If the printer in your office takes far too long to print one page, much less an entire presentation, and if constant paper jams are slowing down everyone’s work, it’s time to for an upgrade! To ensure you’re happy with the make and model you choose, note these five things you should consider before investing in a new office printer.
Total cost of ownership (TCO) versus its benefits
A printer’s total cost of ownership, or TCO, includes its purchase price as well as any fees for having the machine delivered, installed, and connected to your office equipment. The TCO also comprises long-term costs, such as how much you’ll need to pay for its ink or toner, for maintenance and repairs, and for the machine’s average electrical consumption. After you’ve figured a printer’s expected TCO, you then need to compare that cost to the benefits of a particular model and note if those benefits outweigh any added or higher costs.
As an example, a printer that staples or otherwise binds papers might be more expensive than a more basic model; however, that finishing service means freeing up your office staff to handle other tasks. In turn, that added cost is well worth its benefit!
Remember, too, that there are many ways to reduce that TCO, such as buying compatible cartridges from a different ink manufacturer. These cartridges are made to the same exacting specifications as the original manufacturer’s ink, but for a fraction of the price of name-brand options.
Identify your printing needs
The first step you should take before investing in a new printer is to consider your printing requirements carefully. Do you need high-quality color prints on photo paper, or do you produce large volumes of pages that only require black-and-white printing? Does your office create presentations and documents that need to be collated, stapled, or otherwise finished and bound?
If you’re not sure the printing needs of your company, ask your staff for input. Note what frustrates them the most about your current machine, and what they think could help them to work more efficiently when it comes to printing.
Ease of use
An office printer with lots of functions can be useful, but not if your staff is always struggling to understand and access those functions! Having to read through a printer menu for several minutes, trying to figure out how to get it to work, is a waste of time for your staff.
Before buying a new printer, check out its display screen and prompts. Note if all its features are easy to access, without confusing jargon or lots of random choices. In many cases, it can be worth investing in a printer that’s a bit more expensive if it means having a simplified menu.
Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
An energy-efficient printer may cost more to purchase, but you may spend less money on electricity for your printing needs. An eco-friendly printer will also have ink or toner cartridges that can be recycled and even refilled. Refilling these cartridges also saves you money on the use of your new office printer, while keeping those cartridges out of landfills!
You can typically log into your office network while you’re away, so why not your office printer? Mobile printing allows someone to send a job to the printer while working from home or elsewhere, or enables the printer to connect to remote computers. In turn, workers at another branch or office location, or even someone from outside your company, can be given access to the printer. Mobile access makes it easier for someone to work remotely and even more efficiently, as they won’t need to spend time sending projects to the printer as soon as they arrive at the office.
All of these tips may seem like a lot of information to consider for an office printer, but keep in mind that a high-quality machine can make quick work of printing at the office, and can mean less frustration caused by slow printing and constant paper jams. An energy-efficient model that works with easy-to-find compatible cartridges can also mean spending less money on your printer throughout the years, making it worth that investment!