Older, inefficient printers can be a productivity killer for fast-moving small businesses. Business owners may not even realize that their equipment is creating unnecessary slowdowns in the work, and that new features can streamline their efforts.
A more advanced printer can eliminate time-draining snags and help keep business moving quickly. Look for the following features when shopping for a printer.
1. Wireless Printing
Efficiency in today’s device-driven world is defined as the ability to print from any device, from anywhere in the office. If employees are required to plug in to a printer connection, it can limit how quickly they can print necessary business documents.
Choose a printer that allows for wireless connectivity, giving your team the ability to print from their desks, conference rooms and other office areas. A wireless printer can be connected not only to desktops and laptops, but smartphones and tablets as well. A wireless approach also eliminates extra cords and cables, creating a cleaner and sleeker office look.
2. High-Capacity Capability
Whether you’re creating a large report or developing multiple print materials for a marketing campaign, you want to make sure your high-volume printing job is completed efficiently. Using a printer that overheats easily or slowly churns out pages leads to frustrating slowdowns.
Printers that can handle high-capacity jobs eliminate those problems. Look for a print capacity of upwards of 500 sheets. Also, take into account the ink cartridges — high-yield cartridges or supertank printers contain more ink and toner, allowing you to print more pages at once. When you’re assured that the printing process will be reliable and fast, you can spend more time refining your printed product.
3. Automatic Restocking Feature
It can be frustrating to send documents to the printer only to find out that the ink, toner or paper has already run out. Many printers send notifications when supplies are low, giving you the chance to add needed materials to your reorder list. But one function goes a step further by doing the reordering for you.
Printers that automatically reorder new supplies when they are nearly depleted save you time and effort from having to remember to stock up. Whether it’s paper, toner, ink or other supplies, a printer that puts the order in for you means resources automatically arrive at your office, helping to keep your business running efficiently.
4. Robust All-in-One Functions
Features like scanning, faxing and copying are included in most business printers at this point, but be sure this is the case when you’re shopping for one.
Also, look for extra functionality that makes these features more robust. For example, with scanning, be sure the printer allows you to scan over a network, rather than solely through a USB connection. With a faxing function, make sure you can fax a document directly from your computer. This reduces the need to print out a physical document and ensures you're able to send faxes directly from wherever you are in the office.
5. System Issue Alerts
A printer is bound to run into issues at least a few times in its lifecycle. But if you know immediately when a problem occurs, you can quickly work to resolve it and get your printer back on track. Select a printer that sends you notifications once an issue arises.
Whether it’s a paper jam, an application error or another reason for a printing job denial, a notification emailed straight to your inbox means you won’t be surprised by unexpected snags.
In addition to these efficiency-boosting features, also look for a printer that provides regular usage reports. This function allows you get an in-depth look at which employees are using the printer the most, the costs of printing and a variety of other factors that keep your printing processes and small business running smoothly.