How to create a HIPAA Compliant Office: Printers & Copiers

HIPAA Compliance

Unfortunately, one of the biggest shortcomings we see when working with healthcare organizations is a lack of attention to the role that printing technology plays in HIPAA compliance. In fact, office printing technology is often the weakest link in an organization’s HIPAA compliance efforts. Here are three ways you can improve the security of your print fleet and move closer to HIPAA compliance.

Note: This post is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

Secure physical access

Where your devices are located should be your first consideration. Ideally, your devices should be in a location where they are only accessible to team members who are authorized to see protected information. Creating different spheres of access for HIPAA-regulated information will prevent inadvertent exposure to non-approved team members.

Hard Drive Destruction/Removal

Most multifunctional printers, copiers and fax machines have hard drives that store images of the documents you print, scan or fax. Unfortunately, this can often create security vulnerabilities. When your device is returned to a leasing company, disposed of, or sold, there is a risk that someone could the images on that hard drive. There are two steps you can take to prevent this. First, use encryption to secure access these images. Second, when you finish using your device or the hard drive within it, make sure to wipe the hard drive and/or destroy it.

If you are leasing your device, ask your office technology provider what their policy is for hard drive security. Usually, vendors working with healthcare organizations have a special selection of printers that meet HIPAA security standards and a policy about destroying used hard drives.

Secure print release

Secure print release offers another form of security, especially if restricting physical access to shared devices is impossible. With secure print release, you can set up your printers to only print documents when someone enters their individual access code or swipes a security badge/fob.

Is your office technology the weakest link in your HIPAA compliance? We are ready to help! Our team of healthcare document management experts will audit your current processes and develop a custom solution to maximize the security of your documents. Get in touch by filling out our contact form or calling us at 612-861-4000.

How to Choose the Best Printer Repair Service

best printer repair service in MN

How to Choose the Best Printer Repair Service

You have finally had enough; the printer repair service you’ve been using is slow, gives you poor customer service and doesn’t value your business anymore. You’re ready to move on and get the service you deserve. Congratulations on taking this first step! Whether you are here in the Midwest or somewhere beyond our service area, we are committed to helping you find the best printer repair service.

Choosing a new printer repair service can be daunting, especially if you have been burned by poor service in the past. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of criteria you can use to find the best printer repair service near you.

Service Response Time Guarantee

It almost seems like a no-brainer, but we are always surprised by how many of our new customers come from a printer repair service that doesn’t offer a service response time guarantee. Ask potential vendors about their service response time and what happens if they fail to live up to any promise. If they don’t have a service guarantee or aren’t willing to back up their talk, you are better off looking elsewhere. At Metro Sales, we commit to a three-hour service response time guarantee during business hours for our Twin Cities locations. The best printer repair services will always commit to four hours or less.

Technician Experience and Training

Next, you should inquire about the printer repair service technicians on staff. Ask for statistics about technician training and experience. The more experienced the staff, the quicker they will likely be in diagnosing and fixing any problems you may have. Additionally, look at what network environments, device types or software packages they are certified for. Too often, we get customers who come from a printer repair service that did not have a technician certified in their network environment or trained on their specific device. Having an experienced technician one call away is a great way to ensure your office is always running at peak efficiency.

How will you place a service call?

Another aspect to consider is how you will be required to place your service calls. Ideally, you will want to find a vendor with some flexibility in how you can place service calls. While most companies allow you to place service calls over the phone, many still haven’t caught up to the internet era. Working with one of these companies means you won’t be able to place a service call via the internet or over email. Look for a company with a dedicated internet user portal for service calls. This simplifies the process by saving important device information and allowing you to place a service call at any time.


You should also look at where the printer repair service has its nearest branch office. While companies will often claim that they cover entire states or regions, the reality is that they usually only have one location in a major metropolitan area. If you choose a company that exaggerates its service area and you live somewhere outstate, you could end up waiting a long time for service. Try to find a vendor with a branch near your location. Or, if you have more than one location, look at where the company’s printer repair service locations are in your state. Even if they cover your current area needs, consider your long-term expansion goals and whether this printer repair service can realistically provide service to any new expansion locations.

