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Copiers and printers can vary when it comes to price. For some, purchasing a $150 home printer may be the best option, but for others in a mid-to-high print volume industry, a higher end printer or copier may be the way to go. With an outright purchase, a black and white copier is typically between $3,000 – $4,000, while a standard color copier starts at $6,000. In this article, we will walk through the factors to consider when purchasing a copier. What is necessary? What is “nice to have”? What can you go without? While there is no exact science for the pricing of the perfect copier for your needs, this will give your team a great idea on where to start. Let’s dig in.
The number of copies that your company prints per month will determine a few things when purchasing a new copier. If you have a low volume output or it’s for individual use rather than office wide, you will be able to utilize a low volume, slower speed, and less expensive piece of equipment. If you will be using the machine for multiple users or consolidating smaller pieces of equipment, you will want to consider a higher speed multi-function copier, which will avoid print overage charges or excessive wear and tear on the equipment. Either way, it’s very important to get a precise monthly volume count to ensure that any service agreement that you enter into is accurate and that you are only paying for the volume that you’re using.
One of the primary financial considerations when purchasing a new printer is whether frequent service will be needed. In your office, will printer downtime significantly impact business? Or can you go days (or potentially weeks) without a printer? Managed Print Service (MPS) is a great way to ensure that your machine is always up-to-date, secure, and quickly serviced. Some of the primary benefits of MPS include:
Standard paper sizes for printers consist of US Letter (8.5 x 11) and Legal (8.5 x 14). While larger scale paper is typically used by Construction, Engineering, and Architectural offices, many other industries may also have a need for printing on 11 x 17 or larger sizes. When evaluating the need for 11 x 17 and beyond, keep an eye on what documents truly need to be printed on a large scale and which can be printed using the “fit to size” feature on US Letter or Legal. The removal of inessential features could provide a significant cost savings for the team. If you typically print on oversized or non-traditional paper stock, make certain to address this with your sales representative because each copier has its own individual capabilities.
Does paper quality make a difference in operating a business? The simple answer is probably yes. Poor quality paper is more susceptible to humidity, which can adversely affect your copier. It also contains a higher amount of paper dust, which will cause paper jams, a reduction in image quality, and machine parts to wear out at a faster rate. In addition, there is a correct way to load the paper into your machine. Since all paper is cut from a roll, it will already have a slight bend to it, so the paper manufacturer marks the packaging to load the paper into the tray the correct way. Following this simple procedure which will reduce issues with paper jams. Ensuring the copier of choice can handle high quality paper is typically worth the minimal added cost of the machine.
Black and White printers and copiers take significantly less toner due to the simplicity of the single black cartridge. The economic advantages are clear with an average cost of a black and white page being $0.08.
Color (CMYK) printing typically requires four separate cartridges: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. A color copy of the same quality as the above black and white page has an average cost of $0.10 to $0.15 per page, potentially doubling your spend. Keep in mind, when purchasing toner there are higher end, mid-range, and lower end options that can affect the cost per page slightly.
Although black and white printers may be the affordably priced option, many companies require color printing regularly for charts, graphs, proposals, marketing materials, and more. If this is the case for your company as well, continue reading below to see if the quantity of output justifies the increased cost.
Tight deadline and the printer is taking forever? We have all been there. When it comes to speed, faster is almost always better, but is it necessary for your business operation? How fast is “fast enough”? Copier costs increase as speed increases, which is measured in pages per minute (ppm). These ppm measurements are split into 6 Segments:
For the average business office, Segments 2 to 4 are more than sufficient for day-to-day printing needs on standard letter and legal size paper. For large-scale offices, Segment 5 may be something to consider, but Segment 4 may still be able to handle the needs of the business. Segment 6 printers are reserved for commercial printing operations with a healthy copier budget. Keep in mind increased paper size can decrease ppm speed.
Printer finishing options can be as simple as stapling and hole punching large volume projects or as intricate as laminating, die-cutting, embossing, or even foiling projects. Some features come standard with certain copiers, but in other cases, specific features involve a different add-on, such as a finisher, which will most definitely be an additional expense. While the majority of businesses do not need intricate add-ons, many frequently utilize features such as stapling or hole punching on a large volume scale. If this sounds like your business, you will want to make sure that these features are included with your next machine. However, if you are thinking these would just be nice features to have, you definitely want to discuss your options and weigh the expense versus the benefits before making your decision.
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