The below is a short guide which runs you through the key things to consider when evaluating your business machine purchases.
What factors should you consider when evaluating your business machine purchases?
Required function of the machine
Assessing the actual tasks that you will require the machine to do is the first place to start. Printers these days can be stacked with features, but if they are not what you actually need then there is little point in paying for them. Multi functional printers (MFP) can handle printing, photocopying, document scanning and in some cases fax. These machines can deliver the operation of 4 different machines can be delivered through a single device. If copying or scanning multiple documents look for an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF).
Probably not something always considered when purchasing new devices, is the noise it creates when in operation. However, if you are
working close to a machine that’s whirling all day, the sound that it generates is going to be an important factor. New technologies are
improving the sound pressure levels.
It is important to consider how frequently the machine will be used and output it will need to handle. Consider how many users the machine will serve. If your device is connected to multiple users then the speed of print or duplication is of the essence to reduce unproductive hanging around the photocopier moments.
Key features to look out for are ‘page per minute’ print speed, size of the paper tray, number of pages that can be printed from a toner
cartridge, and the memory size.
Having considered the number of users the device will connect to, the next step is to consider how you will connect all these users to
that device. There are 3 connection options: Wired printers are easy to install with USB cable connection, are capable of handling heavy data transfers and can be shared over a network for multiple user access. Wireless printers connect via Wi-Fi, which is great for printing whilst convening in a meeting room. On the downside it does require your Wi-Fi strength to be strong and data transfers of large files could be slow. Network printers are wired printers that connect via an Ethernet directly into a router and are ideal for larger organisations where the number of users per device is high. These are normally the preserve of the IT Team!
Cost in use
An attractive purchase price for a business machine may often not deliver the best long term value for the life. In order to determine the best long term value, it’s important to assess the ‘cost in use’. An indication on the ink will enable you to assess how frequently you will need to change these consumables. It’s also important to consider the paper that you’ll be printing on.
Important to the cost in use question is, the ongoing maintenance and reliability of your device. Taking time to review manufacturer and product performance could help you make the right choice for your business. Look out for endorsements or testing
results that the manufacturers or independent bodies publish as these can be useful in getting a rounded view of a products performance.