Advice for buying a Photocopier/Office Printer

The days of the ‘office photocopier’ have long past us by with the advent of today’s technology. Long gone is the huge mechanical object that occupied a room of its own, was noisy, unreliable and certainly environmentally unfriendly – if not a downright risk to employee’s health and safety!

Today’s photocopier machines are manufactured with our environment in mind, power consumption and running costs are minimised and emissions controlled. The technically advanced units that sit in our offices and generate the output of our computer systems, fax receipts and handle our document needs are a generation of connectable technology, document imaging, network support systems and much, much more.

Photocopier, Printing and Document Handling

Photocopier and copying, print, document management, data storage, workflow management and retrieval systems - multifunction high technology copiers and printers create a better way of working for your office.

  • Multifunctional Office Printing and Document Handling
  • Production Copy, Photocopier and Printer Systems
  • Archive and Retrieve, Workflow Management Systems
  • Networking and Communication


Choosing the right digital printer and office copier can be a difficult task, requiring a detailed appraisal of the needs and usage of the proposed machine(s). A well informed photocopier supplier will be able to advise you on the most suitable equipment to meet your needs, often following an audit of the usage and requirements of your existing machines. In addition to purchase costs, running costs are a significant consideration when deciding on the right equipment for your office.

When choosing an office photocopier (or network of interlinked office copiers) you will need to consider several points to ensure that you reach the right decision:

  1. Calculate how many prints each month the photocopier will be required to produce – this should not only include photocopies, but also pages generated from IT systems and word processing. A good photocopier supplier will be able to arrange an audit of all your usage by attaching software to the system or by auditing the existing copying equipment.
  2. If your photocopier is to be connected to your IT system and telephone network you will need to install a digital copier. The majority of photocopiers on the market are digital, but it is always worth ensuring they will meet your intended needs. A digital copier will operate more efficiently and quieter than an analogue photocopier and will often produce improved quality images and greater reliability.
  3. Some of the smaller photocopiers have a maximum page size of A4. Ensure that the equipment you choose will handle up to the maximum paper size that you are likely to require.
  4. If you require additional facilities from the photocopier, such as enlargement or reduction, scanning to PC files, duplexing (double sided copies), then ensure the proposed machine will carry out these requirements. It may be worth considering that duplexed copies can considerably reduce the running cost of the machine on a longer term basis.
  5. Consider the time that your photocopier will take to complete the type of jobs you expect it to undertake. Copier speeds are measured in cpm (copies per minute) and can vary greatly from one model to another, so ensure that the copier will operate at an appropriate speed to meet your requirements. Bear in mind that b&w copies will probably be generated at a different speed than colour copies.
  6. If you have a moderate or high volume requirement from the photocopier (for copies or documents produced from your computer), ensure that the machine you chose has sufficient paper capacity to allow for convenient refilling without keep interrupting the output by running out of paper to print on.
  7. Much of the ongoing cost of operating a photocopier comes from the ‘copy cost’ invoiced from the machine’s regular meter readings. In almost all cases the cost of a b&w image is considerably less than a colour image, so consider any options available for eliminating the production of unnecessary colour copies – for example, a b&w email page which carries a ‘hyperlink’ address, will generally reproduce the link in blue or red (as seen on your computer screen), this will change the b&w page to a colour print for accounting copy cost. Some photocopiers can automatically convert this type of anomaly to b&w images and this can make a big difference to the copy costs over the period of the machine’s lifespan.
  8. Servicing, spare parts and consumables will influence the effective operation of your photocopier on a day-to-day basis. Ensure that your chosen supplier has an efficient service and supply system in place to keep your machine running correctly. This is normally charged as an ongoing cost, based on your usage and calculated as a ‘copy cost’ based on the machine’s meter reading for colour and b&w copies. Copy cost is normally negotiated with the supplier at the time that the contract is being drawn up.
  9. A supplier who is an Authorised Distributor for the photocopier manufacturer (or some manufacturers have direct supply) will normally have better trained technical staff and parts supplies and so is generally able to offer a better and efficient service than some other non-specialist suppliers.
  10. Bear in mind that the price quoted for the photocopier itself is only one part of your purchasing decision. The total cost of the copier will be influenced by additional costs for delivery and installation as well as ongoing servicing and consumables (cost per copy) determined by the volume of usage, so add these into your considerations when making a final decision. It may be financially efficient to lease the photocopier, so investigate leasing facilities offered by the supplier.



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