When printing is becoming time-consuming, causing a backlog and general disruptions in the office, coupled with paper jams and the all-to-regular call to the maintenance man, the expense starts to mount up and become noticeable. So what are the best alternatives to save time, money and increase output? As your budget and business requirements demand it.
Once you have decided to out with old and in with the new, you have plenty of factors to consider in this ever-evolving marketplace.
Let's take a look at 8 of the factors that will affect your decision.
1. Multifunctional printers (mfps) vs One function
When looking to overhaul your printing strategy, a good starting point is to take the time to assess your daily office requirements. Some offices can require only a modest amount of equipment, may be just a standard printer or scanner, a photocopier or a fax machine.
On the other hand, you may need a multifunctional device (MFD). These devices enable you to bring all the facets together in one place, leading to many benefits:
The last two points will help you to streamline invoicing and take more control over what your real printing expenditure should be on a weekly basis.
2. Ink vs Toner
Whether to use ink or toner has long been pondered over by business owners. Nonetheless it is an important factor to consider in your printing overhaul.
Toner comes in a powder composition used in laser printers and photocopiers. In contrast, ink is water based containing pigments, most commonly used for Inkjet printing.
Where the decision-making process begins is analysing how much load your business needs to print on a daily/weekly basis. Undoubtedly if you are a tiny business or even working from home, printing a nominal amount per week, then ink printing will be the most effective solution for you.
HP stole a march on the competition releasing the HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 all-in-one series. It laser printing is considered more cost-effective than ink printing, and for heavy loads, it's pushed the boundaries for small to medium sized businesses with its capabilities:
Touch screen technology - offering access to business applications
It has gone a long way into changing the mindset of business owners regarding printing technology and converting them to all-in-one printing, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 did not disappoint.
3. Mobile printing
Mobile printing is one of the best features to come out of modern day printing for the office; it's a great space saver. Yielding much higher productivity and helping with time management it gives the user the ability to print on a mobile device outside of the office, even the country, cutting time and reducing travel costs.
With the likes of Brother, Canon, HP and Epson weighing in on the market mobile printing is becoming increasingly popular to business owners whose staff or indeed themselves are always on the move. So factor this in when deciding on the range of machines you need.
With remote printing and cloud-based technology entering the print world, security is at the top of the list. Hacking has become a problem for all. Only a fraction of networks in businesses are adequately secure.
HP came up with a well-received solution called Run-Time Intrusion Detection, as well as additional features. Its reactional real-time software, detecting malware and switching into reboot to secure all machines that are connected to the network has proved very effective. Security can be overlooked but if you or your business handles legal documentation with signatures of any description, be sure to take security seriously.
5. The Cost
Part of your consideration of looking to upgrade the office with new equipment, (especially if we are talking multiple devices) is the initial cost to the business. So far in 2018 HP, Brother and Canon printers and ink cartridges have been battling it out in a mini-price war, which is always great news for the consumer. The long-term and defining factor for MFPs is the ink control and maintenance cost, they are significantly reduced and more comfortable to manage, so consider this is as much as the initial outlay for the product(s).
6. Printing Speed
Depending on the number and size of the print loads you require, speed will play a prominent factor. For busy offices, slow printing can lead to time pressure which has a domino effect. Productivity and efficiency are the main challenges for manufacturers right now.
Machines on the market such as the HP PageWide can operate at 60 - 80 ppm which on average has 45-50% print speed advantage over most devices.
Manufacturers have not been slow in realising the global trend is very much more environmentally conscious than at any other time in history. The economy of paper, toner or ink and power are very much on a business owner's mind, and in today's world not just for cost.
When considering this look for machines that are Energy Star Certified, generally, these machines are anywhere between 20-40% more energy efficient.
8. Parts & Service
Companies have been conscious of the need to improve after sales service standards and warranties in the last decade.
Many now offer comprehensive maintenance packages, including set response time, and a replacement machine if time-consuming repairs are necessary. This should also be a deciding factor in your decision-making process, choose a company that will support you for the long-term.
You'll find a much different scene to when you last purchased your office equipment. Today you are likely to be offered free delivery and installation, with a full training program and demonstration as part of the purchase along with ongoing technical support. If you take the points above into consideration, the businesses initial outlay should not be a concern; these machines are designed to increase efficiency and your bottom line.
David Blakey is a seasoned tech writer. He likes writing about computer gadgets, printers and other electronic devices. His current line of work is with an Australian supplier of premium toners and ink cartridges online.
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