Tuesday, September 4, 2007

10 Ways to Avoid Printer Headaches

Even though technology is frequently changing, one thing remains constant - corporate offices will continue to print documents at a dizzying pace. Printing errors, poor print quality, and tired out-of-date equipment are the three main culprits of wasted money and time for an office. In todays workplace, dependable equipment is essential. Time is too valuable to have unreliable printers and long wait times for repair. Most business professionals agree that the efficiency of your office depends on the reliability of your printers.

Here are 10 ways to avoid those printer headaches:

Be Proactive - Dont wait for your printer to go down. Have routine cleanings performed and any worn parts replaced now before your printers experience critical errors that result in user down-time.

Select A Reliable Service Provider Your providers technicians should be fully trained and certified to work on your brand of printers. They should recognize how important your printing needs are and respond immediately to any printer issues you have. Your provider should also be able to give you detailed reports (or the tools to produce these reports) which will show your printer inventory as well as historical data on the services performed on each.

Service Programs You dont have the time to monitor your printers. Find a service provider that will automatically take care of the routine maintenance for you. Most providers will offer a variety of service programs to choose from. Select a program that will best suit your companys needs. Keep in mind that a good service program will include preventative maintenance in addition to same or next day emergency repairs. Having the right service program and provider could save you thousands of dollars a year.

Do Away With Multiple Machines With a multifunctional printer, you can fax, scan, print and copy all from one machine. By having an all-in-one printer, you can eliminate the need to have so many different machines and increase productivity.

Upgrade Your Equipment By upgrading your old tired printers, you can save money by having a lower cost per page as well as increasing your output speed. Many companies still use old outdated printers that can easily and inexpensively be upgraded to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of your office.

Refurbished Printers Consider a recertified printer for your office. Quality refurbished printers are often as reliable as new printers and allow you to upgrade while continuing to use the drivers already installed on your network as well as using the toners you already stock in your supply closet. A recertified printer from the right company will be completely refurbished inside and out and will perform flawlessly for years to come.

Having The Right Printer Before you purchase a new printer, think about what you need your printer to do and what your budget is. Knowing what size paper and what applications will be used will help your printer expert recommend the perfect printer for your needs. It is also suggested that you look at the cost of supplies along with their page yields to get an idea of how much it will cost you to use the printer.

Proper Training Your office staff should be educated on how to properly use the equipment. Knowing what printers they can use for a particular size paper, label or envelope can prevent costly service calls. Teaching all users how to correctly install the printer supplies will also reduce the need for emergency maintenance.

Proof Before Printing Printing a copy of your document to your monochrome printer to proof will not only save money on supplies and mileage on your valuable color printer, it will also save you from throwing away the more expensive paper if there is an issue with the print job.

Keep A Stock Of Supplies The #1 reason that a printer is unusable is because it has simply run out of toner. To avoid the cost of having a toner shipped to you overnight or wasting valuable time calling around hoping to find the cartridge at a local store, it is highly recommended that an adequate stock of toner is kept for each printer. Depending on how much a particular printer is used, it would be wise to have at least one cartridge on the shelf at all times. By keeping stock of toner you will also have a back up should you find that you have a defective toner. Unfortunately, no matter what brand toner you use or how much you paid for it, defective cartridges are inevitable.

Vicky Lee is the Marketing Coordinator for Manageflex Imaging Services (MIS) in Portsmouth, NH. MIS specializes in printers, supplies, service and support nationwide.