Parts Inventory

“I’ll have to order that part since we don’t currently have it in stock.” Unfortunately, you have probably heard those dreaded words a few times already. Suddenly, how long your printer is out of service depends on the shipping time of a part sitting in a warehouse halfway across the country. We get it; nothing is more frustrating than a service call which ends with you being told that you will have to make time for another service call.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Many vendors have taken the proactive step of stocking parts in-house and constantly updating their inventory to ensure the needed parts are always in stock. For example, we carry over $4 million worth of parts in our local Minnesota warehouse. This means that the right part to fix your device is almost always on-hand. When looking for the best printer repair service, ask potential vendors about their warehouse inventory and parts on-hand.

Google Reviews

A company’s Google reviews can be a wealth of information. While service awards are always impressive, Google reviews provide unbiased insight into how current customers perceive the company. From these reviews, you will learn about how well the company lives up to their service guarantee, their level of professionalism and the expertise of their service staff. In addition, look at how the company engages with their online reviews. If you see a company that is responding to reviews and taking steps to address negative customer feedback, then treat this as a positive sign that they will take your business seriously. Here is a good example of how a printer repair service can actively engage with customer reviews.

However, if the company ignores negative reviews, or even worse, doesn’t have any, then you should be skeptical about some of their claims. While printer repair services will usually provide customer testimonials upon request, these customers are usually handpicked by the company to provide you with the most favorable impression.

Looking for the best printer repair service in the Minnesota and Wisconsin? Fill out our contact form and learn how our award-winning service staff can help you get more out of your office equipment. Alternatively, call (612) 861-4000 to talk to a local service expert right now!

Benefits of a Wide Format Printer

benefits of wide format printer

The State of Wide Format Printing

Almost every business today has at least one printer capable of producing standard sized documents. But today’s documents come in all shapes or sizes. From construction plans to school banners, modern workplace document needs often transcend traditional print sizes.

Historically, this has meant sending these specialized wide format projects to a print shop and paying them a premium. While this may make sense for smaller organizations, many businesses can benefit by investing in their own wide format printer. And with the continued decrease in wide format costs, it is now more affordable than ever to do so!

Do I need a wide format printer?

In deciding whether to you need a wide format printer, you should consider your current wide format projects. For example, how often do you send specialty projects such as banners, blueprints, large photographs, or marketing posters to an outside print shop? If you are doing so more than a couple times a year, then you will likely benefit by bringing that production in-house with a wide format device.

What industry are you in?

The second aspect you will want to examine are the needs of your industry. While most businesses can benefit from a wide format device, there are four main industries that will see the greatest return on their investment.


Those in construction or architecture use large format printers to create large format documents like blueprints or construction models. These large format documents make it easier to communicate plans internally and with potential clients.


If you are in education, a wide format device is the perfect way to print banners for special events or activities. A wide format printer makes it easy to show support for your local team or communicate your next big school event.


In advertising, a wide format printer gives you the ability to print mock-ups of advertisements. Having a draft ready will add clarity to your presentations and sales pitches.


A wide format printer can give you a way to share your work with others if you are a photographer or artist.

Where to buy a wide format printer?

Want to learn more about our expansive selection of wide format printers? Check out our wide format print catalog or contact one of our office technology experts.

Still on the fence? If you are printing wide format documents, but are not ready to invest in your own wide format device, consider partnering with our commercial printing services center. We will take care of your projects for you at a competitive price.

Metro Sales Caps Off Customer Service Week with Announcement of Industry Service Award

2018 RFG Circle of Excellence Certifies Dealership

Metro Sales is excited to end Customer Service Week with the announcement that we have once again been honored with the prestigious 2018 RFG Circle of Excellence Certified Dealership award! To qualify, each Metro Sales location was thoroughly evaluated for proficiency in wide range of categories, including customer satisfaction and technician skills. Due to our outstanding scores, Ricoh recognized us as one of the “best of the best” for the fourth straight year.

