How many digital copiers and/or printers does your office really need? Ask yourself a few of these questions to find out.
Granted, this title is a little silly. It's a bit like the question “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?”
The answer is, of course, the world may never know.
Or, another light bulb joke:
How many copier sales people does it take to screw in a light bulb?
One to hold the light bulb, the other four to turn the ladder.
OK, enough with the jokes, because I do have a serious point to make. I've written about the mistakes of just buying a copier and more recently about the value of assessments – find out where your office stands regarding your technical capabilities before purchasing more.
Having too much or too little printing and copying capacity can be a drag on your business. If you print more than your copiers and printers are designed to output in a month; these devices will need to be replaced quicker and will be prone to need more frequent maintenance and copier repair. If you have more capacity than you use – say you have a digital copier capable of printing 100,000 pages but you only print 20,000 monthly – you're paying for more than you need.
Before you “just buy another copier,” ask yourself at least a few of the following questions.
- How many pages do you print each month in black and white?
- How many pages do you print each month in color?
- Do you use your digital copier to scan documents?
- What paper sizes do you need to print – letter size, legal size, other?
- Do you expect print volume to increase? (And what will increase – color printing, paper size, etc.)
- Do you own or lease your current copier(s)?
- If you lease or have a managed print services contract, contact your service partner because they'll be happy to provide guidance.
- How many devices do you own or lease (copiers, printers, scanners, fax machines)? Are any of them currently underused? Could they be moved to a new location – eliminating the need for another piece of equipment
- Are any business initiatives in planning that will require new equipment and/or new capabilities?
What features do you need:
- Double-sided (copy, print, and/or scanning)
- 3-hole punch (or other punch pattern)
- Multiple paper trays (for unattended printing)
- Color printing
- Network scanning
- Mobile printing
Do you need to print those particular documents? Some document processes that are entirely paper-based can be automated, beginning with the scanning feature on your digital copier and software included with your device. Think through your business processes – you might be able to automate a workflow, improving productivity, speed, and saving printing costs.
If you work with a managed print services partner, they can guide you through this selection process so that you don't over or under purchase equipment and supplies.