There are many necessities when setting up an office correctly for your business to succeed. Along with the right employees and the right location, your office also needs the proper equipment to ensure that everything runs smoothly and you can just focus on meeting the needs of your customers.
One of the most basic requirements for every successful business is selecting the right photocopier for the job. How often have you heard employees complaining that the copier isn’t working properly, or won’t do what they want? Quite often the problem is simply that the type of copier doesn’t suit the needs of the business. If you regularly need to print hundreds of colour, double-sided brochures then you need to make sure the copier you choose is capable of doing the job. Similarly, if you only copy a small amount of documents, you can save yourself a lot of money by selecting a more basic machine.
If you choose the right copier you won’t find employees lined up waiting for jobs to be completed, or wasting time doing tasks manually that could be automated. With the right copier, your employees spend less time copying or printing and more time working on things that can significantly affect your bottom line.
So how do you choose the perfect copier for your business?
First, make up two lists. One will be the “must haves” that you can’t live without in a photocopier and the other list will be “extra bits I’d really love my machine to have but can live without”. When making up your list, you need to make decisions on a few things – colour or black and white, volume, speed, image quality and then those added extras, which we’ll talk about later.
(And don’t be surprised if your printing volume increases by 25% or even 30% when you install a new copier, just because it is new and exciting.)
This is probably the most important thing to consider when you’re looking at a new machine. You need to check out the machine’s recommended maximum number of copies it can handle each month while maintaining reliability. That maximum assumes regular cleaning and maintenance and without that, the reliability of prints will drop and your machine will begin to break down. Keeping this in mind, you should choose a copier that allows for a bit more volume than you think you would use. It is important to look at your highest month’s volume as well as your average monthly volume to ensure that you end up with the right copier for your business.
Colour or black & white?
If you want to produce promotional materials, copy colour images and print brochures, then a colour copier may be a priority. Just keep in mind that colour copying is much more expensive than black and white and that you will pay more for a machine with the capability to print colour even if you never use it, simply because they are more expensive to buy, more complex to maintain and need extra toner. And colour toners are naturally more expensive.
Speed is a measure of the number of A4 copies a machine can produce in 1 minute. A faster speed will reduce waiting times and mean that your staff won’t have to stand around while a document is copied. If you have ever noticed a line forming at your copier, then your printer is not able to print enough pages per minute to keep up with the demand.
This is a measure of how many dots per inch (DPI) a copier can produce. A higher DPI number – or resolution – means higher quality of images. At higher resolutions images will be more crisp and precise. However, higher resolution printers don’t make a difference when it comes to printing simple text documents so unless you really need that ability, it should probably stay on your “extra bits I’d really love my machine to have but can live without” list.
There is a large list of extra features that copiers can have. Some like duplexing and automatic document feeders are common to most devices. Other features like finishers, folding, stapling and automatic sorters are extras that you will need to decide whether or not you want or need. These features and their uses will be discussed in greater detail in another blog post, coming soon.
Now it gets down to the nitty gritty of buying a new copier – your budget. If you’ve created your list, you should be able to see how much of your budget you can spare to get some or all of the features on your “I wish” list. You will probably need to put together a spreadsheet for your current costs, listing every type of cost associated with your current copier solution. Keep in mind:
- How much are you spending on repairs?
- What do your supplies cost – toner, paper, staples, etc?
- How much are you paying for service?
- How much is it costing you to print documents?
- What is the value of “soft costs” – wasted employee time, machine depreciation etc?
The final decision
Answering all the questions posed in this article will undoubtedly help you make the correct business decision when it comes to purchasing a copier, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Unless you have been paying close attention to your costs and print volume, for example, it may be difficult to get an accurate measurement without some help.
A trustworthy supplier can assist you in collecting this information. Once the data is gathered, together you can analyse the information and translate it into answers. At this point, choosing the right copier for your business is simple.