“This award is a formal recognition of our superior service, dedication and technical performance,” said Jerry Mathwig, founder and president of Metro Sales. “We’ve always been committed to the idea that customer service should be more than just a slogan; Ricoh’s recognition affirms our continued dedication to that belief.

Great work Service Department!

About Metro Sales

Since we first opened our doors in 1969, Metro Sales has provided Midwest organizations with superior office technology solutions and service. From our humble beginnings as a toner and paper company, Metro Sales has grown into the largest independent Ricoh copier dealer in the United States. Today, our nine locations provide customized office technology solutions to businesses across Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Visit our products page to browse some of the innovative imaging solutions we can provide.

For press inquiries please contact Josh Numainville at or 612-861-4000.

Metro Sales is the Largest Independent Ricoh Copier Dealer in U.S.

Largest Independent Ricoh Copier Dealer

Largest Independent Ricoh Copier Dealer

Since opening our doors in 1969, we have prided ourselves on providing our customers with superior office imaging solutions. This commitment led us to become the first independent Minnesota Ricoh copier dealer in 1981, thereby forming a lasting partnership with one of the best equipment manufacturers. Nearly 36 years later, Metro Sales is pleased to announce that we have been recognized as the largest independent Ricoh copier dealer in the United States. Out of the over 400 dealers in the Ricoh Family Group, Metro Sales had the highest sales revenue and as a result, earned Ricoh’s coveted 2016 National Award of Excellence. This award speaks to the outstanding job our sales and support teams have done in providing our customers with exemplary office technology and unparalleled service. You can read the full letter here.

About Metro Sales

We’ve been selling the advanced technology solutions for nearly fifty years, making us one of the oldest and most trusted copier dealers in Minnesota. Our sustained success is a result of the emphasis we place on stellar service and support. From our humble beginnings as a small paper and toner sales company, Metro Sales has grown to become the largest independent Ricoh copier dealer in the state of Minnesota. All the while, we’ve remained true to our origins as a locally owned and operated family business. Today, we remain family-owned and are headquartered locally in Minneapolis, MN. Whether you have a single machine or large enterprise of networked fleet of systems, you can count on Metro Sales to deliver superior imaging solutions with award-winning local support.

If you would like to learn more about our products and services, please don’t hesitate to contact us via web form or by phone at 612-861-4000.

What are toner pirates?

toner pirates

What are toner pirates?

While the name sounds silly, toner pirates are a serious problem. Toner pirates are scam artists who cheat companies by posing as toner vendors. They use high-pressure sales tactics to convince unsuspecting companies to pay them for supplies they don’t need or didn’t order.

This also often involves pretending to be an authorized service dealer or simply dropping off toner and then demanding payment. Organizations that pay toner pirates usually either do not receive any toner or pay exorbitant prices for supplies they don’t need.

How to identify toner pirates

While toner schemes are constantly evolving, there are some common tells you can look for.

  1. The caller uses high-pressure sales tactics to force you into an immediate decision.
  2. The person on the phone says that this is a special offer that expires today.
  3. They insist on in-person or cash payments.
  4. When you ask what organization the caller is with, they provide a company name similar to your service provider or that of a government agency.
  5. They pretend that you’ve done business in the past, even if you don’t know them.
  6. The person on the phone refuses to give you any business references.
  7. The seller isn’t able to provide an exact address or office location.

How to avoid becoming a victim

Now that you know how to identify them, how can you avoid becoming their victim? Here are a few tips that will help.

  • Designate one person to be in charge of all supply orders and standardize your ordering process.
  • Train your staff on how to respond to telemarketers and where to direct all purchasing decisions.
  • Know who your point of contact is at your service company. If this isn’t the person calling, it’s probably a scam. To be sure, call your vendor contact and ask.
  • Have a conversation with your dealer about the details of your agreement. Toner is often included in your maintenance agreement and thus there is no need to buy from an outside source.
  • Clarify how your current supply vendor will contact you. Metro Sales, for example, will never call and “sell” you toner. Instead, we’ll call asking if you need any more toner delivered.
  • Ask for specifics like company name, address, phone number, account number or maintenance agreement number.
  • Never give out equipment models and numbers over the phone. This will reduce future risk.
  • If you receive supplies or bills for things you didn’t order, don’t pay.

