It’s only normal to first bring up the cost of something before even considering moving forward with a purchase. And when you start looking into bigger ticket items such as a color copier machine or laser printer, we are sure this is probably the first question you want to ask. This question isn’t necessarily a bad question to ask, but it shouldn’t be the first question to start out with. Knowing how much a copier cost is important, but before getting into price do you even need a color copier in the first place? Ever thought about just getting a black and white copier machine? After truly diving into what your office needs, you might be just fine with a laser printer that can scan. I guess what we are trying to say is that fixating on price when it comes to the hardware and software that runs your business is like putting the cart before the horse. We know that budget is important but it shouldn’t be the be-all-end-all. You need to make sure that you are putting your business needs first before the value of the equipment.
You need to find a copier machine that will significantly increase office productivity and enhance your company’s efficiency. You don’t want to underspend on a color copier that isn’t robust enough to handle your everyday needs, breaks down regularly due to overuse, and fails to meet your expectations due to lack of functionalities. There are some better questions that can help you narrow down on the type of copier machine that better fits your needs.
How many people will be using the office copier?
Will the copier be solely used by you, a small group of about two to five, will it be an entire department, or is it for the whole company? You need to address this question first because there is a fine line between having a single device for everyone versus multiple, lower capability devices spread through the office.
What will the copier be used for?
Every business is different which means they will be looking for a copier that will meet their everyday tasks. Some businesses, for example, need their office copier for copying, scanning, faxing, printing, folding binding, stapling, and saddle stitching. If your business is a bit smaller, you might not need all of these features on your copier because you will never use them. You just have to know what you are looking for so your copier machine can be equipped with the necessities. An easy way to do this is by creating a task list of the things you need and the things you would like to have included in your copier.
What will your print volume be like?
Do you know how many pages do you print each month? This question is a little harder to tell because there will be some months where your volume is high and somewhere they will below. However, a quick way to calculate this is to count how many reams of paper you go through each month. A ream of paper comes with 500 pages. If you are purchasing boxes, then each box will have 10 reams. From hear, all you have to do is some basic math to find your estimate. If by chance you have a copier in place that was purchased within five years, there is a good chance that they are equipped with print tracking software. Once you turn this feature on, you will know exactly how much volume you are producing. Once you have a good idea of your volume, you can focus on finding the right digital copier that will handle your workload. Copiers, nowadays, are able to print anywhere between 22 pages per minute (ppm) on the low end and up to 100 ppm on the high end. For reference, if you are a law firm, chances are you will be doing a lot of printing. This means that you should be looking at a copier that can print at least 45 ppm or higher.
Is color important for my business?
Back to the question of whether or not you need a color copier machine. If you are producing a lot of documents for customer presentations, then you will probably need a color copy machine. However, if all of your printing and copying needs are for internal use only, is color important? We get it, having a color copier machine makes prints more vibrant. It is also more expensive to have – even if your color prints are dirt cheap. Evaluate your business needs so that you are not spending additional money on color printing that may not be necessary for your business.
Is scanning a big part of my business’s day-to-day operations?
Some companies need to perform a lot of scanning so having a dedicated scanner might be a better option than to have one attached to your copier. While there is nothing wrong with doing all of your scannings on a copier, using it regularly for hours at a time will ultimately put every other device on hold. This means printing and copying will have to wait.
Is document size important to you?
Again, depending on the industry your business is in, you might want a copier that can handle prints such as legal (8.5” x 14”) and ledger (11” x 17”) on top of the standard 8.5” x 11” paper. Different models will offer different functionality. Keep in mind that an A4 copier is designed to handle letter and legal sized paper, but not ledger. They may also handle some smaller sizes like postcards and envelopes depending on the model. However, an A3 copier was made to handle letter, legal, ledger, and some smaller sizes like postcards and envelopes.
Nowadays, with the technological advances that happen every year, you can have a remote worker who is rarely in the office be connected wirelessly to the copier with an office laptop. We can’t say that all copiers are equipped with this functionality but it is an option when building your own copier. Now wouldn’t this be better than to track down a co-worker, emailing the document you want them to print, and then having them print it for you? To us, this defiantly disrupts workflow and productivity.
Of course, the price has to be weighed in when purchasing a copier. As you can see we put this at the bottom of our list because focusing on price first is the wrong way to acquire a new copier. When talking about price, you have to also remember that you don’t have to purchase the copier machine outright. You might want to consider leasing the copier machine to spread out the costs. Another cost-effective method would be to have someone like Compare Business Systems manage your copiers and printers for you as you pay for a set of cost for each copy/print for a particular set of months. If you take the time to answer these simple questions, not only will you be making the best choice in selecting the right copier for your company, but will also avoid the loss of productivity. This is why it is so important to find a copier machine that isn’t set on price point but rather value. And while more capabilities mean an increase in costs, ask yourself these copier questions before making a premature decision.