How to Know When It’s Time to Get a New Copier

July 5, 2019

It goes without saying that with any major purchase you want to maximize the return on investment (ROI). Similar to the way people buy a car and try to get every mile they can out of it, office equipment ownership can be seen this way too. If it still works, why would it ever need to be replaced?

Many organizations don’t realize the drawbacks of outdated equipment, and even worse, settle for equipment that constantly malfunctions simply because they know a way to rig it to get it to work. Gluttons for punishment, perhaps?

Most mid-level multifunctional devices will operate fairly well for four to five years. Higher-end, production grade machines can sometimes last even longer depending on how they are built,operated, and cared for. No matter how wonderful you think your office copier is, it will eventually wear out as the years go by.

While it’s ultimately up to you, knowing when it is the right time to replace office equipment can be answered by asking yourself a few questions:

Is the equipment an important part of your everyday business operations?

When was the last time the device’s internal software was updated with firmware?

Do all of the parts of the equipment still work, or are some components inoperable? 

How often is the machine “down” in a given month?

Has the device ever caused you to have to outsource a project because it couldn’t keep up?

Do your teams often have to resort to manual, offline finishing of pages that a newer device might be able to do otherwise?

Do your employees have an affection, or a detestation, for the device? Why?

Does your equipment help, or hinder, office productivity?

Are your actual monthly volumes in line with what the device is rated for?

Everyone who comes in contact with your equipment may have a different perspective as to when is the right time to replace. Your salesperson, touting the latest bells and whistles on a new product line, may seem to want to sell you the latest and the greatest. Your service technician, may have more technical insight, just like a mechanic would with your car, as to how many more miles (or prints) you may actually be able to squeeze out of a machine. Both perspectives should be considered when making your decision.

Duty Cycles Vs. Recommended Volumes

All copiers and printers come with manufacturer recommended ratings for duty cycles and volumes. The important thing to remember is that these number are often misunderstood. A copier may have a duty cycle of 50,000 pages a month, but that doesn’t mean you can print 50,000 pages a month, every month. Duty cycles can be seen more as a maximum number you could expect to run on a machine on occasion, if you absolutely had to. A car may be able to go 140 mph, but you wouldn’t want to drive it at that speed all the time, for that would cause significant wear and tear on the vehicle quickly. The recommended monthly volume is a more realistic number to look at for how much you should be running your machine.   

As Canon U.S.A. executive, Paul Albano, said in a 2009 Buyer’s Zone article, running your copier maximum speeds all the time is like “stepping on the gas pedal of your car down to the floor every day, eight hours a day.”

Preventative Maintenance (PM) Can Make a Difference

How you care for your copier can greatly affect how long it will last. We all know we should change the oil in our lawnmowers, but how many of us actually do it? The same is true for the copier, especially when an organization owns it outright, many prefer to use the wait and see approach to service and just pay for time and materials when the device fails. When was the last time your equipment had a PM service? 

PM services are not only good to ensure that all of the hardware is working, but also to ensure that your copier is operating with the most current version of software. Software updates are released all the time, and in the copier world, are not only important from a security standpoint, but can sometimes fix operational bugs that users have reported. If your copier hasn’t ever been checked for updates, it’s definitely time for a PM service. 

You’ve Got Options

Whether you own your device, or prefer to lease it, there are always options. Just because a copier still works is never a reason to keep it, especially if it slows you down. Why settle? 

If it’s a financial reason, talk to your office equipment partner for some creative options to make a change. Office equipment dealers are swapping out devices all the time. They may even be able to extend special offers from the manufacturers looking to unload inventory for little or no change in what you spend now. Either way, it’s worth a conversation.

There’s no reason to hang on to a copier, especially if it can’t keep up. You might think you’re saving your organization money, but the reality is, your old copier could actually be costing you more than you think in the long run. 

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Beyond copiers and printers, CDS offers a full suite of technology solutions ranging from Managed Print Services, to Managed IT Services, and Project-Based IT Services, providing our customers a Single Source for all their business technology needs.

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