Do you have additional questions or are you worried that you’ve already fallen prey to a toner scheme? Call our customer service hotline at 612-861-4000.

4 Powerful Solutions to Common Small Business Problems

common small business problems

Running a Small Business Office Isn’t Easy!

When you’re small business, there’s little room for error; every lost second has the potential to negatively impact your bottom line. It’s a lot of pressure and printing issues definitely don’t make things any easier.

As a small local business ourselves, we appreciate the unique challenges that these organizations face. In fact, we’ve used our experience to develop an approach to office technology specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller organizations.

After forty years of selling copiers, printers and managed print services, we noticed that many of our small business customers were experiencing some common issues. It’s this realization that prompted us to compile the following list of four common small business obstacles and their innovative office technology solutions.

Problem: Overwhelmed by Paper Files

If you’re in a small office, then you know that storage space is at a premium. Thus, as your business expands, and you accumulate more files/documents, you’ll quickly realize how restrictive cabinets full of records can become.

Furthermore, what happens if you lose an important client file or record? In an instant your stress level could skyrocket through the roof. Whether it’s a lack of space for new files, the cost of filing cabinets or the difficulties of working collaboratively, we can all agree that paper filing systems are a mess.

The Solution: Document Scanning

There is, however, a solution to your filing cabinet woes. A document scanning service makes your life easier by converting your old paper files into responsive digital documents through OCR technology. By using metadata to make these newly editable electronic files easy to search, this quickly turns into a competitive advantage.

But what happens if you need to continue to create new paper documents? Won’t your files just pile up again? Well, there’s a solution to this problem as well!

Many local document scanning companies also offer day-forward scanning. Basically, this is a long-term partnership between you and your document scanning service provider. Together you’ll specify periods of time after which the scanning partner will digitize your newly created physical records. Thus, you can keep creating your physical document and just add them to your electronic archive as you go. To learn more, visit our document scanning page.

Problem: Prying Eyes

Using a networked office printer can be a real hassle if you work in an organization that requires you print confidential or sensitive information. In healthcare and government, for example, keeping information secure isn’t merely optional, it’s usually the law.

Furthermore, company HR specialists worry about printing employee information to shared network devices. So what do you do if you want to secure your sensitive print jobs?

The Solution: Secure Print Solutions

These concerns can be mitigated through a variety of secure printing options. For example, software solutions, such as Streamline, can be outfitted to include keycard or pin authorization.

Your office technology dealer can also augment your print fleet with a number of small local office printers. Strategically placing these devices near employees with secure printing needs is an easy way to keep that important information safe.

Problem: Equipment Downtime

Eliminating equipment downtime is of tremendous importance for small businesses. Often these organizations rely on one copier/printer and if it goes down, they lose all of their print capabilities.

Unfortunately, some of the larger equipment service companies don’t understand the dire consequences of this occurrence. As a result, they take their time servicing this equipment or don’t perform adequate preventative maintenance. This results in small business customers finding themselves stuck without their devices at the most inopportune moments.

The Solution: Single-line Service Provider

The good news, however, is that you can avoid this problem by carefully choosing your service company. The key is to really emphasize quality equipment service when choosing to lease a new copier or printer.

Your first point of comparison should be the guaranteed response time. The industry standard service call response time is four hours, but companies with excellent service keep that time down to three business hours.

Also take the time to research what sort of preventative service your company provides. Many companies will service your machine when it breaks, but fail to perform any preventative maintenance. While this solves the immediate problem, it does doesn’t prevent future problems from occurring.

