manage your contracts, but we certainly want you to be aware of the services that LAITS is offering.

Please note that both Ricoh and Konica Minolta offer lease agreements with monthly costs that include replacement toner cartridges. Be wary of any sales person who approaches you and attempts to convince you to purchase consumable products for leased office equipment. A Liberal Arts  staff member recently was contacted by such a person who dishonestly represented himself. This is a known scam by which independent marketing agencies try to sell toner cartridges to people who do not need them.

Please feel free to contact Brad Van Schouwen if you have questions or concerns about your office equipment needs or existing lease agreements.