How to Choose an Office Copier – What Copy Machine is Right For Me?
Is it time to purchase a new office copier? Are you not sure which one to get? Read on to learn how to choose a new office copier.
Remember that scene in the movie Office Space, where Michael Bolton has a physical altercation with the fax machine?
Copiers, fax machines, and printers get a bad rap. But these machines play a vital role in how well your office functions.
The capabilities of today’s copy machines put the copy machines of a decade ago to shame. If Office Space took place today, that would have been a multifunctional product that Michael rumbled with. Not just a fax machine.
If you haven’t upgraded your office copier in a while, you should consider doing so. Here are our best tips on how to choose an office copier that works for you.
Decide How Big You Want to Go
The size of your new office copier matters. It’s the first thing you should decide when you opt for a new machine.
Take a look at your office and determine how much physical space you want your copier to occupy. If your office is small, a smaller machine makes more sense. Make sure that it works well with the space.
If you’ve got a whole room dedicated to the copier, you can get something that’s big and super functional.
The size of the machine makes a difference in what features you can have. So knowing how big you can go is a good place to start.
Poll Your Staff
Take a step back and look at who uses the copy machine the most.
If your job is phone sales and you don’t have much to do with paperwork, then you’re not the right person to ask. Find out who uses the machine the most and ask them first.
Some good questions for useful feedback include:
- What do you like the most about the current copier? The least?
- What features would you like to see in a new copier?
- How many copies do you make every day?
- Do you fax and print from the machine too?
If you’ve got a large organization, send out an email poll. The point is, you need to include your staff in the copier decision.
Decide Who You Want to Buy From
You can get a new copier from a variety of different places. There are pros and cons to each option.
When you buy through a big box office store, you’ll get a salesperson with good knowledge of copier products. But it won’t be on par with a local office supply service.
If you go through a large, multi-purpose online retailer, you will get a better price. But you won’t get the knowledge, experience, or maintenance help like you would from a smaller shop.
Local office supply companies are great because they are super knowledgeable about all the products. But you will likely pay a little more for the service.
You can also buy directly from the manufacturer. With this option, you’ll get the most detailed knowledge of the product. But you won’t get the personal service you might with a smaller company.
Compare the Features
Now that you’ve got some good ideas from your staff. And you know how you want to buy your copier, you can start looking at what copier features matter to you.
Certain brands are better at certain things. You’ll want to do your research on brands to know which ones work best with your needs.
Your research should include internet searches on sites that do copier reviews. And actual customer feedback on knowledge sharing sites. Then you’ll have a better idea of which company does what best.
In almost all situations, you’ll have a sales person who knows what they’re doing. If not, consider getting a different salesperson or switching to a different store.
Inkjet vs laser? Multi-function products vs single function products? Talk to them about all the options available.
Do the Cost/Benefit Analysis
Many copy machines come with service features. If you choose to buy directly from the manufacturer, make sure they offer good support in your area. Same goes with larger box retail stores.
Figure out how much it costs to run the copier — to replace parts and perform maintenance.
Will you need a faster internet service so the copier can function properly? If so, how much is that additional cost every month?
If it’s a multifunction product, are there other machines in the office you can get rid of now?
If your salesperson has you sold on a big, fancy product but it doesn’t make sense for your budget, rethink your purchase.
You want this copier to be right for your company. Which means you might need to say “no” to some of the fancier options.
Buy or Lease
Once you’ve chosen a copier, now you must answer the important question: how will you pay for it?
Both buying and leasing have their pros and cons.
Buying usually means that you’ll have more equity in the machine. You’ll pay less over time with interest savings. And you don’t have to hassle with a lender.
But when you buy a machine, maintenance and service are all on your dollar. And you’ll have to come up with the cash to buy it.
Leasing is a great option if you don’t have a lot of cash now. You can finance your copier on a lease – usually anywhere from 12-36 months. Then you can return the copier for a new one when its over.
This option means you’ll be able to get newer technology more often. But you also sacrifice earning equity in the process.
Financing your machine, through a lease or a loan, might have a tax benefit as well. If you’ve got the cash to buy one outright, be sure to check with your accountant. You might be better off financing it instead.
The Right Office Copier for You
The right copier depends on what you need it to do. The options for today’s multifunctional products are endless.
Copiers can fax, scan, print, email, staple, duplex, and hole-punch. Or any combination of the above.
Do your homework. Check out your options. Find the right vendor.
And get an office copier that will make your employees smile.
We’ve given you some ideas for what you need to look for in your copier search. For more helpful ideas, check out our blog to understand different types of copiers.