Small businesses are an expensive undertaking. This is especially true for a dental practice. After you’ve paid for multiple licenses, bought new equipment, and put in furniture, you will look for ways to save a few dollars.
You may be tempted to budget when you start buying the computers needed to run your office. Dental practices require a lot of computer-power. Deciding between new and refurbished computer technology can have a drastic impact on your bottom line.
Before purchasing new computers, we recommend speaking with a specialized IT service provider. For now, let’s look at the differences between buying new computers with the latest hardware and software vs. refurbished equipment.
Older Computers and Lagging Speeds
If a computer is refurbished with new parts by an expert, you’ll be in good hands. However, most people building refurbished computers cut corners with costs. They can advertise their computer as being “like new” even if some of the parts they used are old.
For example, someone selling a rebuilt computer may have used an old processor to save themselves a little money. That will impact the computer’s performance, which can affect the speed at which you do business.
Dated hardware and worn parts result in slow computer speeds that inevitably affect productivity and increase employee frustration.
New Computers Have Better Warranties
When it comes to an investment like new computers with modern hardware, you have to consider the long term. What are the consequences if one of your computers started having problems in six months or a year?
Most new computers come with a warranty that will cover almost anything that could happen for two or three years. That can be the peace of mind you need after all the money you have spent building your practice.
Some refurbished computers come with warranties as well, but the term of the warranty and what it covers depends largely on who you buy from. Refurbished computer warranties generally last for anywhere from 90 days to one year. You’ll generally get a better warranty on a computer refurbished by the original manufacturer, but not always.
Some sellers even offer extended warranties that are almost as good as a new computer warranty, usually for a one-time upfront fee. With so much variation between sellers, you really need to read the warranty details closely. You may not have any issues with the refurbished computers, but if you do, you’ll be glad you checked the warranty.
When you buy a new computer, you get regular product updates that keep your information secure and your system running smoothly. Refurbished computers, on the other hand, sometimes come with outdated firmware that’s no longer supported.
For instance, Microsoft no longer provides IT support for products like Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you bought a refurbished computer loaded with older programs, it may be vulnerable to malware attacks and data breaches.
As a medical professional, you must ensure your office is HIPAA compliant. That means your new computers need to be safe from spyware or malware that could put the personal information of your patients at risk.
There are new computer operating systems designed for medical offices that help you ensure HIPAA compliance. It’s important to note that this threat-protection software must be compatible with your computer’s operating system.
Software companies don’t usually make their products backward compatible. If you need software to run a piece of equipment in your office, it’s unlikely the developer accounted for a machine built three or four years ago.
If you spend the money to outfit your office with computers that cannot run basic software, you’ll hinder your business before you even get started. So, software compatibility is an essential part of your business’s IT considerations.
To ensure your new computers are compatible with your software, you’ll need to consider the following components:
- Type of processor
- Video card
- Available memory
- Available storage
When you begin shopping for a new machine, you can look for those things.
But software compatibility is more than just a “right now” problem. Smart investing means future-proofing your technology systems by thinking several steps ahead. For example, The x-ray machine you have now works with your computer, but what happens when you replace it? Newer models may have higher system requirements, and your refurbished computers may not be able to keep up.
Even if you buy a refurbished computer that meets the needs of your office, think about the future of your business. If your refurbished computers can’t keep up with your equipment, you’re probably going to find yourself upgrading or even replacing them again. The money you save today may end up costing you in the future.
On the other hand, while new computers may cost you more upfront, they’re likely to keep pace with your evolving office for longer than a refurbished system. The investment you make in a new computer system may save you money in the long run.
Final Thoughts: Before You Buy
You’ve worked hard to get where you are. To ensure your new dental practice is a success, you must give yourself the tools to make it happen. And that starts with having your dental office supplied with the very best you can afford.
When shopping for computers, you may find some good deals by getting refurbished machines. If you decide to go that route, be sure that all of the specifications are up to date.
Ensure that the refurbished computers were built using new hardware and are compatible with your software. Nothing can bring your business to a halt faster than having a computer with slow speeds and mechanical issues.
For a long-lasting investment, utilize our specialized service to outfit your office with new computers. Our service ensures your new computers will have the latest HIPAA-compliant software and fast processing speeds that will work perfectly with your dental software.
Contact Erickson Dental Technologies today to learn how new technology can help your dental practice excel.