Even with the big push towards digital and the paperless office, physical documents still reign supreme among businesses. That’s because paper documents remain a tried-and-true way for employees to capture, store, and transfer information. So, it’s not a big shock that countless companies still rely on technology invented and perfected decades ago.

The typical office environment is one where copiers and printers play a major role in document creation. While copiers and printers may seem similar to each other at first glance, a deeper look reveals the numerous differences that set both devices apart in terms of function and capability.

Copiers and Printers: Different Devices

From a layperson’s perspective, copiers and printers aren’t so different from one another. It’s not unusual to find similar features on both devices and even the experts may use the terms interchangeably from time to time. However, both devices have significant differences in their fundamental functions:

  • Printers take text and/or pictures from a computer or another networked device and print said information onto paper. For instance, a printer would be used to print out a sales report created in a word processing program.
  • Copiers, on the other hand, refer to a device that prints documents as well as a number of other functions, including copying, scanning, and printing. Copiers are also known as multifunction or all-in-one printers.

Standalone vs. Multifunction – The vast majority of printers are standalone devices that perform one job—print documents. Those prints are more than likely to be in black-and-white unless the device specifically features the ability to make color copies. Multifunction printers, on the other hand, are more flexible in their functions and features. Not only do MFPs print in monochrome and color, but they can also come equipped with scanning and faxing capabilities, not to mention document management and networking options.

Different Sizes – As multifunction printers grew in popularity, those same machines evolved to be more compact. Some models are even small enough to fit on office desks, thereby helping space-starved offices conserve precious real estate for other needs. Meanwhile, some standalone copiers designed for large workgroups are still large devices that take up a considerable amount of space. Fortunately, compact solutions do exist making it possible to find a device that meets your needs and space requirements.

Different Uses – Standalone copiers are geared more towards mass document production, where users expect their devices to churn out hundreds or thousands of copies at a time. If you need a dedicated machine that can churn out copy after copy with impressive speed, a copier is the way to go. Printers are typically better suited for general office use, where users are expected to not only make copies, but also print, scan, and fax documents.

How Copiers Benefit Your Business

Despite various advances in technology and the ongoing push towards the paperless office concept, copiers remain a staple of the office environment. That’s because there are plenty of worthwhile benefits that a modern copier can bring to the table:

  • Improved Productivity – The latest copiers offer a variety of features that not only help increase productivity among users but also grant administrators increased control over the print environment. Users can streamline their job workflows while admins keep better track of print jobs, monitor job queues, and ensure sensitive data remains protected in transit and storage.
  • Space Savings – A high-quality multifunction copier can replace multiple machines around the office and even entire dedicated copy rooms, in many cases. The machines themselves typically boast a slim form factor, with some devices being small enough to sit on a nearby desktop. For small offices where space is at a premium, the space savings offered by a new copier can pay for itself.
  • Lower Costs – Operating costs for print equipment can quickly add up as time goes on. Fortunately, modern copiers are designed with efficiency in mind. Not only do modern copiers use less energy than their predecessors, but they also use fewer consumables (ink, toner, etc.,) for each copy while requiring less maintenance.

Copier Considerations

Standalone or Multifunction? – Standalone copiers have their merits, especially when it comes to speed and simplicity. However, multifunction copiers offer greater flexibility for companies looking to streamline user workflows, save office space, and consolidate equipment that would otherwise be spread throughout multiple departments.

Inkjet or Laser? – For copying black-and-white text documents quickly, nothing beats the speed and overall quality of a laser-based copier. The majority of copiers rely on toner for high-speed photocopies. When it comes to producing high-quality color copies, however, inkjets can get the job done at higher resolutions, making them better suited for reproducing graphics and photographs.

Black-and-White or Color? – Consider the type of documents produced in your office regularly and whether those documents will benefit from a monochrome or color copier. If your office regularly produces text-heavy documents, for example, it would be more cost-effective to choose a black-and-white copier over a more expensive color device.

New or Refurbished? – A brand-new copier costs more upfront, but offers virtually no existing wear and tear, plus you can pick and choose the features and components your office needs. Refurbished models are less expensive and often rebuilt with new components to factory standards, thereby making your purchasing budget more flexible. The majority of refurbished copiers also come with a warranty, giving you greater peace of mind.

Copy Speed and Volume – Speed and volume are two crucial considerations for choosing a new copier. Consider how many documents your office produces daily and how quickly they’ll need those documents. A solid copier choice will satisfy both considerations, usually throughout the life of the machine itself.

Choosing a new copier is no easy feat, especially considering the similarities between them and their printer counterparts. Fortunately, the above guidance makes that choice an easier one to make. Get in touch with Modern Office Methods today and let one of our sales specialists help you choose the right copier for your Ohio office’s needs.