While going green and paperless is a growing trend, copiers and printed documents remain valuable in today's business environment.
Times and technology have changed and the business world no longer uses standalone copiers separate from printers or scanners. Multiple functions are integrated into a package known as the multifunction printer; fast and easy, one can copy, scan, fax, and print information from a single device, at the press of a key.
What do you really need to know before purchasing a brand new machine for your business? Here are six tips to help you make the right decision.
1. Consider the Consumables
Most purchasers of electronic equipment make the key mistake of selecting a printer/copier without factoring in the ongoing expenditure of the ink.
To stay competitive, some manufacturers have been selling printers at a low price to later recoup their money by way of ink and toner cartridges. Inexpensive to make, and a necessity to the end user, the ink and toner cartridges provide huge profit margins. To ensure repeat business, some manufacturers have embedded technology preventing third party cartridges from being used. Some manufactures have also filled the started cartridges to half capacity to drive sales.
The majority of printers/copiers come with four or more cartridges as they produce color. Refilling cartridges is a way of saving money, but in some instances, this could potentially harm your machine.
Some research into refilling ink cartridges and checking the manufacturer’s site for more information on quality, and pricing will ensure your money will be spent sensibly.
2. Inkjet or Laser?
This one is simple, if you’re going for speed copies/prints, Laser is the top choice. If you’re a graphics-heavy office, stick with Inkjet, especially if you’re copying or printing photographs!
3. Choosing the Right Equipment for the Job
Consider the quantity of printing and/or copying your machine will have to handle. The majority of equipment designed for smaller businesses is not made to run high volume jobs. There may be a time when something out of the ordinary will have to be printed with a lot of volume and color. In this case, if a high volume printer isn't part of your office equipment you consider seeking outside help. Professional printing services vary, but can save you a fortune on repair and supply cost in the long run.
Larger companies with larger quantity print projects such as color brochures require equipment best suited for the high volume and consistent use.
4. Black & White vs. Color
Cost effective, and efficient, a black and white copier/printer can be a great option, but what if you receive a request from a client that requires color? There are many printer/copiers out on the market that will provide high quality color as well as high res black and white prints.
5. Features that are often overlooked
Duplex: Printing on both sides of the page and can save on paper costs.
Paper Handling: Fill the tray or choose a model that holds a ton of stock. Consider a model that has a document feeder of no less than 25 sheets and paper trays that hold no less than 250 sheets.
Hardwire or Wireless Printer: The majority of machines today are wifi ready, and now that everything is in the “cloud” such as Apple Air Print, it’s almost a necessity to have that feature built into the printer/copier you purchase.
Additional features include, automatic sorting, an automatic document feeder, more paper drawers, and a copier's ability to reduce or enlarge the size of a document.
6. Versatility in what you can copy/print
Consider choosing a machine that is able to handle different types of paper, weights and sizes. For example, if you have to print up hard stock index cards, can your printer handle that? Focus on devices that have flatbed copying to can accommodate periodicals, books and other objects that won’t fit in the document feeder.
Considering these tips in your search for your next copier/printer will empower you to select the equipment that will satisfy the needs of your business for years to come.
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