When comparing service departments, ask about the company’s commitment to preventative maintenance. At Metro Sales, for example, our technicians clean our customer’s machines and perform a thorough device audit with every major service call. We call this our Total Call Guarantee. If the company selling you a copier maintenance contract is worth their salt, they’ll have something similar.

Problem: Printing Costs are too High

This issue is especially problematic because most companies don’t even realize that they’re spending too much on printing. Whether it’s unnecessary project outsourcing, the wrong fleet size or just wasteful practices, there’s probably something eating away at your bottom line.

The Solution: Free Cost Analysis

So how do you discover where you’re losing money? After all, you’re already strapped for time and monitoring who’s printing what takes more time away from your core business.

The solution is a free office assessment from an experienced technology expert. These comprehensive evaluations look at your entire print strategy from top to bottom. The expert will monitor your current device usage, workflows and current outsourcing costs.

With this data in hand, they’ll be able to develop a customized proposal to meet your printing needs and minimize excess expenses. Often this includes upgrading your devices, adding additional machines or reducing your need to outsource to commercial printers.

You can even install managed print software to track your long-term costs and device usage, making budgeting your future expenses even easier.

Are you a small business looking to increase your office productivity and profitability? We’d love to hear from you! Contact our team and let us know about your unique printing needs. You can reach our technology consultants at 612-861-4000 or by filling out our information form. We look forward to hearing from you!

Two huge benefits of printing in-house

benefits of printing in-house

Are you worried you’re spending more than you need to on printing? Tired of the logistical headaches associated with outsourcing your print jobs? Do you feel like you lack control over the finished product? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time to consider bringing printing in-house with an office device.

Yes, but…

At this point you’re likely thinking “Being able to print my projects off in-office would be amazing, but I won’t receive nearly the same quality and it’ll cost me way more!” While this may be true for larger print jobs, in most cases, a production printer or even MFP can deliver comparable quality for less.

We’ll explore the cost benefits of moving away from outsourcing in-depth in a later article, but the savings associated with increased control shouldn’t be overlooked. Read on to learn more about two benefits of printing in-house — control and flexibility.

Out of control outsourcing

A major reason companies often choose to fill their printing needs through in-house office equipment is control. When you send jobs off to a printer, you’re forced to order a pre-set number of prints. While this method is great for large projects that rely on lower per-unit cost, it can easily backfire.

For example, companies that send print jobs to outside vendors usually end up ordering significantly more copies than they need. This, of course, is due to the fact that they don’t want to risk running out of whatever it is that they’ve printed.

Unfortunately, these excess copies usually end up getting tossed. Not only does this waste money, but it also increases your environmental footprint. As more companies realize the benefits of going green, most are beginning to see this as truly a no-win situation.

How flexible is an outsourced print strategy?

Now let’s take the above issue a step further. Imagine you’ve just ordered five hundred copies of a marketing flier from a commercial printing company. After using only three hundred of these fliers, however, something changes and the information on the leaflet is no longer relevant.

You’re now left with two options; either you continue to use the outdated flier or you can cut your losses and throw them away. In either case your business loses — customers either receive obsolete information or you’re flushing money down the drain.

Encountering this problem once is bad enough, but organizations that rely on outside printing often experience this over and over again. To make matters worse, this problem is completely avoidable.

What is print on demand?

When you possess an office printer, you’re empowered by something called print on demand (POD). Essentially, this means that you have the ability to print what you want, whenever you want. Instead of ordering five hundred fliers, you’re now free to print off your documents as you need them. In doing so, you minimize the risk of unneeded extras or dated information.

Print-on-demand allows you to avoid trashing excess or outdated copies by giving you complete control of your printing environment. Find a typo on a brochure? Change it. Need to update the details of a promotion? Not a problem. When you print in your office, you ultimately save money just by having more control and flexibility.

While these factors are beneficial to any organization, they’re especially valued by retailers and marketing firms. These organizations are constantly printing off promotional materials, so being able to make changes on demand is a must. However, flexibility is a competitive advantage regardless of industry. Thus, most organizations stand to gain by bringing their production in-house.

