A common mistake many businesses make is not recognising when the photocopier or printer they use is slowing the business down, wasting valuable staff time and costing them dearly, either because it needs repairing on a regular basis or is offline more than online or you can’t print from your computer and it has been trying since yesterday afternoon.
Office technology has changed at a fast rate over the last 10 years and the rate of progress doesn’t look to be slowing down from the relentless snowstorm of options resulting in more efficient ways to organise and streamline processes.
However, making sure the people in a business have the tools to achieve the results they are responsible for and are available to them is essential. Here are one or two tips to help from our experience.
Research – Start with what you know.
How often a business reviews office technology varies from one business to another, but we would recommend if you have not reviewed the photocopier or printer for 2 years it is probably worth spending a little bit of time asking users for feedback. Upgrading without having user feedback can be costly having gained little if anything to increase productivity or save money. It could also on the other hand result in finding available functionality from the current equipment not being used. User feedback is vital.
Research Alternative Equipment
The number of options in the market can be mind boggling. If you have not included user feedback at this stage, we wish you the best of luck. If you have done the user feedback stage, great. You should now have a clear picture of who uses what office technology, for what purposes and what functionality the business needs, already has, and what the technology gaps are. You now have the quality of information that will allow you to narrow the options down significantly, which ultimately will result in a much better informed decision.
Introducing a new photocopier or printer to office staff and letting them train themselves very often does not go down well. It is best to introduce new technology at a time of year when they are not at their busiest. This gives users time to get up to speed and familiarise themselves with finding their way round a menu structure for example or new scanning method, rather than the alternative, which is they hit the road already in the fast lane, and in our experience often means a negative first impression.
Final Word – Always Read Everything
When the right time comes to update your photocopier or printer make sure you have read and understood everything that will impact on the business. We have covered functionality already but have not covered costs. It is vital you understand how the costs work. If you are purchasing a printer and maintaining it within the business, understand which consumables will need to be replenished periodically and what these costs are and if you need parts or an onsite engineer for repairs what to expect. And don’t forget staff time to make it all happen. For example, we only use original manufacturer toners which cost more than if we used compatible toners, why you might ask? Because we know there is more risk of shortening the useful life of equipment by using compatibles, put simply.
If on the other hand you are updating your photocopier or printer and looking at the option of a service support provider to look after the supply of consumables, maintaining equipment and staff support, be sure you have a copy of the Service Support Agreement including all the terms and condition and also the same for the lease agreement if you are thinking of leasing. Finally, if there is anything you do not understand make sure to ask for clarification.