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The Business User’s Guide to Photocopiers

Thanks to the major advances in document imaging technology which have taken place throughout the last decade, UK businesses have a plethora of photocopiers and photocopier brands to choose from. Unfortunately the sheer amount and variety of photocopiers which are now available makes it difficult for businesses to even know where to begin finding a suitable office photocopier. With this in mind, we have created the Quote Bean Business User’s Guide to Photocopiers to help business owners like yourselves find a photocopier which fits your requirements and improves your business communication

Introduction to Office Photocopiers

Within the UK there are countless photocopiers available to businesses, some of which are analogue and some of which are digital. Types of photocopier which are always popular include: colour photocopiers, desktop photocopiers, A3 photocopiers with built-in scanners and printers and even all-in-one printer/fax/copier machines. The first step to understanding which photocopiers best meet your business requirements begins with understanding the difference between desktop photocopiers and commercial photocopiers

Desktop Photocopiers

Desktop Photocopiers are smaller than the average commercial photocopier, but thanks to innovative photocopying technology many desktop photocopiers are just as powerful. Desktop photocopiers are often multifunctional machines which incorporate printer, fax and scanner features with the main photocopier function. Desktop photocopiers can be black & white or colour photocopiers and analogue and digital photocopiers. Some photocopier brands such as Brother create desktop photocopiers with A3 capabilities. Desktop photocopiers are cost-effective and space-saving and are ideal for small to medium sized businesses

Commercial Photocopiers

Commercial Photocopiers are large, “classic” floor standing machines which have multiple photocopier features to improve business communication nd productivity. Commercial photocopiers are typically dedicated copy machines and additional features include large-paper capacities, document finishing and manipulation and automatic sorting and feeding. Newly manufactured commercial photocopiers are often digital in format, which reduces the cost of associated consumables and photocopier services; and many can be “networked” into offices and businesses. Commercial photocopiers are significantly higher in cost than desktop versions; in some cases industrial sized photocopiers such as Canon’s print-industry specific models can retail in excess of £50,000. Due to their cumbersome size and functionality, commercial photocopiers are better suited to larger offices and corporations

Defining your requirements

Understanding and defining your photocopying requirements is a crucial step in finding your perfect office photocopier. Analysing your needs enables you to form a shortlist of your ideal photocopiers based on your budget, available space and required photocopier features. Begin defining your requirements by considering the following points:

How much space do you have available for a photocopier?

The first step towards creating your shortlist of suitable photocopiers is to carefully consider the amount of space you have available in which to house a photocopier. If you only have small business premises where space is at a premium, you are more likely to find benefit in creating a shortlist of desktop photocopiers. On the other hand if you have plenty of available space, or even a dedicated photocopying room you may find it more suitable to create a shortlist of freestanding commercial photocopiers

What is the size of your photocopier budget?

Your photocopier budget should not just take into account the lease or purchase cost of the photocopier, but also the costs you are likely to face in photocopier toner and consumables, photocopier service and any potential photocopier repairs. Think carefully about the amount t of funds which you have available and ensure that the photocopiers you short-listing are not only cost-effective in terms of initial lease or purchase, but are also manageable within the financial restrictions of your budget.

What is it that you need your photocopier to do?

Does your business require a photocopier which makes colour as well as black & white copies? Are you likely to need any image manipulation technology? What about the sizes of the copies which your business needs to make, are they likely to be larger or smaller than standard A4? These are all important questions to consider when deciding which photocopiers make your shortlist. If you know that your business only requires a standard A4 black & white or colour photocopier then you can ignore the range of copiers which provide extra functions and concentrate your search in the lower end of the market. On the same basis if you know that your business needs a photocopier which offers a range of functions then you can concentrate your search on the most recent “bells and whistles” photocopiers that have hit the market

How often will you be using your photocopier?

Will your photocopier be for occasional, ad hoc use or will it be a multi-department copier which is constantly in use? Whether you choose to lease or purchase your photocopier, a photocopier is a capital investment and you need to ensure that you are not investing your capital in an item which is not being used to maximum capacity. Purchasing or leasing an expensive digital printing and photocopying machine which will only be used for ad hoc black & white copies is not a prudent use of your vital capital funds

What photocopier features are necessary for your business?

The photocopiers that are available in today’s market are almost all jam-packed with quality, innovative features, some of which are useful to your business and some of which are not. Think carefully about the additional photocopier features that will improve your business communication; if for example your business is likely to be making high volume copies you may find it more productive to shortlist photocopiers which have automatic feeding and sorting features and which can accommodate larger paper supplies. On the other hand if your business will benefit from a photocopier which provides other functions such as scanning or printing, your search should be focused on all-in-one printer/scanner/fax/copier machines

Payment Options

Businesses as well as facing a wide array of photocopiers to choose from also have some flexibility when it comes to paying for a photocopier. Photocopiers in the UK are widely available to lease, rent or buy from bricks & mortar dealerships and photocopier suppliers and even from online photocopier suppliers. There are however some photocopier brands and models which are limited in their availability:

  • Sharp digital and colour copiers can only be leased or purchased through authorised Sharp copier dealers, but older black & white models can be purchased second hand on the open market

  • Ricoh colour copiers and digital printing/copier machines can only be leased or purchased through authorised Ricoh copier dealers

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