Keeping up with the administrative requirements of a busy office means investing in better equipment to handle the workload. Office printers come in all shapes and sizes and are designed to help companies operate efficiently while contributing to the overall productivity of each department.
However, with the amount of options currently available, it can be challenging to narrow down the choices while finding a solution that is both highly functional and sustainable for the business over time. To make this process easier, here are five areas of consideration you should explore when purchasing an office printer.
Depending on the needs of your business, deciding on the level of functionality your printer has should be one of your first considerations. Typically, you'll want to determine if you require a single-function or a multifunction printer.
- Single Function - Much like their name denotes, single-function printers are designed for one purpose - printing. While these printers are limited in their functionality, the speed and efficiency with which they print documents can be beneficial for companies that need a fast, cost-efficient solution.
- Multifunction - Most growing companies choose to invest in multifunction printers as they present all-in-one solutions to a variety of administrative tasks. Multifunction printers (MFPs) can provide solutions for printing, scanning, copying, faxing, and other essential functionality all in one piece of equipment.
How to Compare: Decide on single function vs. multifunction
The capacity of your printer is another area you'll want to consider when shopping for an office printing solution. Some printers are only capable of holding a couple of hundred sheets of paper while others can hold thousands. If you print many sheets per day, you’ll also want to consider how many pages per minute (ppm) each printer can produce.
You will have to balance these considerations according to how many employees will use the equipment, the complexity of your administrative workloads, and the amount of office space you can afford to use for equipment. Typically, the larger the capacity, the larger the machine, so you should make sure your office has enough space to support a larger commercial-grade printer if you require it.
How to Compare: Assess paper capacity and output speeds
While single-function printers may be a bit limited when it comes to capabilities, multifunction printers have a variety of functions that you consider when finding a solution that's best for your company.
Most new printers utilize advanced scanning technology and finishing options that make them much easier to use and are adaptable to the needs of individual employees. In modern offices, mobility and convenience have become an essential aspect of maintaining productivity and work efficiency. Newer, more innovative office printers enable employees to print, scan, and fax documents right from there phone to help them manage the workloads whether they're in the office or not.
Additionally, be sure to think about whether you need color capabilities or whether black-and-white only will work for you. Depending on how you intend to use your new printer, color may or may not be necessary.
How to Compare: Define the business-critical functions you need, including black-and-white vs. color and mobile printing capabilities.
When investing in an office printer, it's essential that you weigh the needs of each department individually and decide on a solution that's the best fit for the growing needs of your organization.
In most cases, employees will have varying needs when it comes to the format of their documentation and the ease of customization. Over the years, many new office printers have integrated advanced technology to help a wide range of users maximize the functionality of their investment.
Certain printers have touchscreen interfaces that make it easy to navigate through feature sets, making it easy for employees to design document formats that work best for them. Some networked printers also allow for easy cloud-based access, allowing users to easily store and share their documentation with internal team members directly delivered to their email inboxes.
How to Compare: Identify which features will make your operations more efficient, from touchscreens to advanced workflows to cloud connectivity.
Most of today’s printers and MFPs are fully-fledged networked computers. While this is great for productivity and efficiency, it can occasionally open up network security risks. Security is important not just for the sake of compliance with regulations, but for your customers’ peace of mind. Not to mention, a security breach will definitely slow productivity to a halt as you deal with the consequences.
When choosing a printer for your company, think about whether it includes certain critical security features:
- Restricting access with passwords or PINs
- Using encrypted connections to transmit your printing data to the machine’s hard drive
- Securely printing to a mailbox and releasing documents at the device itself
How to Compare: Identify whether you require specific security features for regulatory compliance or for business security in general
There is no shortage of options when it comes to deciding on the best printer investment for your business. However, if you follow these guidelines when sourcing an office printer, you'll ensure you get the most value out of your investment while maximizing employee productivity.