The type of printer(s) your business requires will depend on your businesses’ size, needs and budget. Most people know they must decide between color and monochrome, stand-alone or multifunction, and that the more options the printer has the more expensive it is, but DON’T overlook these 10 important features that save your business time and money in the long run.
The first feature to consider is duty cycle. The duty cycle is the maximum amount of printed pages the printer can produce in a month’s time. This is especially important if your company prints a lot, so make sure you buy one that is designed to meet your workload requirements.
The second feature is ppm, or page per minute, which is used to measure printer speed. Time is money, so ask yourself if you print in bulk or if you print only a few things at a time and how long you’re willing to wait. If you’re printing in bulk, then you need to buy a printer that starts up and prints quickly. A laser printer will best suit your needs since inkjet printers have a much lower ppm. Laser printers also cost less over time when you have a moderate to heavy workload since you don’t have to replace the toner as often as inkjet ink cartridges.
The next feature to consider is resolution / print quality. Resolution is determined by the dots per inch (DPI). Usually, the higher the DPI, the sharper the image. Decide what level of quality you need, which depends upon what types of documents you print, and buy accordingly.
Another important feature that you should consider is networking / connectivity. If you and the rest of your company want to work off of one network so you can all print to one printer, then you need an Ethernet network. While most printers have a Parallel, USB, or high-speed USB 2.0 port to connect to one computer, not all printers are network compatible. If networking is important, make sure the printer you want has this option. Many printer manufacturers offer printer servers as an additional option.
Businesses should also look at printers that have plenty of memory. If several people are printing on the same network and are printing to one printer, finding a printer that has a lot of memory is key to running your business smoothly since it will ensure your documents won’t get lost in printer “space” while waiting to print.
Duplex printing is another handy feature for businesses. Duplexing is the ability to print on both sides of the page. One-page faxes with a cover sheet only take one sheet of paper instead of two, and that’s just one way to save tons of paper.
The seventh feature to consider is the paper tray capacity & size. If you print in bulk you need something that can hold at least 500 sheets of paper so you are not constantly re-filling. Additionally, you should think about what size paper you use. If you often print different sizes you can use another tray to hold a different sized paper, such as legal, so you don’t have to switch paper in a single tray every time you need to print something different.
You also want to consider the paper type options. Do you want to print more than just documents such as business cards or other marketing collateral? Then make sure your printer supports card stock or the appropriate paper your business requires.
While price isn’t the best measure of selecting a printer, it’s still important. Look into how often you have to replace the toner and drum to get a feel for its total cost of ownership. Make sure you get the best price once you determine speed, quality, and options you need.
You may also want to consider buying an extended warranty for peace of mind. Most printers come with a one-year limited warranty, but if you use it quite a bit and it’s critical to business, then you may want to add-on an additional 12 to 24 months…It will save you money in the long run.
Currently, the most popular printers for businesses are multifunction printers, specifically color laser multifunction printers. Not only do they print fast, print in color, networking comes standard, and they can multi task, but they are also easier to manage since you only have to buy consumables for one machine; saving you time and money. There is a lot to consider when purchasing a printer for your office. Just think about what it is that you need it to do and the shopping will be easy.