A question we are frequently asked is why our prices are higher than the high street prices. We’ve tried to explain some of the reasons for that difference below, to help buyers understand what the CSCS service offers.
Reasons to buy via CSCS
- The money you pay includes product selection advice, procurement, commissioning, installation and delivery to your office ready to go.
- The specification process will specify a system which is ‘future proofed’ rather than bought only to satisfy current minimum requirements, ensuring the system will be effective throughout its life.
- By purchasing through CSCS we can assure you that the equipment will meet your needs and be compatible with CSCS and University systems (e.g. wireless).
- A lot of equipment sold as ‘consumer grade’ is missing vital components which a ‘business grade’ system would not (e.g. an Ethernet connection, or a docking station which will work with your display setup)
- All computers bought through CSCS include by default a 5 year warranty, which means the equipment will be a working asset for its useable life.
- Consumer grade equipment often only offer a 3 year warranty, significantly increasing the chances of increased lifetime cost (i.e. if after 3.5 years the display fails on a £400 laptop which costs £250 to repair). We also typically include a battery warranty (batteries lose their life quite rapidly and cost quite a lot to replace).
Reasons not to buy from the high street
- If you do a thorough comparison of two system ‘like for like’, purchasing through CSCS generally cost less over the life of the system, even if it appears to have a higher capital cost in the first instance (for example the warranty will be longer, include battery warranty etc.)
- Systems purchased outside the CSCS supply chain have a higher frequency of compatibility and reliability issues, which in some cases significantly limit the value to the purchaser (e.g. a non-replaceable wireless chipset is incompatible with a Windows update or the University Eduroam network).
- If you buy from a high street supplier (as opposed to an approved supplier in UFS) you’re in breach of financial regulations, and expense claims and/or department credit card transactions may be challenged, and sanctions applied.
- For equipment not purchased through CSCS we charge £100 to add the system to our service. This charge pays the cost of staff (who are funded entirely from cost recovery, not Chest funding) who commission, install/configure and deliver the equipment.