Many businesses nowadays rely heavily on document digitization and digital storage for managing those documents. With so much data now stored, shared, and signed in digital format, it may seem like printers are obsolete in the business world, but that’s far from the truth. Business printers in Anchorage, AK, are still important for small businesses. Keep reading to find out why.
Versatility in Communication
Being able to communicate effectively with your team and your customers is important, and it’s equally important that you’re able to communicate with each person in the manner that’s most effective for them. For example, some of your customers may still prefer to sign and retain physical copies of invoices, contracts, and other documents that you share with them. It’s difficult for your business to meet this need if you don’t have a printer to create those physical copies for them to use, or to digitize any physical paperwork they send to you so that you can store it in your digital document management system.
Additionally, many of your employees receive and retain information more efficiently in different forms. When holding meetings or trainings with your team members, it’s a good idea to offer them the meeting materials in whatever format they prefer. You can email digital copies of documents to those who prefer to view materials on a screen, and provide printed handouts for those who prefer a physical copy—but only if you have the equipment necessary for creating those copies.
Having a printer in your office ensures that you have the necessary versatility when communicating with employees and customers alike so that you can share important information in a way that best meets each person’s needs.
Digitization of Existing Documents
Despite the major trend toward digitization, there’s a good chance that your business already has some physical documents on file. These might be from those customers we mentioned earlier, who still prefer physical documents, or they may simply be holdovers from before you decided to go digital. Either way, those documents are going to remain in physical format if you don’t have a multifunction printer to help you digitize them.
Effectively digitizing physical documents requires a scanner—specifically, one that can scan multiple pages into a single file. If you have a machine that can only scan one page at a time, you’ll spend a great deal of your time reconciling all those individual pages and combining them into a single PDF on your computer. This is extremely time-consuming and makes it more likely that pages will end up out of order or that pages of important files will be missing or placed into the wrong file.
If you want those files to also be searchable, rather than just image-based digital copies of the documents, you’ll also need a feature called optical character recognition, or OCR. This software is capable of recognizing the individual letters on scanned documents so that, if you’re searching for a specific piece of information, you can simply use the “Find” function on your computer, instead of having to read through every page of the file yourself to find the information you’re looking for.
When selecting a printer for your small business, make sure that it has all of the functionalities you need to use it effectively in your office space.
Creating Flyers and Handouts
While creating physical marketing materials like flyers and handouts isn’t necessarily something you’ll do every day in your office, you’re likely to need to do it sooner or later. Perhaps you want to put up a flyer in the break room reminding employees of an upcoming office party. Maybe your business is attending a convention, and you need flyers to pass out to anyone who comes to your booth. Rather than having to go to a professional print shop and pay an increased price to print out the materials you need, you can create them in your own office.
Keep in mind that if marketing materials like these are going to be your primary form of printing in your office, you may want to opt for an inkjet printer instead of a laser printer. Laser printers excel at creating crisp, clean text documents in black and white; however, inkjet printers are best at creating beautiful, professional-looking images that will really help your flyers, brochures, and other image-heavy documents stand out and make a big impact.
Finding the Right Printer for Your Office
Now that you understand why it’s important for modern offices to still have a printer, despite the trend towards digitization, it’s time to start asking yourself how you ensure you find the right one for your office. We’ve already mentioned a few factors that you’ll need to consider in the sections above, such as choosing between inkjet and laser printers, and looking at features like multipage scanners. However, these are not the only factors you’ll need to consider. Ultimately, it’s best that you thoroughly consider all of the ways that you’re likely to use a printer in your office space, and use this list to determine which functions you need the machine to perform.
With this information in hand, you’ll be able to narrow down your options to a few models that will meet your needs and perform all of the tasks that you need them to. Then, you should consider other features that are more “perks” than necessities, such as individual login codes and scan-to-email functionality. Finally, you can compare the upfront cost and long-term cost of ownership to find the printer that’s right for your office.
If you’re looking for a business printer for a business in Anchorage, AK, Arctic Office Products can help you to find the right machine to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services, or visit our location to see some of our multifunction printer models for yourself. Our associates can discuss your needs with you in greater detail, and help match those needs to a printer that will provide those essential functions for your office. Call or stop by today!