How much are you printing?
Just like TVs at your favorite electronic store come in a range of sizes for a range of rooms sizes (and preferences--i.e. watching football), so do printers come in a range of speeds, which usually correlate to a recommended volume the device is designed to handle.
Getting a new printer that is suited for your average print volume will help keep you from spending more money than you need to on "too much machine." It will also stop you from acquiring a new device that you will run into the ground well before its typical lifespan. Either scenario could leave you frustrated with a bad fit, so, start your printer purchase with knowing how much you print.
If you don't know you print volume, here are a few quick places to start:
- Your last copier lease invoice
- Your last copier or printer service agreement invoice
- Contact your office equipment provider to help analyze your current print volumes
Do you need a single-function or multi-function printer?
The trend with many manufacturers lately has been to make every device a multi-function copier/print/scanner/fax machine. This is especially true with what we at DOCUmation refer to as consumer-grade printers that you’ll find at all of the major office supply chain stores. However, take a second to determine which features you actually need.
A faster, single-function laser printer with more paper trays may give you more bang for your buck than a slower multi-function device on which you'd rarely use the copy, scan or fax features, since you may already have access to these functions available on another device in your office or around the hallway.
What sizes of paper do you regularly use?
If all you ever use is letter (8.5"x11") sized paper, don't spend more money on a device that handles larger paper sizes like tabloid or ledger (11"x17") unless there is another pressing reason to step up to the larger device size.
Many manufacturers, like Ricoh, have responded to customer demands by providing more “A4” printers & copiers options (devices that can only handle up to legal, 8.5"x14", paper size) in their product offering. “A4” devices can often offer the same functionality as larger copiers at a lower price point, since they are physically smaller & therefore relatively less costly to produce.
Do you need black-and-white or color printing?
There are many significant applications for color printing that can enhance productivity & even drive sales, but printing in color when it isn't necessary can be a costly expense for your business. Take a moment to think about the documents you've printed in the last week: How many of them needed to be printed in color?
If color printing is a necessity, contact your office equipment provider for a recommendation on the most cost-effective device for your specific applications, as color printing devices vary widely on the total cost to operate them.
Many of my clients find that the middle ground of a black-and-white copier with color scanning capabilities saves them money over a full-color device, while still providing the color capabilities they need (i.e. scanning a highlighted page or a color coded spreadsheet).
Let us perform a quick technology analysis to help you determine your needs.