There’s a lot to consider when preparing an RFP for an office printing solution. Obviously, you’ll want to cover the basics like printing and copying capabilities and reliability to ensure your team can work productively as well as price. However, the following considerations are also important — and often overlooked.
Network office printing solutions can be purchased outright or financed with either choice affecting the actual cost. Make sure you understand the different pricing options available to you and determine which one you prefer. For example:
Purchase outright — This will cost more upfront, but will likely be less expensive over time. Plus, your company will own the asset.
Lease the printer — Instead of purchasing the printer, you could lease it and pay low monthly payments. This is a great way to get the latest printing technology without a capital expense.
Make sure you understand the solution’s pricing, warranty, service agreement, and terms regardless of which choice you ultimately select.
Cost Per Page
Many companies discover that their network office printers aren’t as much of a bargain as originally anticipated due to consumable costs such as replacement ink or toner cartridges. In addition to toner cartridges, laser printers use drumheads and fusers which may need to be replaced periodically.
With variable consumable costs, we recommend comparing the cost per page of the various network office printing solutions you are considering. These cost differences can make a big difference, especially with high print volumes.
One way to determine this is to find out each ink or toner cartridge’s pricing and average page yields. You’ll get a better idea of how often you will need to replace them and at what cost. High capacity ink cartridges offer significant ink cost savings in the latest generation of business inkjet printers. If you are looking at laser printers, check the drumhead and fuser’s average page counts and replacement costs.
How fast should your network office printer be? This is an important consideration for busy workgroups or organizations that are often under a time crunch. For example, a church producing a weekly bulletin on Saturdays may need a high print speed to ensure the bulletins are ready in time for Sunday’s church service. Consider the following:
Compare PPM Speeds — Print speeds are measured in pages per minute, or PPM.
Laser printers are not necessarily faster than inkjet printers — Epson business inkjet printers are fast! Some Epson business inkjet printers can reach speeds of 75 or even 100 pages per minute.
Find out the “first page out” speed — Laser printers must warm up, resulting in a delay before printing begins. Epson business inkjet printers are heat-free, which means they can begin printing immediate. Thus, a slower PPM rating might actually be faster in practical use because there’s no delay.
You’ll want a printer that is reliable and with good warranty coverage. Some ways to determine reliability include:
Reading printer reviews — What are other customers saying?
Determining the number of replaceable parts — Inkjet printers tend to be much less complex than laser printers with fewer replaceable parts. A higher number of replaceable parts can also indicate that a printer requires more maintenance, have higher related costs, and experience downtime during repairs.
Length of warranty and warranty upgrade options — Manufacturers offering long printer warranty terms generally do so because their products are reliable. Having a longer warranty gives you peace of mind that should something break, it will be covered.
Does the network office printer do everything you need it to do? This includes printing, copying, faxing, and scanning, but there’s more. For example, do you need to print wide format documents? Do you need multiple paper trays for different media types? Do you want your remote workers to be able to print to the office printer? Can it scan to the cloud? What about printing from mobile devices or integration with existing Enterprise applications? Does your office only have 110-volt outlets, making it important to choose a printer that runs on 110 volts?
Finally, you’ll want to consider the printing solution’s environmental impact. Some environmental considerations include:
Energy efficiency — Epson business inkjet printers are Energy Star qualified and use much less energy than their laser-based counterparts as they do not use heat.
Waste — Constantly changing cartridges or replacing drums and fusers generates a lot of waste whereas the next generation of inkjet printers use high capacity ink tanks or large Replaceable Ink Packs — or go completely cartridge free with “super tanks.”
Emissions — Some laser printers emit ultra-fine toner dust.
Let Us Help You with Your Network Office Printer RFP
DuraFast Label Company can help with all of your office printing needs. We understand your concerns about capabilities, pricing, costs, performance, reliability, flexibility, and environmental impacts and can help you find the right network office printing solution for your goals. Contact us now to learn more.