Take control of your costs

Are you ready to get control over your printing costs and enhance your office’s flexibility? Our experienced technology consultants can help. We’ll conduct a thorough needs assessment and provide best-fit device recommendations. We’ll then work with you to provide a solution that meets your unique demands and keeps your costs in check.

With ten Midwest locations, we’re always nearby. Call us today at 612-861-4000 or fill out our office assessment form to get started.

10 Tips to Reduce Printing Costs (and your Environmental Footprint) Today

reduce printing costs

You don’t need to invest in new office equipment to reduce your printing costs. While this is one of the easiest ways to cut your printing expenses, it is by no means the only way. In fact, there are plenty of less expensive strategies that you can implement on your own to tamp down costs. As an added bonus, all of these tricks will decrease your environmental footprint as well. Here are ten of our ten favorite tips to get you started.

1. Switch to a narrower font

Yes, the type of font you use really does impact your bottom line! This is due to the fact that some fonts, especially those known as “broad” fonts, use more ink than others. Switching to a narrow font, such as Times New Roman or Garamond, reduces ink consumption and puts a little bit of money back into your pocket. Check out this article for more information on the most ink-efficient fronts.

2. Enable shrink to fit

While this option isn’t always available — most browsers don’t support it anymore– it’s still an underutilized word processing trick. Say you have a 4 ½ page document that you want to print. Normally, this would mean you would print off five pieces of paper to accommodate the final half page. Shrink to fit solves this problem by condensing your document so that all printed materials print on four pages instead of five. Think about how much paper that could save you over the long-run! Follow these detailed instructions to enable shrink to fit in your version of Microsoft Word.

3. Install EcoFont

EcoFont is a software solution that, when installed on a workstation, places tiny holes in the font of a print job. Experiments have found that users, on average, enjoy roughly a 25 percent decrease in ink costs when using the software. EcoFont itself claims users can experience up to a 50 percent reduction in ink usage.

You can learn more about Ecofont on their official website.

4. Turn on duplex printing

It’s amazing how many organizations are still not taking advantage of duplex printing on a regular basis, despite the fact that it is now a standard feature on most modern machines. The good news, however, is that it’s easy to turn it on. All you have to do is change your default print settings to “two-sided” or “print on both sides” in your browser or word processor and you’re ready to go. With the click of a button you’ve effectively slashed your paper utilization in half.

5. Default to fast draft printing

Printing a text-heavy Word document or a physical version of a document for review? If so, fast draft printing is an excellent option. Fast draft saves ink by omitting images and printing in lower quality black and white. Thus, it’s an ideal solution for temporary or low-use documents such as directions, lists or project drafts. To enable fast draft, go to print options and select fast print, sample print or a lower dpi setting.

6. Use the handout printing feature

Chances are that you’ve used handout printing before for PowerPoint presentations. Did you know that you can use handout printing for documents as well? The easiest way to do this is to set your page to landscape orientation in print preview and select the option that allows you to print two pages per sheet.

7. Cut and Paste

Before printing, consider whether or not you need the whole document, or only a few parts. If you’re printing a long document or multiple files for a few sections, try copying and pasting them into a shorter document to eliminate waste. Doing so will allow you to avoid printing necessary pages that you’re not going to use anyway.

8. Use a managed print service

Alright, this isn’t really an option you can implement on your own, but it definitely will help you reduce costs. Managed print services allow you to track usage, encourage responsible printing behaviors and reduce equipment inefficiencies. It’s a simple software solution that’ll make your life easier. Contact our managed print department or visit our managed print services page to learn more.

9. Outsource color printing to a professional printer

If you’re printing a big project, like an annual report or marketing mailer, you could save some money by sending the job to a printing company. Often these companies offer rates that are more affordable than the cost you’d pay for your machine’s color ink, especially when it comes to big projects. Plus, you’ll usually get higher quality results as well! If you’re interested, our document services department offers a variety of printing services. View the full list of offered services here.

