In the grand scheme of business decisions, the purchase of a new printer or copier for the office might feel insignificant. However, it is an often-expensive buy with long-term ramifications—both positive and negative—that could follow you and your team members for years to come.
The average lifespan of a business-level device lasts about seven years. If chosen correctly, your business can look forward to nearly a decade of enjoying a well-suited, reliable machine. Or, if chosen poorly, get ready for years of constant breakdowns, headaches, and frustrations.
So, how do you ensure that your future holds more of the former and less of the latter? It all comes down to asking the right questions and finding the answers before committing to your next printer or copier. What kind of office do you have and what are your printing habits? In general, here are the things that you should think about when selecting a copier for your office.
Every business prioritizes different functions of their office equipment. If you work in a law office that needs a fast printer to manage time spent on clients, you will value a different feature set then, say, an educator who needs to print a file from the cloud or a healthcare facility that requires EHR compatibility.
You should consider:
- Print speeds (copiers print at varying speeds, measured in pages per minute or ppm)
- The friendliness of the user display, and whether you need a pull-out keyboard.
- If you need a media or USB port to print on the go
- Access to cloud files and integration with software that is important to your business.
- Scan capabilities – do you often scan two sided items?
- Finishing options (booklet-making, stapling, etc.)
When a copier is connected to your network, it becomes a possible entry point for hackers to obtain sensitive data. If you think about it, your office copier is connected to your Wi-Fi and your emails, which are basically the keys to the kingdom.
It’s important to make sure the copier:
- Has built-in, multi-layered security with encryption
- Provides control over user activity.
- Has security measures enabled to ensure information is irretrievable by unauthorized users.
- Offers features to erase data at the end of use.
- Mobile Print, Copy and Scan
Work is no longer tied to the desktop, and printing shouldn’t be either. If you’ve ever walked across the building to get lunch and meant to grab your document on the way, but you realize you forgot to press print when you were at your desk, you’re in luck. Most copiers today offer the capability to print, copy and scan from your phone.
- Warm-Up/Wake Speeds
This one is a top contender among the reasons you’d give your copier a beat down. Particularly when you are already late for your meeting. Printers and copiers vary anywhere from 5 to 45 seconds in their warmup speeds. Some have a built-in walk-up motion sensor that make them ready for action when you are. If time is money to your organization, you want to pay attention to warm-up speeds.
- Supplies and Service
It’s easy to overlook the logistics of your copier supplies, but they will be an ongoing purchase that affects your bottom line. One size does not fit all in the ink and toner department, and some are much more expensive than others for a level of output that you may not need. Also, if you’re the type of person that waits for the illumination of the gas or check engine light in your car, you need to look for a copier provider that offers automatic replenishment and/or service monitoring. Doing so will ensure that you never run out of supplies, your machine is always up and running and you know your costs upfront.
- Colour Consistency
Copiers are offered in monochrome (black and white) and colour. Think about the documents that you normally print to decide if limiting to black and white is a realistic possibility. For those that know they need colour, it may be important to make sure that the copier you choose offers Pantone matching or a colour consistency system to deliver high-quality colour output.
If you are faced with the daunting task of purchasing a new office copier, thinking about these components can help guide you in the right direction. For the DIY types, you can jump right in and view the Sharp copier and printer finder to sort through models and features. If you decide that you may need more information or guidance, or our Sales Representative can help.