Core and Advanced Photocopier Features: What Do You Really Need?

We don’t need to tell you that when it comes time to invest in a decent Photocopier, you need to be making a smart decision. As with everything in life, decisions are made much easier when they’re based on knowledge and that’s what you’ll get here. Knowledge of the core features first, because those are what we consider essentials for any thriving office environment.

The advanced Photocopier features are when things take a turn because that’s the part where the MFP is tailored to suit the needs of your business. Not the commissions of a sales rep.  Jazz things up as much as you like, it still doesn’t mean you need them.

One of the largest downfalls when buying a Photocopier is paying for features that make no difference to your bottom line. The bottom line is all that matters, well asides from an easy to use user interface, because if your staff can’t use it, it’s worthless.

Here’s some core features that every smart Photocopier should have. Even the very basics matter so let’s start there.

  • A paper size guide

 

Photocopiers for businesses will print to a multitude of paper sizes to cope with various administration duties. Even the most basic of commercial Photocopiers should have a size guide under the lid.

  • The tray (or trays)

 

When looking at the specs of Photocopiers, don’t mistake the trays for paper cassettes. The trays are there for collecting the printed documents and they need to be strong enough to support the weight of the paper they’ll be handling. This is where the design matters because if the trays are just hanging over the edge with little to support them other than hinges, the weight of the paper is more likely to damage them. You’ll find the majority of Photocopiers designed for busy offices use top loading paper trays.

You can see this design in the video for the Taskalfa 2551ci Photocopier on our Youtube Channel here where the Photocopier uses reverse document processing.

  • Paper cassettes

 

The cassettes are where the paper is stored. It’s best to have one suited to the amount of prints your office will be producing. If you have a high print output, the paper cassette should be able to store enough paper to cope with the load. Otherwise, your staff will become frustrated with the amount of times they need to restock the paper. High capacity is very useful and will save operational downtime.

  • Control panel

 

Most of the newer MFP models use touch screens now but older models have control panels on them doing the same thing, just with less functionality. Modern Photocopiers intended for commercial use enhance productivity by having access to software directly from the touch screen panel. This is where the choice of paper is selected, whether to print in colour or not, or if duplex printing is required or to send a PDF copy to a document storage portal you have in the cloud.

All the settings for the print output is done on the control panel. The most efficient are the LCD touch panels as those directly access the software platform powering the Photocopier.

  • Toner

 

Every office needs to be using toner for print. Otherwise, the costs will be through the roof. There’s no two ways about it. For colour Photocopiers, there’s four colours of toner you need to change periodically. Black will need changing the most, but the others; yellow, magenta, and cyan will need replacing too.

When you’re investing in a colour Photocopier, the toner yield matters so look in the brochure or ask a sales rep about the toner yield for any model you’re considering. The higher the toner yield, the less you need to replace them, which equates to less cost for consumables. Toner yield can be anything from 8’000 to 12’000 pages.  Higher is better!

Advanced Photocopier features to streamline document management

The above are the core functions you can expect from any decent Photocopier, but there are further options that could cut your administration cost and time down even further. Whether you need them or not, you or your admin manager will be able to determine that. Here’s a list of some of the most beneficial advanced Photocopier features that could assist your office.

  • Document management

 

All of the major brand name MFPs will have a variety of software to do just about anything you can imagine to help with document management. Take Ricoh for example. Their product page shows they have cloud solutions for document management, document capture and distribution, print output management software, and device management software to help manage a fleet of printers from the one networked computer.

There are many software options to add more functionality to Photocopiers, but whether they’ll be any good for your office or not, only you, your tech people, or staff can decide that.

Due to the complex nature of document management software, we’d advise youcontact us for advice on software solutions.

  • Document collation

 

If you don’t know what this is, formaxprinting.com has a super easy to see diagram of this in action. Essentially, if you need to print documents in a specific sequence, you need this feature. Otherwise, the documents will be printed individually and the users will need to sort the pages into the sequence, which will be near impossible if the pages aren’t numbered.

Printing multiples of any document with more than one page is best done with a Photocopier with a collating function. It’s just easier for users and will shave time by eliminating the collating of documents because it’ll be automated and anything a business can automate -usually reduces operational costs.

  • Stapling, hole punch, or binding

 

This is best used, and usually only available on Photocopiers with a collating function because unless you’re printing more than one document, there’s nothing more to staple together. For this reason, if you are considering a MFP with a collating function, you’ll want to consider the finish. Staple the pages together, bind them, or use a hole punch so they can be stored in a ring binder.

  • Glossy printing

 

Anything colour will always look best in a glossy print. This is handy for sales brochures and marketing materials, but not for everyday printing as you need glossy paper to print to, and those sheets are too expensive for everyday use. If you’re considering a Photocopier with glossy printing, you’ll want a bypass tray to store your more expensive paper. Furthermore, you may want to lock that feature for pertinent use only.

  • Secure print

 

There are business solutions to secure Photocopiers from unauthorised printing, helping to reduce the cost. With the ease of printing over networks, employees will always have the temptation to just print anything out whenever it suits, including personal documents.

With commercial Photocopiers having the advantage of multiple users per machine, it’s best to restrict access to certain more expensive print options, and only allow black copies only across the organisation. This way, access to colour copy, glossy print or anything likely to increase your cost, you can restrict user access, or set pin permissions only. That could require your staff to request permission from IT to print to glossy paper, or to your company letterheads. Whatever you want to control, pin access lets you do that.

 

The Photocopier is only the hardware. The best functionality comes from the drivers and software installed on the Photocopiers. Get expert advice on only the best print solutions tailored to your business needs – contact our team here, or call us on 020 8901 4700.