Decisions about printing and imaging may seem less pressing than many other challenges small businesses face, but mistakes in this area can be very costly over time. A device that runs up high operating expenses, hinders workflow, or produces subpar marketing materials can drag your business down.
In most cases, choosing a great printer or other device is only half the battle. The other half is selecting the type of equipment that best suits your organisation’s functional and financial needs. With that in mind, here are three big decisions related to printing and imaging, along with some suggestions for making the right choice for your company.
1. Multifunction vs. Single-Purpose
Multifunction printers: The tighter your constraints—in terms of space, human resources, and budget—the more valuable a multifunction printer can be. The ability to print, scan, copy, and fax from the same device is an easy way to streamline a small office, and the low maintenance cost of a single unit is tough to beat. Even if you don’t use every function every day, you’ll eliminate time-consuming trips to the copy shop to send a fax or scan a document. Consolidating tasks onto a single device will also tend to reduce your energy costs, especially if you choose a model with a setting that boosts energy efficiency, such as the Eco Mode of the Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2875FD.
Single-purpose devices: If your business’s day-to-day needs tilt heavily toward one function—constant scanning, for example, with only the occasional copying job—you might want to choose a machine that’s designed to do one thing extremely well. Also consider the size of your staff, and the demands on their time. When an employee needs to quickly send a one-page fax, for example, she shouldn’t have to wait for a coworker’s big print job to finish. Specialised devices also make sense if you’d rather not spend money or office space on rarely used capabilities. If your business sends only a few faxes a year, for example, you’re better off taking those jobs to your local copy shop.
2. Colour vs. Monochrome
Colour: If your company counts on dynamic and eye-catching marketing materials or client documents, in-house colour printing is probably well worth the higher initial cost and cost per page. Consider your competition: Are you up against larger companies that provide clients with polished, full-colour documents? Keeping operating costs low is one thing; giving a client the impression that you cut corners is another.
Monochrome: If your business prints mostly text, monochrome printers may be a better choice, since they tend to print faster and more clearly than competing colour printers. For example, the Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2875FD prints at 26 pages per minute, with outstanding text quality aided by ReCP (Rendering Engine for Clean Page) technology. And monochrome’s lower cost per page can quickly yield more than enough savings to cover the occasional professionally printed colour document.
3. All-in-One vs. Separate Toner and Drum
All-in-one toner / drum: Whether to split your printer’s toner and drum or treat them as one unit might not sound like a major decision, but it can affect both your maintenance requirements and budget in the long run. If your storage space is limited, or you’d just like to make upkeep as simple as possible, a printer that uses a combination toner cartridge and drum is your most convenient solution.
Separate toner and drum: If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of convenience for an even lower cost per page—and even less waste—consider a printer that uses a separate toner cartridge and drum. Note that not every model forces you to choose one option or the other. The Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2875FD is available in both configurations—separate or all-in-one—so you’re free to choose the option that best suits your business.
These aren’t the only decisions you’ll encounter regarding printing and imaging, of course. But they can point you toward the kind of devices that will best meet the demands of your business. Since those requirements will likely change and grow alongside your company, be sure to regularly revisit these key decisions. Getting your printing and imaging solutions aligned with your current needs can leave your company with more time, energy, and money to tackle the more dramatic challenges it faces every day.