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A quick guide on what to look for when buying a photocopier

Copy Speed & Volume
This is expressed as the number of pages per minute (ppm) that the machine will produce. Usually, the larger the machine, the larger the number of copies it will generate. For a small workgroup of approximately 10 users the machine should be capable of a print/copy speed of between 25-45 ppm.
There are basically five volume categories to suit all types of usage. The category needed is determined by the number of copies required over a certain period. The categories are as follows: small/home office for limited use, low, mid, high volume and professional print.
Network Capability
For optimum functionality of a printer or photocopier the device needs to be networked. Networking enables a workgroup to utilize the machine to its fullest capacity offering as a minimum printing, scanning and fax server facilities.
Scanning Features
By networking a digital device it is possible to take advantage of the scanning facility found in most printers and photocopiers. It is possible to scan a document directly to a desktop, email or a business package.
Additional Features & Benefits
The latest devices offer the customer the facility to add various digital functions over and above the features offered by the standard machine.
When purchasing photocopiers it is necessary to ensure that the manufacturer has a solid reputation not only for quality of build, but also for the quality of their after sales performance and ongoing long term support for their product. A manufacturer’s reputation can be checked in various ways including the BERTL review and Which reports.
Purchasing Options
There is another option to the outright purchase of machines. To retain capital within a company, lease hire could be the best solution. The main benefits can be summarised as follows: start-up costs will be lower and the assets are available for immediate use; flexible repayments match payments to cash flow; there is a choice of flexible or variable rates depending on business needs and there are tax advantages in being able to pay VAT on rental cost and not on the value of the asset.
Post Sales Support Options
When a machine fails, for whatever reason, it is necessary to have a support structure in place to ensure that it is up and running again in the shortest possible time. There are various options to cover service and maintenance. The most common is the Full Service & Maintenance Agreement (FSMA) which covers all machine parts, labour and call-out costs. The FSMA is charged either by a cost per print or by a fixed rate over an agreed period.
Most manufacturers ensure that their machines are compatible with all available operating systems and software applications. It may be necessary to check with the supplier that the machine will operate with the intended system.
When purchasing a machine and comparing quality with value it is necessary to consider all of the functions available on the photocopier. Each feature added to a standard machine has a cost and it is important to consider whether the additional benefit is worth the extra cost.
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