Numerous companies rely on third-party copy-centers to manage their printing and copying needs. While this arrangement can be beneficial and ideal in some scenarios, it doesn't work well for some businesses.
Over time, companies have realised that investing in their own copiers can be more cost-effective in the long term, and it comes with an unparalleled level of convenience.
The Digital Copier
The humble photocopier has come a long way over the years. What we have today, the digital copier is a staple in any forward-thinking business. These copiers go over and above making print copies, which is what traditional copiers were primarily used for.
A digital copier can print presentation-ready images on a copy, scan and print high-resolution images, send emails directly to clients and so on. Fujifilm has printers that will punch holes, staple documents and even create z and tri-fold printers right off the printer!
So, which is the best copier for your business? This is a dicey one. Each business has unique functions and requirements and a copier should match these needs as closely as possible. As such, it’s best to focus on features and what you can get from a copier.
Features To Look For When Shopping For A Business Copier
With so many brands, models and types of copiers each packed with the latest features and technology, picking the best one can be a daunting task.
Here are key copier features to focus on when copier shopping.
Cloud Services and USB Support
More and more businesses are storing their data in the cloud today. If you are storing documents and graphics in cloud-based platforms like Google Docs Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox, you need a copier linked to cloud services.
This will allow your copier to access these documents for quick printing and copying.
The same goes for direct scanning and printing via USB devices. Many companies have restricted the use of USBs due to their vulnerability to cyber-attacks. If your business still has to use USBs, ensure to have staff authorised to access this feature to minimise your potential exposure to viruses and Trojans.
A group of ethical hackers recently found 800,000 vulnerable printers and managed to hack 28,000 of these to highlight the potential dangers of connected devices.
Like everything else on the internet, digital copiers are a potential target for cybercriminals. So just like computers and other devices used by your staff and within your business, a good printer should have a sound, multi-layered security system. Without this, you are at risk of being hacked.
The result of this can be disastrous to your brand.
For businesses that use Managed Print Services (MPS), this is a benefit offered alongside printing services.
The days of queuing or crowding around the printer are long gone.
In a modern office, individuals should be able to print remotely from their working areas. Luckily, most modern copiers today have wireless printing capabilities.
Have some network security authentication as well to allow authorised access to specific people. Wireless printing can minimise wiring and tripping hazards. Besides that, wireless printing can streamline business processes and increase productivity.
Even better, find a printer with both wireless printing and options for users to create personalised accounts.
Good Quality and Consistent Output
Documents you send out to your customers, prospects, business partners, suppliers and so on are a reflection of who you are as a business.
You need each document that goes out to be of top quality and consistent with your brand.
Most copier stores are happy to let you test drive different units. Try out different print-outs on different settings including text, images and a mixture of both to see the output. Similarly, try printing in color and black and white, copies with heavy color requirements and prints with very detailed elements.
The printer you go for should have some consistency with all the different copies as this will help maintain your brand image.
Copy Speed And Volume
This is a key metric as it tells you the speed at which to expect prints and copies to be done. This is expressed as a number of pages per minute and is among the primary things people discuss when copier shopping.
The optimal copy speed for a small business is 25 to 45 pages per minute, and 50 to 120 copies per minute for medium and large businesses.
Copy speed also correlates to copy volume. Copy volume speaks to the amount of pages produced per month. Generally, a printer with slower speeds will produce low volumes over the month and vice versa.
To further expound on speed vs. volume, copiers are essentially grouped in volume categories rather than actual numbers. Such categories will include SOHO (small office, home office), mid-volume, low volume, high volume and professional print.
Price vs Value
A cheaper copier might seem like a good idea initially. That’s until it keeps breaking down, and the costs of repairing and replacing different parts start adding up. Inferior printers also have higher toner and ink replacement needs.
As important as the price is, bear in mind the numerous advances in office solutions. The price you pay will also cater for advanced features and workflow capabilities that can be accessed from the machine in question.
For companies without the budget for the right machine, it’s worth considering hiring one at monthly billing until you create the budget for one.
Popular, reputable brands are easily purchased and come with reasonable pricing. You are also assured that they are of excellent quality, meaning lower instances of breakdowns. Should they need repairs or part replacement, these are often pretty easy to manage.
In the printer world, Epson, Fujifilm, Canon and Sharp are as good as it gets.
Need Help With Your Printing?
Managing your printing function including your equipment, connectivity, security and hardware maintenance can get time-consuming.
As you get busier, getting a reliable Managed Print Service can take some of the load off your back and allow you to focus on your core business. Sounds interesting? Reach out to us here. We will be happy to demonstrate how this service can support your business and increase your bottom line.