In the grand scheme of business decisions, the purchase of a new printer or copier for the office might feel insignificant. However, it is an often expensive buy with long-term ramifications—both positive and negative—that could follow you and your team members for years to come.
The average lifespan of a business-level device lasts about seven years. If chosen correctly, your business can look forward to nearly a decade of enjoying a well-suited, reliable machine. Or, if chosen poorly, get ready for years of constant breakdowns, headaches, and frustrations.
So, how do you ensure that your future holds more of the former and less of the latter? It all comes down to asking the right questions and finding the answers before committing to your next printer or copier.
1. Will it meet your office’s print needs?
Every business is different, and so are their copy and print needs. There’s simply no “one-size-fits-all” device for any company, no matter the industry. That’s why it’s so important to fully understand your organization’s specific print demands before committing to a new machine.
First, we highly recommend that your team conduct a thorough analysis of your company’s current print environment. This process will highlight your current needs, wishes, pain points, etc.
Some critical items worth analyzing include:
- The number of pages your company prints per month
- The number of employees currently using each device
- How much you pay on print costs per year
- The ratio of printers to copiers to multi-function devices
- How often do you print in color vs. mono
- Your current printer security measures
It is possible to conduct a print analysis in-house. However, the easiest way to analyze your print environment is to partner with a print management provider. These experts will conduct an assessment that both records your office’s current printer and copier situation. Then, they will offer recommendations on how to make it more efficient—and more affordable—than ever.
2. How secure is the new device?
Just like your PC or laptop, office printers and copiers are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, which could devastate your company. In fact, some say printers are more vulnerable since people often underestimate how easy it is for hackers to gain access to your network through them.
Therefore, you must choose a printer that’s on the cutting-edge of secure technology. Though many manufacturers offer built-in security measures, none currently do it better than HP. Out-of-the-box, all Enterprise-level HP printers arrive with four software solutions such as HP SureStart and Whitelisting.
Still, whether you go with HP or another brand, ask for an in-depth look into how your new printer will protect your company’s precious data, and if you should consider additional protections as well.
3. Which extra functions do I consider?
The decisions aren’t over once you’ve narrowed down the best printer or copier for the office. There’s still the process of choosing which accessories, add-ons, and other optional functions could benefit your business.
The most popular of these options include:
- Duplexing, or double-sided printing
- Wifi capabilities
- Paper drawers
- Fax cards
- Hole punching
- Password or keycard access
Each option will likely mean a higher price tag. However, once you consider factors like saved time, added convenience, or extra security, those costs can quickly pay off.
4. Should I buy or lease a new device?
You have two options when it comes time to bring a new device into the office—purchase it upfront or lease it out. Both will have their pros and cons.
The most significant difference comes down to how you’ll pay for the printer or copier. If you choose to purchase the machine upfront, you’ll pay for it all at once. For expensive machines or smaller companies, this could be a massive expense.
With a lease, you’ll pay for the device monthly for the duration of a predetermined contract. Once the contract is up, you’ll often have the option to buy it out or refresh it with a new machine. However, a small amount of interest is included in that monthly payment. So, over the long-term, you will end up paying more to lease a printer for your office.
This is just one difference between leasing and buying a printer or copier. For more information, check out this recent article.
4. What is the MPS pricing structure?
If your company decides to work with a managed print service (MPS), clarify precisely how their pricing and invoicing works before signing any contract.
Since pricing models between vendors can differ significantly, it’s essential to ask the provider for in-depth information about how everything breaks down.
Some great questions to ask include:
- Do you use a cost-per-page (CPP) system? If so, how does it work?
- Will my monthly rate include unlimited services, repairs, etc.?
- Which managed print services are considered add-ons?
- Can my contract be adjusted in the future?
- How many service calls are covered each month?
Armed with ample information, you’ll avoid getting stuck with any surprise fees once the invoice arrives on your desk.
These questions are just a jumping-off point when it comes to finding your ideal office printer or copier. After all, it is a big decision, and any excellent managed print service should be happy to answer them all. Nothing should be more important to a managed print service than client satisfaction.
Have more questions? Looking for answers? Feel ready to find the right printer or copier for your business? We’d love to partner with you! Contact imageOne to set up a 15-minute, complimentary Discovery Call, and we’ll find you the right device at the right price.