10. Print in black and white

Yes, it’s old-fashioned, but it’s on the list because it works. Black ink is simply cheaper than its color counterpart. If you don’t need presentation quality, you’re just printing a word document or a draft of a project you’re working on, black and white is the way to go. You should also make sure you select black and white when printing a text document as well. Often, printers will mix together colored ink to recreate black ink when “print in color” is selected in the settings. When this occurs, you’re unnecessarily draining your colored ink reserves.

Have more questions about reducing printing costs? Our cost reduction experts are ready to be of service. With more than forty years of experience in the office technology industry, Metro Sales has developed a reputation for helping organizations slash their costs through innovative imaging software and equipment.

Reach out at 612-861-4000 or by filling out our quick contact form.

6 Questions to Ask When Shopping for a New Copier

new copier shopping guide

Choosing a new copier can be intimidating and dealers don’t always make the process easier. With a litany of technical terms and the overemphasis some dealers place on selling certain models, it’s no wonder that organizations dread shopping for copiers and printers.

However, choosing a new copier doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it’s actually a breeze if you know the right questions to ask. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of six questions to consider when shopping for a new machine. Answering these queries ahead of time will help remove a lot of the unnecessary stress from the shopping process.

How many copies will I make?

While obvious, the first question you should ask is how many copies you’ll be making per month. If you think your organization will have very light usage, then you can probably get by with a personal machine. If, however, you plan on making thousands of copies monthly, you’re going to need something a little more powerful. Below are some general recommendations from Office Depot based on your average number of monthly copies:

2,000: personal copier
2,000-25,000: business model
25,000-75,000: commercial copier

While these guidelines aren’t perfect, they do provide a good baseline to start the conversation.

Do I need a color copier?

Next, you should ask yourself if you really need a color copier. Black and white copiers can be significantly less expensive than their color counterparts and could save you some money. If you make little to no color copies, a black and white machine will save you from paying for an unneeded feature.

Alternatively, if you do have some color copying needs, consider whether these jobs could be outsourced. For example, customers who perform one or two big color jobs a year, like an annual report, could easily send these projects to a dedicated document services provider. Some dealers, like Metro Sales, even have their own document services division to make this option more convenient for customers.

Do I need managed print?

While technical specifications are commonly the focal point of discussion, you shouldn’t forget about software. Print management software is a powerful tool that can be used across industries to achieve a multitude of goals. For example, print management is often employed in the education sector to track usage and assign print quotas by department. Government groups, meanwhile, rely on user restriction features to keep sensitive documents secure.

Make sure to let your consultant or sales representative know if you’re looking for advanced managed print capabilities. Doing so could save you from having to backtrack down the road. While most modern commercial copiers are compatible with standard print management software, there are some limitations. PaperCut, case in point, works better with certain print languages.

Even if you aren’t considering managed print software at this point, it’s still worth bringing it up. Discussing your options when buying your copier puts you in a better position in the future should you decide to add print management. This is due to the fact that some machines are better suited for certain software solutions and not all dealers offer the same options. Make sure your copier and vendor can handle the software solution you would choose if you added a managed print service. Otherwise, you could end up disappointed when you realize your dealer doesn’t offer your preferred solution.

What graphic capabilities does my machine need?

If you’re going to be doing a lot of color printing and need precise color reproduction, then the graphic capabilities of your printer are going to play a crucial role in your decision. In this case, you should make sure you ask your vendor about maximum print resolution and color control. Production printers generally offer the greatest graphic capabilities and five-color management. Drivers can also influence quality, so ask your consultant about these as well.

How fast should my copier print?

While not important to every organization, print speed can be a major factor within certain industries. If you’re making copies for customers, for example, you’re going to want a copier that’s quick and easy to use. If, on the other hand, you’re getting a copier primarily for office use, an average speed copier will likely do the job just fine.

As always, however, the right solution depends on your individual situation. If you’d like additional help or simply want to gather more information, contact our team of knowledgeable office technology consultants. We’ll happily answer any queries and will even perform an equipment consultation at no charge!

Call us today at 612-861-4000 or contact your local copier dealer.