Introduction To Office Equipment

Did you know that almost every office, school, government building and manufacturing plant across the world uses a copier?

Let me give you a brief history on why these amazing pieces of technology will be around for a very long time, and why you should still invest into one.

History

For thousands of years, man has used technology to record information. This began with our earliest ancestors painting pictures on cave walls and carving messages into stone tablets. As far back as 4000 BC, the Egyptians developed a revolutionary new way of communication. Papyrus was the first piece of written parchment, giving birth to new ideas such as government documentation and receipts of trade.

Around 200 AD, a new form of parchment was developed in China. Paper was lighter, smoother, more durable, and cheaper to produce. Throughout the next 1800 years paper become the standard for communication of the written word used throughout almost every area of human life. Government documents, financial trades, books, poetry, public records, accounting… all of these use paper as a means for recording and storing important information. Paper was abundant and essential to work life.

The very first xerographic photocopier was introduced in 1959 by Xerox. Xerographic photocopiers used photography and electrostatic printing to produce paper copies of a document. In other words, the photocopier literally took a picture of the document in order to reproduce it. Suddenly documents that were faxed or produced manually on a typewriter could be mass-printed and distributed, saving office workers thousands of hours in re-typing.

The very first photocopier was hugely success, rivaled only by the invention of the first computer printer by HP in 1984. Combined with the success of the personal computer and Macintosh computer, office workers could now quickly and professionally type up digital documents and print them out right at their desks.

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, printing flourished. Paper was a simple and easy way to distribute information. Computers created documents, printers and photocopiers produced the physical document, and fax machines could send them across the country.

However, there was a flaw. Businesses now needed four different devices for their office needs: printers, photocopiers, fax machines, and now scanners as well. It was costly to maintain the supplies for each of these machines. On top of this, fax machines and printers used a different toner that did not last as long as a photocopier.

The solution was the release of the first digital photocopier in 2000. These “multifunction copiers” immediately took off as a much more cost efficient and faster way to centralize all of your main office functions, printing, copying, scanning and faxing, into a single high quality device. For the next 15 years the huge success of multifunction copiers paved a new path for print technology as profits were invested back into research and development.

Today the sales and service of multifunction copiers is still a multi-billion dollar global industry. Even as more companies begin to digitize their business processes with technologies such as Cloud Storage and Apps, paper is still used in almost every office around the world. Hospitals use it, governments require it, and schools love it. As the price of technology continues to come down, multifunction copiers are the most cost-effective and efficient devices for producing and storing information on paper.

Why choose multifunction copiers?

Today’s multifunction copiers offer three main benefits to your typical office: Financial, Functional and Environmental. We will start with the financial benefits.

Financial Benefits

Your typical office worker uses four main functions when working with paper: print, copy, scan and fax. Having one machine for each of these singular functions requires separate purchasing and maintenance. This becomes especially costly as multiple machines are required for separate departments or companies with multiple offices.

On top of the maintenance and purchasing costs, small single function printers that many employees have on their desks are extremely expensive to maintain when you examine the cost of an ink cartridge and its lifespan. Multifunction copiers offer a centralized print/copy/scan/fax station with longer-lasting toner. This reduces your purchasing costs to a single device and dramatically decreases your servicing costs.

Next are the functional benefits.

Functional Benefits

Multifunction copiers continue to evolve as digital technologies emerge.  Today’s devices give you amazingly robust features such as:

  • Scanning directly to the cloud
  • Printing directly from Google Drive
  • Scanning to email
  • USB connectivity
  • Converting paper documents to Word Excel or Powerpoint
  • Manage company print costs through employee tracking, restricting colour printing or limiting paper usage
  • Secure printing of confidential documents
  • Picture editing and graphic production
  • Streamlined workflows for special paper processes such as invoicing or sales orders
  • Converting incoming faxes as PDF’s

These functional benefits help speed up efficiencies in an office, which increases employee productivity and reduces labour costs.

Finally, multifunction copiers offer environmental benefits.

Environmental Benefits

In an effort to be more environmentally sustainable, organizations are seeker “greener” options in order to reduce their paper and energy usages. Multifunction copiers are energy-efficient. When sitting idle, they use less than 1 watt of power. Having a consolidated printing solution significantly reduces energy costs compared to using multiple printers in an office.

Multifunction copiers also use special print management tools in order to reduce the amount of paper being produced. These tools include:

  • Employee Tracking
  • Automatic double-sided printing
  • Secure Release function to confirm the settings of your print job one last time before printing
  • Converting faxes to PDF’s to eliminate printouts

Not only does this reduce the amount of paper being generated in an office, but simultaneously reduces an organization’s total print costs.

Conclusion

Today’s multifunction copiers are powerful — they are a gateway between paper and digital communication. Information is still being produced on paper. More importantly, the use of scanners allows us to take information from paper.

Until paper is completely eliminated, multifunction copiers are the most efficient machines around for printing, scanning and faxing documents.

What are your needs?

Ontario Copier are experts on understanding our customer’s printing, scanning and faxing needs. We would love to help you achieve the best financial, functional and environmental benefits that exist.

Your Next Steps