Printing technology 101: Choosing the right printer for your business.

28 July 2016 | Rabin Ram

Not all printers are created equal. They come in all shapes and sizes ready to print things of all shapes and sizes. This presents a challenge when you have to pick the right printer for your business because all those codes and technical terms weren't really conceived with laypeople in mind.

 

But because we love saving you time, we’ve done all the printing technology research for you and drawn up a simplified guideline to finding the perfect printer for your business’s needs. You’re welcome.

Size matters

The size of your company is probably the most important thing to consider when shopping for printers. Not only does it help you choose what kind of printer to get but it also gives a pretty clear indication of how manyprinters you should get. One desktop printer wouldn’t serve an entire hospital sufficiently and ten multifunction printers wouldn’t be right for a small out-of-home operation, either.

Printing technology has come a long way since the days of monochrome printers and attitudes of “the bigger the better” or “the pricier the better”. Measure your business’s processes and requirements so that the size and quantity of the printing devices you get fits your enterprise – literally and figuratively.

You might also want to consider whether your business will grow, when it might grow and by how much. This is especially important to factor in if you’ll be renting the device and not buying. (But more on that later…)

You are what you repeatedly print

The next step is pinpointing exactly what you need your printer to do for your business. That’s because printers come in a variety of sizes, but also a variety of functions. Wide format printers, for example, are capable of printing rolls of up to 100in (2.5m) in width. This makes them perfect for industries such as architecture and advertising.

The advantage of only getting the functions you need from your printer ensures that you won’t be upsold a fancy device that will just drive up your operational costs unnecessarily, and, conversely, you won’t be saddled with an ineffective machine because it was the cheapest.

The difference between a basic Xerox printer and a Xerox multifunction printer might seem ornamental to the untrained eye, but it can have huge ramifications for your workflow, productivity and revenue. Printing technology is varied for a reason. Therefore, your business operations shouldn’t adapt to suit your printer but rather your printer should come ready to suit your unique business operations.

To protect and serve

Because sometimes business can mean processing documents with sensitive information, innovations in print technology have become necessary in order to protect such information. If you have the sort of business that requires an IT infrastructure that emphasises secure document processing then it is imperative that the printers you use facilitate that.

Some specialised printers are equipped with technology that limits which personnel have access to certain documents with encryption and password authentication. You might also want to get a printer that doesn’t let processed documents remain in the print history where any unauthorised user could easily find them.

Document security becomes even more important in businesses where remote printing happens a lot. Ensure that your wireless network is always guarded by finding a printing solution provider that can guarantee you an impenetrable system. This way your business can stay mobile securely and efficiently.

Innovation through integration

In an ideal world, your entire business’s IT suite would be from one brand so that you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. But it almost never works out that way.

Thankfully, though, it doesn’t have to; not if you include integration in the list of criteria for your company’s print environment. Nowadays, some printers are capable of cross-compatibility with devices that run on different operating systems with very little or no intervention from the user.

This smart technology makes integrating your printer into your existing document management software scheme seamless and stands to significantly improve your enterprise’s productivity and cut down on the number of times you have to consult the IT help desk.

For now or forever?

Surprisingly, not a lot of people are aware that you can choose between renting a printer and buying it. They also aren’t even sure why the option to rent even exists, because the erroneous assumption is that it’s better to own something than to keep renting it. Renting can actually save you money in the long run if you consider that the responsibilities of maintaining and replacing the machine lies with the provider of the printers and not you.

Printing technology evolves faster than the average lifespan of a printer and renting could provide you with option to upgrade whenever you need to. Providers also offer technical support for the duration of the rental period and they restock consumables regularly (in the case of Managed Print Services, for instance).

It’s incredibly vital, then, to be certain which procurement option works the best for your business and more importantly: which option makes your business work best.

If you have a print solution question or would like to have a printing needs analysis done, fill in this form and we will contact you.

Image credit: Comp and save

Connect-Key-Technolog