New Year and New Tech on the mind? We know that a lot of you will start to begin your evaluations and considerations for the Spring Break and even Summer Installs at this point in time. The big questions is always, how much? In this blog post, we are going to look at just what the total cost of ownership looks like for an Interactive Flat Panel.
The Interactive Flat Panel Itself – what does that cost?
The physical costs of Interactive Flat Panels do vary depending on the “package” that you are asking for from your supplier. For example, are you purchasing multiple units in which you would expect to get a bulk discount. Have you negotiated any on site training or additional services from your supplier before you committed to the purchase?
To give you a rough idea, here is what you should be expecting to pay for an Interactive Flat Panel. Obvisouly this is size dependant and we are basing this on the average cost our customers are paying for our kit. We know that we are not the most expensive and there are of course cheaper models out there (but do be aware of exactly what you are getting – a screen on its own with no software is not the most useful)
Here are some ball park figures for you;
65″ Interactive Flat Panel $3000
75″ Interactive Flat Panel. $4000
86″ Interactive Flat Panel. $5500
100″ Interactive Flat Panel. $16000
What about delivery?
Delivery is really going to depend where you are located in the country compared to the Manufacturer’s warehouse. What I would say is that for larger deals, you can normally do a deal with the supplier to get the freight price included. If not, you should budget depending on size for around $150-300 per unit at the most. $300 being the average cost that we charge for an 86″ going cross-country from CA to the East Coast.
It is also seasonal so any budgets that you are writing at the start of the year will not be able to hold the freight quotes from the forwarders. At best, these guys will give us 15 day quotes. Check with the supplier that they are guarantying to hold the freight price is you are costing this out some time in advance.
What about brackets and wall mounts? Even rolling carts?
Regular brackets and wall mounts, most of us manufacturers are now including these at no charge to the customer. We certainly do at TouchIT Technologies. That said, if you do need a heavy duty wall mount, you are looking at around $200 delivered – that is what we used to charge before we included them with our Interactive LEDs.
As for rolling carts, a fixed height cart you can pickup for around $1000. As soon as you move to height adjustable, you can at least double that amount – they are around $2000 for a good one. Stands are not something that you want to go cheap on. A cheap badly designed stand could quite easy tip over!
Make sure you go for the well-known brands in this area. To give you an example, we only sell the European-made BalanceBox range of mounts as we know that the quality is fantastic.
What about the cost of the installation?
The cost of installation is not an easy one. This really depends on what you are mounting the LED. If it is a stud wall, is it strong enough to hold the weight of the Interactive Flat Panel without reinforcement. If it needs reinforcing, this is going to cost more. Is there anything to take down? By this I mean a regular whiteboard or a previous interactive whiteboard and projector – this also adds to the cost.
In short, if you are looking at a really basic installation without remocing any previous kit and mounting onto a solid load bearing wall, you are looking at around $500-600. If you need to do any of the things mentioned in the section, then you can expect to pay much more than this per unit.
What about subscriptions?
For TouchIT customers, this is not a problem as we do not charge subscriptions for hardware, support, warranty or software. That said, a lot of companies out there do and these costs can be quite considerable. If you are paying for software on an annual basis, this price can add up and really affect your total cost of ownership of the product. Likewise, if you have to pay for maintenance, this will add to your TCO.
I guess my advice here is to really look at the fine print. Make sure that a company is going to keep the same level or service and support and software features after the first year. A lot of manufactures will get you “hooked” on their software for example and then start charging you for it in year 2 and beyond!
What about warranty costs? How much are they?
Warranty Costs really depend on the company or manufacture that you choose to go with. To give you an idea, at TouchIT, we don’t charge for warranty work and you get a 3 year on site warranty at no additional charge. We do know what some manufactures do charge for this and you could be talking $100 or so bucks a year for the subscription to the warranty service.
It is well worth checking what you are going to be getting. I would say that you should be looking at the standard being a 3 year on site warranty, and this should be included for free with your Interactive Flat Panel purchase.
What are maintenance costs of Interactive Flat Panels?
This is one of the areas where you will be able to make some considerable saving if you have been maintaining Interactive Whiteboards and projectors. Both of these, were notoriously expensive to maintain; especially projectors. You will be pleased to know that most Interactive LEDs, well, certainly the ones that are supplied by TouchIT Technologies do not require any maintenance.
They will need a quick clean from time to time. Normally, a damp cloth will be able to remove any greasy finger marks from the screens. For anything more stubborn, we certainly recommend regular glass cleaner. Just remember, keep it damp and not drenched. Water and electronics do not mix so you do not want to be pouring water into the touch frame electronics.
The fact that a cloth and water can do the trick, the maintenance costs remain at almost zero for the cleaning.
Probably once or twice a year, there will be a Firmware and or Software updates that are going to be needed on the screens. In some cases, such as TouchIT we build in auto-updates for the software so the user rather than the IT person can do the update. In terms of the Firmware, this is something a competent user can do, but more often than not it is the IT Administrator that is going to do the update.
Therefore, you are looking at about 10mins of the IT guy’s time perhaps twice a year to run some updates per screen. If you are looking at 30-40 screens, this is a day’s work for a single person.
Our Interactive Flat Panel Cost Calculator