10. Buying your first photocopier or printer

Like with other expensive big-ticket items there are many things to consider when choosing a photocopier or printer for the first time. Firstly, budget should be reviewed, so set aside money that you feel you can dedicate to your print costs. You should then estimate how much printing you think you will be doing, take into account the number of your employees and how much each individual will be printing and the format and specification of their printing. For example, some employees may only need basic black and white print functions, whereas other employees may require colour printing and in higher quantities, admin departments or mailing rooms may wish to print direct onto envelopes or have more advanced finishing requirements, such as staple or hole punch.

Next you should consider the office space available and whether a small machine is necessary, or whether you need a larger machine that can print on different paper sizes, but will still fit in a designated office space. Most importantly you should then determine what it is you actually need from your printer. Consider print, copying, scanning, fax, and connectivity (printing from multiple devices) functions. Additional printer features such as advanced finishing options should also be considered here, such as full bleed or, ‘edge-to-edge’ printing, built-in sorting trays, and duplex printing.

So at a glance, the things to consider are as follows:

  • Colour or mono printing
  • Print speeds
  • Machine size and office space available
  • Simplex (single sided) or duplex printing (printing on both sides of the page)
  • Full bleed or ‘edge-to-edge’ printing
  • Sorting functions that help with filing and organisations
  • Print, copy, scan, fax, connectivit
  • Security options required
  • Environmental features

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10.1 Accreditations to look for when choosing an MPS provider

Accreditations can be regionally and globally recognised certifications that ensure quality standards are met across a whole range of areas. As with any industry, there are several accreditations to look out for when it comes to selecting your print provider.

Types of Accreditations to look for

So what accreditations and certifications show that a print provider is serious about their products and service? Manufacturer awards are recognised by many to be a good place to start. Manufacturer products are in the hands of MPS providers and therefore they will not risk their own brand name being tarnished by a bad service provider.

There are also industry standard accreditations such as ISOs. These certifications show that a company is committed to demonstrating that they have approved systems in place. ISO accreditations do not license a company to trade, but they are important to look for, as they require standardisation and quality assurance to even qualify.

Another area to look for is safety certifications, such as the Certified Safety Assessment Scheme, provided by the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP).
In order to become a member organisations must show that they are committed
to providing a safe workplace environment. Such accreditations are particularly important when it comes to companies that store and deliver machinery and consumables, ensuring correct procedures are followed.

The CompTIA Managed Print Trustmark is a global industry accreditation, that shows a company’s commitment to ensuring customers receive a high quality service, but the award is specific to managed print services. In order to receive this award a company must complete a knowledge-based assessment and show documented evidence of its industry competence.