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How to Shop for a Printer in 2020

Mark Flesch
08/27/2020
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Buying a printer or copier might seem like a simple task. A lot of people might just Google “where to buy a printer near me,” and click the first link. But if you are running a business and need printers for an office environment or to support remote workers, how do you get the best machines and the best service to support them?

Consumer-grade printers are inexpensive and often interchangeable, so many people simply throw out a printer when it malfunctions and buy a new one. But if you need professional-grade printing for a business or office, it takes thought and investment to get the right machine.

I am not going to try to answer questions like, “do I need a laser or ink jet printer?” or “what’s better, an all-in-one or standalone device?” I want to make sure you have the right resources to make the best decision based on your needs and preferences. The good news is that, thanks to evolving business models, buying printers may be easier than ever.

KICKING THE TIRES

First, how can you even choose from all the options out there? We understand that when buying hardware, it is nice to be able to kick the tires, so to speak, and get your hands on the product. But in an era of social distancing, the live, virtual experiences may be just as powerful. 

For example, we have invested in making remote, high-definition virtual product presentations available in case that an in-person meeting is not possible. A video presentation will let you see what might be available and see how it works before you commit to visiting a showroom for an in-person visit. It will save you time and energy and maximize your efforts to find the best machine for your needs.

NEW DELIVERY OPTIONS

According to economists, 42% of Americans now work from home full-time. That can be a great cost-savings for employers, unless your workers need high-quality printing options. The good news is that we can deliver a multi-function device or printer to your employee’s doorstep and help them set it up. And with remote monitoring, firmware and security updates, you don’t have new support headaches.

For office delivery, installation and service, check to see that a vendor’s technicians adhere to the highest safety standards. GFC field technicians and installers will only visit a customer location with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitation products, as recommended by the CDC. That includes:

Face mask

Gloves (latex and nitrile)

Hand sanitizer

Sanitizing wipes or spray bottle with 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water

Paper towels, microfiber or cloth to wipe down equipment

To minimize contact, professional installers should use remote installation and setup, troubleshooting and web-based training whenever possible.

FINANCING YOUR PRINTERS

With fewer people in the office and more and more people working from home, some office printers are not getting the workout they once did. But economic uncertainty and increasing numbers of remote workers does not change the need for office technology. It means businesses need to be smart about how to finance and deploy copiers and printers.

If your organization needs to finance multiple machines or hopes to stay on the cutting edge of printer technology, leasing is convenient and flexible. In addition, most equipment providers offer maintenance plans, which can be included in the lease itself or paid for separately. Companies with limited IT staff often choose leasing for maintenance purposes alone.

Leasing equipment is also an easy way to avoid obsolescence and allows businesses to obtain printers with low upfront costs. It helps preserve credit and when a company leases printers there is no resale or disposal hassle. It also helps ensure purchasing decisions are centralized, so different branches don’t end up with wildly different expenses and levels of technology.

Of course, the expense of purchasing a printer outright can be too much for some small businesses to manage. And when a purchased printer is outdated or no longer functioning properly, it is up to the company that owns it to replace it.

As you can see shopping for a business-grade printer is not a matter of just driving to the nearest retailer. But thanks to new technology, delivery and leasing options, it might be simpler than ever to get exactly the solution you need. If your organization would like to talk to GFC about a remote presentation, home office delivery or new leasing option, contact us today for a free, no-obligation Print Assessment!

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