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Admin Pro Forum

What wizardry do you perform with the office copier?

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Question: "Our office has a pretty decent budget, and I'd like to convince our manager to get us a really nice high-volume, state-of-the-art photocopier. Ours is eleven years old and really basic, and I'm hoping these things can work wonders by now. Are there any snazzy but useful features I should be keeping in mind when I shop around, ones that can really help an admin?" - Clarissa, Guest Accounts Rep

See comments below, and send your own question to editor@adminprotoday.com.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Judith October 2, 2017 at 6:07 pm

The book fold & staple feature really helps is you are printing a lot of pages. You get 4 to an 11 X 17 page and the copier does all the work. Also look for the feature that removes background from copies on colored paper – it takes only one click on our copier and makes us look sooo good! This will allow you to make good clean copies rather than the grey shaded ones.


Carol Ziemer September 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm

I agree with others…lease a machine. With the multi-functioning machines today, there is a lot to try to figure out IF something malfunctions – which does not happen too often. But it is helpful if a central user knows how to troubleshoot the day to day problems that can occur, but some machines have multiple “computers” to handle the different functions. When it gets beyond your abilities, you want to know that you have a technician you can call and who can be there within the day so you aren’t without the use of your machine for too long.
Also, to determine what you need/want in features, it is important to consider how the machine is currently used, what you would like to or need to do – what do you feel are limitations with your current machine, and of course, budget limits. What finishing options are needed – just stapling options, or is folding important also? Are cover/slip sheet options necessary? Besides duplexing, do you need to be able to combine pages or create series for booklets, magazines/newsletters, etc.? Would edit/color options be beneficial for adding stamps (Confidential, Copy, and so on), repeating images, centering when copying odd sized originals, creating negative or mirror images? Do I need to be able to reduce and enlarge? Are multiple trays needed for various sizes, colors, or types of paper? Is a bypass tray important for printing specialty papers like cardstock, photo paper, envelopes, etc.? Would a folding option be beneficial? Consider who is going to have access to the machine and who will be responsible for troubleshooting the day to day problems like paper jams, changing toner cartridges, installing staples, etc., and making the service call requests. If it will be accessible by multiple users through a network and print jobs come from different directions, features that allow to hold or lock a print job or select an output tray may be very helpful so small print jobs don’t get lost among larger print jobs.
I work for a county government. Our IT department chose to go with a print management contract several years ago to integrate all of our printers and copiers with our computer network. The contract that includes training, maintenance and repairs as well as provision of cartridges and staples for all of the equipment. At first the contract idea was not well received, but I believe most department heads now realize they get a better picture of the print and copy use and costs for their departments. By going with a print management (lease) contract, the county was able to get equipment placed in the various departments based on their needs. Technicians helped us resolve a problem toner problem that was spoiling permanent documents and correspondence on bonded paper, which would have been costly for the county if we owned the equipment outright.
The mailroom MFP is my favorite because of all of the features it has. It is a color copier/printer, fax, scanner. By locating it in a more central area, it is accessible to several people throughout the company. Although several of our MFP machines have the ability to scan to e-mail, this machine has a color option for scanning and faxing, which is useful for maps, documents with highlighted material, etc. The ability to scan to e-mail has reduced fax expenses and allows departments to “create” occasional electronic files they may need to attach to other documents or e-mails. An “inbound fax” folder that a technician set up allows me to monitor incoming faxes to our general fax number from my computer and print the ones that contain confidential information – personal or industry-related – to avoid being captured on a network server and be viewed as part of a public records request and e-mail others to intended recipients so they can decide whether to print, save electronically, or read and delete.
My position is shared between two departments. With access to a regular black and white printer at one work station and the color copier, I can assist many of the over 100 employees and the public with copying or printing requests. Because of the features on the color copier, I have created and printed brochures, flyers and various documents for HR and payroll, and generated a lot of election materials and other documents needed for the County Clerk’s office. When the county celebrated the 100-year anniversary of our courthouse, the print job for promoting the celebration was too small for a printer to consider. Because I knew what the copier could do and what my software programs are capable of, I was asked to create and publish the materials for the various brochures, flyers, posters and other mailings, and assisted other departments in creating their booklets and handouts for this event as well.


Dona Carlisle September 22, 2017 at 7:03 am

My best recommendation is to lease a machine! Especially if you have a high volume of copies/prints made. Today’s machines act as printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. The only real thing to look for is quality of color prints, if that is important to your company. Happy hunting!


