Configuration is a fundamental step when investing in an office copier. It’s a way for you to make decisions that make the device truly work for your needs. Whether through adding larger paper trays for less downtime loading paper, applying finishing capabilities for less manual stapling and sorting or adding features like fax capability, by addressing accessories, you will be able to make sure your investment addresses your needs along with the soft costs of saved time for your team members.
Not all accessories are needed at the start of your agreement but may be needed later; adding accessories is easily achievable regardless of the contract type, giving you flexibility throughout your investment.
Here are some copier add-ons that promise to boost your team’s productivity and help you get more use out of your office copier than just copying, printing, and scanning.
When buying a new copier or an MFP, one question that often needs more consideration is whether to add a finisher to automate a series of tasks that a team member would otherwise do. It sounds like a no-brainer to add them on.
The extra $20- $40 monthly cost of a machine that folds, punches holes, and staples paper automatically may not seem worth it, especially for businesses that have always completed these tasks manually but consider how much time it takes to accurately punch holes in eighty pieces of paper, and then multiply those eight pieces of paper by two hundred in time for a board meeting.
Could you and your team of booklet-makers do something more productive with your time? Accounting for the speed of business today, most definitely. Yes, a finisher can staple, fold, and saddle stitch — but what it really does is save you time, frustration, and money.
Here’s a little more about the wide range of functionality that finishers can add to your copier:
– Automatic stapling – Not only is this convenient, but it also can limit the ergonomic hazards when it comes to repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, automatic stapling units insert a flat, flush folded staple in documents that makes for much neater, more uniform sets of stapled documents giving presentations and handouts a more polished, professional look.
– Automatic punch hole –These kits can punch 2 or 3 holes as documents are being produced without slowing down the copy/print speed of the copier. This feature is not only convenient, but it also makes uniform punch holes that align perfectly with three-ring binders.
If you’ve ever struggled with manually punching holes in documents, you know that they often don’t line up when put into binders – finishers are just the solution.
– Multiple output trays to separate print jobs from incoming faxes – If your multifunctional copier has faxing capabilities, it can become challenging to share the same output tray for both your incoming faxes and print jobs. It’s easy for someone coming to pick up their print job from the copier machine to pick up a fax that was received inadvertently. This can mount to a bigger problem when nobody knows that an important fax was ever received.
A finisher provides multiple out-trays so faxes can be routed to one tray and print jobs can be routed to another. This eliminates the potential challenge of having faxes and print jobs intermingled.
– Tri-folding mailings and marketing pieces – Many companies print invoices, newsletters and other materials that need to be tri-folded/3 folded to be inserted into envelopes. Finishers can add a tri-fold unit that will automatically fold up to 3 sheets of paper so they can be printed and placed directly into envelopes. This feature saves time, and the folds are always crisp and aligned uniformly for a more professional appearance.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Optical Character Recognition allows you to convert scanned images and turn them into fully editable text documents and text-searchable PDF documents.
Although the technology behind OCR is slightly complex, its benefits are clear. An essential advantage of optical character recognition technology is that it simplifies the data-entry process by creating effortless text searches and editing when sending to various destinations, including network folders, email, SharePoint, or a USB flash drive. The machine-readable text generated by OCR can easily be read with the help of PDF readers or screen reader applications, making it accessible for people with visual impairments.
Additionally, if your organization is marching towards a paperless environment, OCR can help you reach your goal. Pairing this add-on with a Document Management Software (DMS) is a step in the right direction. By capturing your documents with OCR and indexing, storing and distributing them digitally through your DMS, you can potentially save thousands of dollars annually by eliminating printing, storage, and shredding costs.
Finding that hard to believe? Read the complete case study about how we have seen significant productivity gains and saved $15,000 annually by digitizing and automating just one of our workflows here.
Considering all the positives mentioned above, we have a hard time not recommending OCR to all of our customers.
Smart Card Reader
Security is becoming an increasing concern for most as technology continues to accelerate. Many companies are beginning to secure their buildings using access control systems where only authorized employees can enter the space.
Believe it or not, those same cards can be tied to your copier, and there are several benefits for doing so.
– Lockdown print jobs – When a printing job is sent to a printer, it immediately prints out and remains sitting in the tray until someone picks it up. Because of this, personally identifiable information can circulate around your office and pose a severe information security risk.
– With a smart card reader, users can send a print job to an MFP or copier on their network and can only release the pages by swiping their card on the device. By utilizing this add-on accessory, organizations can ensure that documents are accounted for and gain an audit trail for all printed copies within the workplace.
– Avoid paper waste – Consider the times you’ve accidentally hit print on something only to discover a correction that needed to be made or someone else had mistakenly picked up your document with theirs. What do you do? You hit print again. Imagine how many people also do that within your office, and you realize the significant cost and waste that can add up over time.
With some software options, you can use the card reader to do Follow-Me-Printing. This helps reduce unnecessary printing by requiring users to authenticate at the output device to release their print job, giving that additional opportunity for the user to decide if their documents should be deleted or printed.
Which Copier Accessory is Best for My Business?
At the end of the day, only you can decide which copier accessories are best for your business. Your decision must be based on your company’s financial and efficiency goals. Copiers do so much more than copy, print, scan, and fax. Knowing the additional benefits that various features offer your business can save you money, time, and a world of frustration.
At Office Interiors, we don’t just throw a quote at you – our approach is to assess your printing needs and design a solution that will meet those needs both today and years down the road.
Not ready to pull the trigger on a new accessory just yet? A free print assessment will help determine whether you need an upgrade.