Rethink Printing has compiled a list of the key 10 factors you should consider when looking at buying or leasing a new copier
The first thing to consider when choosing a photocopier is what it will be used for and how much it will be used? Work out how many copies are likely to be made per day or per month and what the photocopier will be mostly used for. This will then allow you to make a decision based on these factors and most likely determine whether you will need a colour or black & white (mono) photocopier, whether you need A4 only or A3, the capacity of the trays and how large the photocopier will be physically, as well as how much you are willing to pay for the copier. However, price is not everything and you should consider the list below in equal measures to price.
- Copy Speed:
A photocopier’s speed is measured in pages per minute, so consider how much the machine is used per day, whether people often have to wait in order to use the photocopier and if a lot of large documents or brochures need to be printed. Generally, the more copying needed per day and the higher the amount of very large documents printed, the faster the photocopier will need to be.
It is also important to bear in mind the length of time your new photocopier will be with you or how long your lease agreement is for; if you’re going to have the device for several years, don’t just think about how the machine will be used by the business today, think about where the business will be in three or five years and choose a pages per minute (ppm) rate that gives you the capacity to scale for business growth. A typical workgroup device designed to be shared amongst between 3 to 10 people will normally have a print/copy speed of 25-45 ppm placing the device in the mid-volume category.
- Copy Volume:
The copy volume number is the maximum number of copies that the machine will execute in a month, so it’s important to think about how many photocopies your business generally makes in an average day or week and extrapolate your required copy volume from there. Whilst machines that operate at the lower end of the PPM speed scale generally have a lower monthly copy volume, there are machines available that are designed for both speed and low copy volumes, which could be more suitable for your business depending on your output and your budget. For ease of understanding, photocopiers are generally grouped into volume categories rather than dealing with the actual number. The categories include, SOHO (small office, home office) for occasional use, low volume, mid volume, high volume and professional print. When considering the purchase of a multi-functional device or photocopier try to estimate how much the device will be used and select appropriately.
- Multifunction or Standalone:
You should also consider whether a multifunctional photocopier is for you. These machines can be used for photocopying, printing, scanning and even faxing documents. Not only will they save you space but, they’ll also save you money as opposed to operating a number of different machines.
Though very rare, you can still find stand-alone copy machines, but the vast majority of products are truly all-in-one or multifunction devices or printers that use digital technology to handle a variety of tasks. The question you should ask is whether you need the advanced functionality provided by these all-in-one products before spending more money on your purchase than is necessary. For a commercial copier machine, it makes a lot of sense to consider purchasing a multifunction copier since they deliver a host of features and functions well above and beyond the capabilities of an older analogue copier. A multifunction printer (MFP) or all-in-one machine gives you the ability to perform faxing, photocopying, printing and scanning duties—all using a single machine. It also has digital storage, allowing you to collate and make copies of entire documents with full sorting capability (provided you have the right finisher). A stand-alone office copier machine only provides you with a single function–potentially causing you to have to buy a photocopier, fax machine and scanner (as well as all of those related supplies) in order to accomplish everything you may need to do in your office.
- Colour or Black and White:
This might not be a hard decision to make, but you need to consider it, since spending money on colour functions you won’t use very often can be a waste of resources (not to mention space). Some copier machines are designed solely to provide black and white copies while others are intended to do full-colour prints for presentations and marketing materials. Depending on your needs, you should make this decision up front, knowing that colour printers are a bit more expensive (both upfront and ongoing) when compared to black & white printers—something that will impact your budget.
- Resolution of the Photocopier:
This determines the clarity of each copy, for example quality and sharpness of an image. Resolution is measured in dots per inch. Some photocopiers can have very high resolutions, but unless you need a number of prints with extremely clear images, this can increase the running cost of the photocopier, therefore extremely high resolution photocopiers are often only really worthwhile for designers.
- Extra Features and Benefits:
Modern multi-functional devices, printers, scanners and photocopiers offer a huge range of features over and above the standard feature set. With most modern photocopiers including some form of open source programming platform embedded in the very user friendly touch screens, software developers have created a whole host of “bolt on” applications specifically designed to enhance your printing, photocopying and scanning experience. With automated document workflow solutions, scan/document editing applications and accessibility programs to name just a few, you might want to check with your prospective supplier that the photocopiers, printers or scanners you are considering have an embedded application platform that allows for additional 3rd party software to be installed. Accessibility programs allow control of the photocopier / printer / scanner / multifunctional device (MFD) from a hand held touch screen device such as a PDA for individuals who may struggle to utilise the integratedl touch screen on the device.
- Standby Energy and Automatic:
Make sure that the photocopier chosen uses little standby energy and switches automatically to stand-by mode when not in use. Many of the new photocopiers enter into stand-by mode as soon as they are not being used and have very quick start up times. Some new photocopiers use just 3w of standby energy consumption, compared to 690w for some older devices.
- Network Compatibility:
As a general rule, when spending what can be a considerable amount of money on a digital document device, most people seek to get as many benefits and features from the device as possible. One of the key features of digital document production devices such as printers, photocopiers and MFD (multifunctional devices) is the ability to interface with a customer’s computer network. Once connected to the network the humble photocopier becomes a powerful, feature rich network printer, scanner, fax server and much more. When looking at network functionality you should consider which operating systems you use as well as how you want the device to sit within the network. As a general rule, almost all mid-volume sized machines upwards come with full network functionality as standard.
Remember though, when you’re considering the amount your business can afford to pay for a new photocopier, it’s important to factor in the potential savings that will come from using your newer, more efficient device. You’ll need to take into account the amount of money you will save as a result of the reduced cost of printing, the reduction in waste and energy consumption, the lower cost of consumables, the improvement to your carbon footprint and, of course, your increase in productivity. You need to be thinking in terms of total Cost Per Page as opposed to upfront cost of the photocopier.
- Post Purchase Support:
It’s the one that so often gets forgotten, yet it’s crucial that you consider the aftersales care when choosing your new photocopier. It may seem like just an additional expense, but what will happen if your new machine develops a problem that you can’t resolve? Or what if you move offices or change your network system; would you be able to add new remote users or switch your photocopier from a cabled network onto Wi-Fi? Probably not.
Let Rethink Printing Help
Here at Rethink Printing we have been selling and leasing photocopiers to businesses in the Hereford and the Three Counties for nearly 15 years, so we’ve got a proven track record when it comes to delivering a quality service.
When you contact us, we’ll offer you a free, no-obligation initial consultation so that we can find out your needs, then we get to know exactly how your business works before we find the perfect tailored solution for you. Plus, all of our machines come with a manufacturer’s warranty and are guaranteed by our in house maintenance agreements, providing you with peace of mind that, should anything go wrong, we’ll sort it out for you in a timely manner.
So, if your business is in need of a new Photocopier, think about the factors mentioned in the list above, and we’ll take all the worry out of your hands and make sure you get the perfect photocopier for you. You can contact one of our friendly team today to arrange your free, no obligation consultation, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, phoning us on 01432 2722233 or completing the contact form on our website for one of us to get back to you or for a free no obligation quote.