Art Post September 21, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Many companies are now utilizing cloud services such as Google Drive, MS 365, DropBox, Box and many more. One of the coolest features you could be on the watch for are those Copier aka Multi-Functional Devices is the Scan to Cloud connectors that I mention above. With some you may be able to scan directly to those cloud folders, thus eliminating the time to scan to a folder or scan to email, open the document, rename the document and then save to a folder. Scan2Clouds service can do it all in one touch of a button (you can even name the file right from the copier).

Another nice feature is the ability to create a scan workflow. Which means that once the document is scanned, the copier can send that document to pre-programmed folders, email addresses, and fax numbers. Which is another great time saver.

OCR, means that every document is now turned into a searchable pdf, scan2MSword (converts the scanned file to an MS Word Document, scan2MDExcel (converts the scanned file to and Excel Document). You can pre-view scans before they are sent, and you can omit blank pages of the scan.

Another nice feature is that most devices are not Air Print certified. Some manufacturers also offer cloud printing, which means that where ever you are, as long as you have internet connection you can print to your device.

Hope this helps!


Jackqueline September 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm

First things first, they are no longer called photocopiers, it called a document center.

1. photocopies black & white or colour
2. 1 staple or 2 staples
3. booklet creation
4. scans a document into a PDF/TIFF to save to a folder on your computer
5. scans and sends as a PDF/TIFF via email or fax
6. fax machine
7. you can send to a folder (lockable) on the document center for confidential documents
8. it can be set up to receive all print jobs into a folder and the document center wont print them until you put your code into the machine; after 3 days if the job isn’t printed the machine deletes the job. A local council here does that as most people dont go to the machine and print their jobs, approxitly 75% of all print jobs are deleted without being printed. A saving on all consumables, what they saved was more than the lease on the machine in the first year.

If you are trying to upgrade, make the language you use very professional, with a strong business plan on why there is a financial saving.


Monica September 21, 2017 at 5:19 pm

We have a Xerox Model 7835, its a Multifunctional Machines (MFD) they print, scan, copy, fax.


Adele September 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Scanner, copier, fax and printer all in one. We have a fabulous Canon machine that does everything for you except bind documents. I can send multiple documents to store in the printer’s memory and then from the printer I can pull up those documents and collate the documents into a single “copy” that can be printed as many times as I need. I can also tell the copier to insert a job separator (coloured paper) between the documents within the collated job. If I don’t delete the print jobs from the copier, I can go back an hour later and print them again without having to search each document and individually send them to the printer again. Saved me hours of collating briefing binders!


Jackie September 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm

One feature I use almost alot is the option to print/scan to and from a USB flashdrive. Also, the capability to secure (pw protect) print jobs.


Melissa Hunter September 21, 2017 at 4:22 pm

one other things to consider is the speed and the cost of consumables. do you do a lot of high volume runs? Then you need a fast printer. The cost of toner and how many images you get per container is another thing to keep in mind. The consumables are often the bigger cost item in the long run.


Melissa Hunter September 21, 2017 at 4:20 pm

our printer is no long just a printer. It’s also a scanner, an email device and a fax machine. all in colour. It prints double sided, so you can save paper. I often build jobs from different sources as well, then either print or scan the final document to my desktop. Saves me having to combine a bunch of PDF documents.

You can now also get air printers so you can print from devices that are not attached to your network. I agree with others that you need to look at what you currently use a printer for. You might want to go to somewhere like Staples, see what they have and the different features available. I don’t think you can get a machine big enough for an office there, but you can see what types of technology are around.


Becky H September 21, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Look at the processes you do in your daily work and come up with some things that would save you time. I really appreciate that our copier scans both sides of the page at the same time. It also has a feature called “separate scan” which allows me to put paper in the feeder, scan it, put paper on the glass, scan it, then send it all to my email as one file. I also really appreciate being able to collate, staple and 3 hole punch. I dont’ think the brand matters as much as the features and of course it helps if it’s cost effective. Good luck.


Cindy September 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm

I have an HP Laserjet 500 Color MFP M575. It prints, scans, faxes and makes copies. I would recommend it!


Karen S. September 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Scanning & networking to use the copier as a printer are pretty much standard these days, so be sure to work with your tech team to ensure compatibility with your system. When printing from your desktop to the copier, you can usually select staple placement, add watermarks, lots of fun stuff.
Duplexing (2-sided printing/copying), faxing, built in stapler, even 3-hole punching can be add-ons for a few extra dollars.
Be sure to consider the per copy price for a maintenance agreement in your total cost. This can make a big difference. I have purchased copiers that cost more than others but saved us money over time due to the lower maintenance cost.


Rachel September 20, 2017 at 4:03 pm

I love our “Scan to Email” feature. Another nice one is when you can send a job to the printer, then go to it and print. That way, if you have confidential documents, they won’t be laying there until you get to them. Helps when you need to print on different sized paper too.


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