Choosing a Printer for Your Business

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Looking for a new printer for the office? Here are the important concerns you’ll want to address when deciding what to buy.

•Do you need a single-function printer or a multifunction printer (MFP)?
-Most businesses will opt for the MFP. They combine many tasks – faxing, copying, scanning, and printing – into one machine. It occupies less space and integrates well with the rest of your office’s equipment.
– The advantage of using a single-function machine: it’s optimized for certain tasks. Certain businesses, like photo and graphic arts studios, will require a high-end photo printer, and probably a specialized scanner too.

•How important is color?
-Most businesses will need color, but it’s worth raising the question. If you only print documents and letters, maybe you don’t need it after all. But for most companies the question becomes what kind of color printer to purchase. Does your business print small batches of advertising/marketing materials? If so, you could save money by doing it yourself.

•How much do you print?
-Most printers come with a “maximum monthly duty cycle.” But be careful: this indicates the maximum you can print without damaging the printer. It’s standard to choose a printer with at least three times the number of pages you print per month.
-Other concerns: more people in the office means you’ll need a stacker or sorter to keep print jobs separate from each other. “Finisher” features include stapling and hole punching, so keep those in mind too.

•How much does it cost?
-Calculate the “cost of ownership” before you do anything else. To do this, obtain the cost-per-page from the vendor. Multiply the cost-per-page by the approximate pages you print per year, then multiply that number by the number of years you expect to own the printer. Finally, add that sum to the initial cost of the printer.

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