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When should you replace your office printers?

If you’re asking yourself “when should I replace my printer” the following insights should help you to weigh up the pros and cons of hanging on to your older office printers versus installing brand new hardware.

Old printers, like any electronic device, can be more expensive to run than you might realise, and the costs attached to toner, maintenance and power usage can be considerable. Even with proper routine maintenance and care, a printer won’t last forever. 

If your needs have changed, your printer is underperforming or it is costing you a great deal of money to run, it may well be time to start thinking of upgrading to a more modern multifunction printer. A new printer can deliver a remarkable return on investment by helping you reduce running costs, energy bills and more.

Additionally, old printers are often less reliable than newer models – they may not work as well or be as dependable as you’d like them to be. Poor prints (or generally poor print quality), frequent paper jams/frequent printer jams, So if you’re thinking about replacing an existing model with a new one, here are some things to consider:

Current Printing Costs

If you don’t know what your cost per page is, don’t despair. Many organisations are unaware of the costs they are incurring when they print a document. If you do have an older printer, you are probably paying far more than you need to.

Older printers are much more expensive to run than many of the newer models on the market. If your printer is a decade old or more, you may get around 5,000 pages for each cartridge you buy. It’s possible to reduce your cost per page by up to 50% when you buy a new printer.

Current models also tend to have less downtime and therefore boost productivity substantially.

If you don’t currently know your cost per page, it may well be worth doing your research and finding out how much your printing endeavours are costing you. It’s easy to see how a new printer could essentially pay for itself.

Your current printer technology

Perhaps your current printers use inappropriate technology? For example, an inkjet printer might meet the needs of a start-up company, but the costs of running these consumer devices quickly outweigh the benefits of an established business.

Additionally, there are other factors that affect the longevity of your printer such as environmental conditions, humidity levels, temperature fluctuations etc. These all play a part in determining whether your printer technology is suitable and cost-effective for your current requirements.

The Cost Of Replacement Parts And Maintenance

One huge benefit of business-class laser printers and photocopiers is that they are component-based and contain many serviceable and replaceable parts.

However, there comes a time when replacement parts are no longer manufactured and the servicing is no longer economically viable. Typically this is going to be when the printer is out of warranty – you should consider any printer over 5 years in age to be a candidate for replacement.

Is your print speed is too slow

The more sheets you print on your printer, the slower it becomes. Repeated use and worn out parts all contribute to diminishing performance. Several factors contribute to overall print speed, such as: the size and type of your documents, whether you are printing using colour, or in black only (or a combination of the two) and your printer’s quality settings for the print job.

A quick way to measure the speed of your printer is to print some pages in draft mode, which is usually a printers fastest print option. If your devices draft mode is slow, it could well be time to consider trading in your printer.

The age of your printers

You may find it increasingly difficult to source spare parts if your printer is 7+ years old. If you cannot reliably get hold of replacement printer parts, it is going to be very difficult to put things right when repairs are needed.

You may even find it hard to get a service contract for your printer, or service SLAs may be missed due to dwindling suppliers of common spares like drum units, feeder mechanisms and so forth.

Can you consolidate multiple printers into a single device?

Chances are you won’t have to replace every single printer in your office. As current printers are faster, more secure and more orientated to supporting multiple users, you may be able to reduce your printer count considerably without compromising on productivity.

Some larger companies have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds by consolidating their printing infrastructure, there’s no reason that smaller organisations can’t benefit from the same approach.

Versatility

Many people are surprised to see how versatile today’s printers are. Modern printers aren’t merely capable of printing – they can perform all sorts of valuable business tasks.

These include photocopying, faxing, archival, OCR, booklet creation, sorting and scanning. By opting for a multi-functional printer, you can replace several machines with a single more powerful system.

Contemporary printers can also carry out printing duties to a much higher standard than before and are able to cope with simultaneous tasks with ease. It’s likely that your business is handling more PDF files than ever before, so it really is important to work with printers that can deal with such vast data.

By upgrading your printers, you can make your business more efficient and productive, reduce costs and save time. Employees are far more likely to experience workplace satisfaction when working with modern devices that don’t leave them feeling frustrated and can be counted on to get the job done.

Current Printing Costs

If you don’t know what your cost per page is, don’t despair. Many organisations are unaware of the costs they are incurring when they print a document. If you do have an older printer, you are probably paying far more than you need to.

Older printers are much more expensive to run than many of the newer models on the market. If your printer is a decade old or more, you may get around 5,000 pages for each cartridge you buy. It’s possible to reduce your cost per page by up to 50% when you buy a new printer.

Current models also tend to have less downtime and therefore boost productivity substantially.

If you don’t currently know your cost per page, it may well be worth doing your research and finding out how much your printing endeavours are costing you. It’s easy to see how a new printer could essentially pay for itself.

Your current printer technology

Perhaps your current printers use inappropriate technology? For example, an inkjet printer might meet the needs of a start-up company, but the costs of running these consumer devices quickly outweigh the benefits of an established business.

Additionally, there are other factors that affect the longevity of your printer such as environmental conditions, humidity levels, temperature fluctuations etc. These all play a part in determining whether your printer technology is suitable and cost-effective for your current requirements.

The Cost Of Replacement Parts And Maintenance

One huge benefit of business-class laser printers and photocopiers is that they are component-based and comprise of many serviceable and replaceable parts. 

Is your print speed is too slow

The more sheets you print on your printer, the slower it becomes. Repeated use and worn out parts all contribute to diminishing performance. Several factors contribute to overall print speed, such as: the size and type of your documents, whether you are printing using colour, or in black only (or a combination of the two) and your printer’s quality settings for the print job.

A quick way to measure the speed of your printer is to print some pages in draft mode, which is usually a printers fastest print option. If your devices draft mode is slow, it could well be time to consider trading in your printer.

The age of your printers

You may find it increasingly difficult to source spare parts if your printer is 7+ years old. If you cannot reliably get hold of replacement printer parts, it is going to be very difficult to put things right when repairs are needed.

You may even find it hard to get a service contract for your printer, or service SLAs may be missed due to dwindling suppliers of common spares like drum units, feeder mechanisms and so forth. 

Can you consolidate multiple printers into a single device?

Chances are you won’t have to replace every single printer in your office. As current printers are faster, more secure and more orientated to supporting multiple users, you may be able to reduce your printer count considerably without compromising on productivity.

Some larger companies have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds by consolidating their printing infrastructure, there’s no reason that smaller organisations can’t benefit from the same approach.

Versatility

Many people are surprised to see how versatile today’s printers are. Modern printers aren’t merely capable of printing – they can perform all sorts of valuable business tasks.

These include photocopying, faxing, archival, OCR, booklet creation, sorting and scanning. By opting for a multi-functional printer, you can replace several machines with a single more powerful system.

Contemporary printers can also carry out printing duties to a much higher standard than before and are able to cope with simultaneous tasks with ease. It’s likely that your business is handling more PDF files than ever before, so it really is important to work with printers that can deal with such vast data.

By upgrading your printers, you can make your business more efficient and productive, reduce costs and save time. Employees are far more likely to experience workplace satisfaction when working with modern devices that don’t leave them feeling frustrated and can be counted on to get the job done.

Summary

Over time your needs will change, whilst the capabilities of your printer will diminish) or be superseded with superior technology). The typical life span of a printer is 3-5 years. If your printers or copiers are not meeting your needs, or are over 5 years old, they’re prime candidates for replacement.

Replacing an old printer is likely to reduce your toner costs, your electricity usage and your maintenance costs, you should also benefit from improvements in technology, user interface/ease of use and overall capabilities.

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