Every business has different priorities when it comes to copiers. The type of machine you purchase will depend on your copy volume and how quickly copies can be produced. Before you buy a machine, make sure evaluate these two important capabilities.
How many copies you make has a big impact on the total cost of your machine and supply charges. A common method of billing is CPC, or cost-per-copy, programs where the cost of each individual copy is computed based on machine use, supply charges, and maintenance costs. With these programs, the more copies you make, the higher the charges. If your copy volume is high, you might want to elect to purchase everything separately- a machine from a vendor, and supplies at a discount from a bulk supplier. Make sure you have a maintenance contract in place, or that your machine is under warranty. Machines that are heavily used tend to break down or malfunction more often.
When you’re shopping for a printer copier, you might also notice that models are referred by “life span” in terms of the number of copies they can make. Different machines have different life spans. If your copy volume is high, you’ll need a machine with a longer use life. Buying a copy machine is similar to buying a used car- you should know if it can handle the use you plan. A refurbished machine with a low number life span can be a great bargain if you know you’ll only be using it a few times a week.
If you already have a machine, you can get an actual number for your monthly copy volume. If not, you can use your outsourced printing numbers, or call a business similar to yours in terms of size and document needs and ask how many copies they make. Either way, you should have an estimate to give to the salesperson so you don’t overpay for a machine that is far beyond what you need.
Businesses with high volume will need a faster machine. Machine speed is measured in “CPM,” or copies-per-minute, or PPM (pages-per-minute). The basic level copiers (fine for most small businesses) print about 15 PPM. Professional printers use machines with up to 100 PPM capacity. Most businesses that photocopy with regularity can get by with a 20 to 25 PPM model. Again, consider how many copies, the types of copies, and if you have the time to space out the printing over weeks or a month.
For example, if you print holiday coupons, you might not need a fast machine that can print them all in the week before Thanksgiving. If you plan your printing needs, you can save money by purchasing a slower machine and printing documents farther in advance.
Make sure you also consider the types of copies you’ll need. Color copies take more time than black and white, and an all in one printer copier that has features like folding, stapling, and cutting will also take more time.