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Just Right: The Right Number of Copiers (and Printers)

Forget porridge - Goldilocks wants to help you find the right digital copier or printer instead.

The point in time when you acquire a new print device is the perfect time to improve your workflow, provided your vendor has the expertise.

A business' copier fleet is very much a Goldilocks situation; too much or too little printing and copying capacity can create significant costs. If you print more than your fleet can handle, you are going to have to replace devices more often. If you have more capacity than you need, you are paying too much to the detriment of other areas of your business.

Before you go out and replace your digital copier, you need to ask yourself a few questions; you need to find the solution that is "just right." Begin by thinking about your needs in terms of your current print output in a typical month.

A few questions for the bear...

  • How many pages are printed in black and white?
  • How many pages are printed in color?
  • Do you use your digital copier to scan documents?
  • What paper sizes do you use; letter size, legal size or something else?
  • Do you anticipate your printing needs to grow? If so, in what areas will your needs grow? Black and white? Color?
  • As a part of the question asked above, is your business planning any new initiatives that will require new equipment or new capabilities?
  • Do you own or lease your current copier(s)?
  • How many devices do you own or lease? Devices include, but are not limited to, copiers, printers, scanners and fax machines.
  • Are any of your devices currently underused where they are located? If so, this could be an opportunity, as you could relocate the device to an area that might need printing capacity and thus eliminate a need for acquiring another printer or copier.

Once you have evaluated and established what your business's printing needs are, the next step is to identify what features you need. Here are just a few potential elements you should consider.

  • Double-sided (copy, print, and/or scanning)
  • Three-hole punch (or another punch pattern)
  • Stapling
  • Multiple paper trays (for unattended printing)
  • Fax
  • Color printing
  • Network scanning
  • Mobile printing

One of the most important questions you can ask is what parts of your process need to be automated.  The point in time when you acquire a new print device is the perfect time to improve your workflow, provided your vendor has the expertise. In many devices, the digital copier and software components can automate many different printing processes. This can be the perfect opportunity to improve productivity and speed while saving on printing costs.

If you lease or have a managed print services contract, you should contact your service partner during your analysis of your needs. They will be happy to help and might be able to provide additional insights so you can find the option that is "just right."

Topics: Multifunction Copier Digital Copiers Productivity Tips and Tools Office Equipment Print Management