The printer can be the hub of many modern offices. Despite the move towards digitization, many businesses still rely on printed materials in a number of ways, from handouts in meetings to advertising flyers and invoices for those clients that still prefer paper. Multifunction printers can provide a wider variety of functions than your standard printer, but how do you find the right one? Keep reading to get a few tips to help you buy a printer in Fairbanks, AK, that fits your office’s needs.
Write Out Your Office’s Needs
Before you can find a printer that fits your needs, you must fully understand your needs. This might sound like an overly simple question. After all, you need a printer to print, right? If you’re looking for a multifunction machine, you probably want it to copy and scan too. But there’s actually a lot more than a multifunction device can do, so it’s worth listing out what you want out of your printer so you can sort out the add-on features and functions that would most benefit your office. A few examples could include the following:
Automatic document feeder
Duplex printing and copying
Increased paper tray capacity
Individual user logins
Increased data security
Printing via WiFi connection
If you’re not sure where to start, think about your current printer and the areas where it’s falling short. Is it slow to warm up and print jobs? Are you tired of having to copy one page at a time when copying multipage documents? Listing these shortcomings can help give you an idea of what your office truly needs your next printer to do.
Think about Modernization
When listing out your office’s needs, don’t forget to think about your wants as well. Modern office printers are quite different from machines of the past, and they can come with a lot more modern features too. Do a bit of research and learn more about recent upgrades in technology for printers, copiers, and scanners. One example is optical character recognition, which allows your scanner to recognize individual letters on scanned documents; this means that your scans will be searchable PDFs instead of a simple image in your computer, and can save your employees a great deal of time when they’re searching for information contained in those docs.
Of course, there are many other technology upgrades to look into, some of which we listed above. Whether those items are a need or a want for your office is your decision, but they still feature that you should give some serious consideration to.
Choose between Inkjet and Laser
For any printer, you’ll have to choose between laser and inkjet printing options. The right option for your office will depend mostly on the type of printing that you’ll be doing. For most offices, a laser printer is the best choice because they excel at producing crisp, clear, text-based documents very quickly, and text-based documents are the most common type of printing done in the office.
However, other companies might need to be able to produce professional-grade color prints more often than others. If your business falls into this category, an inkjet printer is probably the better choice for you. Inkjets run a bit slower, but their color prints have a much richer appearance than those produced by laser printers.
Compare Brands and Prices
Once you know what your office needs are and you’ve decided between inkjets and laser printers, it’s time to start narrowing down your options by comparing different brands and prices. Several companies produce high-quality printers of both types. These manufacturers include well-known names like Canon, Toshiba, Sharp, and HP. Look for printer models from each brand that offer your desired features, and compare their price points.
Of course, the price tag isn’t the only thing you’ll need to look at. Factors like print speed and security settings can vary even on very similar models. So, if one model is cheaper than the others, compare the specifications of that model and see if it’s coming up short somewhere instead of rushing headlong into a purchase that might be too good to be true.
Consider Service and Support
This is less about the printer you purchase and more about where you purchase it from. Buying a printer from a reputable company means that you will likely have the option of adding a service and support package for your machine. It’s important to remember that multifunction office printers are very different from the desktop printers you might use at home. They’re very complex machines and require an expert hand for repairs and maintenance. Adding one of these service packages to whatever printer you choose can help to lengthen its lifespan so that you don’t have to replace it in just a couple of years.
Consult with an Expert
Office printers can cost your business thousands of dollars, and that’s a purchase that you should not make lightly or hastily. Take the time to consult with an expert who is intimately familiar with the different makes and models of office printers. At Arctic Office Products, we have an expansive showroom available for you to explore and a team of experts on hand to answer any questions you may have. We can even consult with you on your exact needs to ensure we find the right printer for your office.
If you’re having trouble finding the right multifunction office printer, contact Arctic Office Products or stop by our showroom today. We carry a variety of printers, including both inkjets and laser printers, from all of the top printer manufacturers in the country. We’ll help you find the best office printer copier in Fairbanks, AK, for your business’s unique needs.