Reducing paper consumption is one of the easiest ways an office can contribute to a healthier and greener environment especially when the paper industry is the third largest industrial greenhouse gas emitter and the largest water consumer of all industrial activities. Printing and copying can add up to huge amounts of waste if you don’t have the correct office equipment. So what can you do to play your part and find the best deal?
First, evaluate how your business currently uses a copier and what is really necessary for your business. Review your current copy volume and determine what volume is really necessary for your business. You can review your current copy volume and break usage into daily, weekly and monthly totals to determine what type of copier machine you’ll need to purchase. Will you need a machine that can process copies quickly, in color, or generate high-resolution prints? Figure these basics out before you start shopping so you know what you’re looking for.
Second, manage document storage better by purchasing copiers with scanning capabilities and store documents online. Additional programs can be purchased to find files easily this way and accessible to multiple employees and you’ll save money on additional printing supplies (toner, ink, paper).
Third, review what features you might need. Do you outsource printing for brochures and promotional materials? Are you able to shift these projects in-house? With the right machine, you can save thousands in printing and have the machine do the folding, stapling, quality printing a third party performs. Most printing houses now use digital copiers
Stay away from bundling supplies with the cost of a new machine (known as a cost-per-copy agreement). Purchasing and refilling supplies yourself from a retail store or other source is one of the easiest ways to be conscious of how much you use and allows you to buy more environmentally friendly supplies as well.
Last, determine whether or not you want to buy or lease a machine. If you lease, you can try out a office copier machine and its document storage system and most of the time purchase the machine for a lower rate once the lease is up. If you buy, you can find some of the best deals on refurbished or recycled machines. If you go this route, you need to consider the costs of an outside repair service company if something goes wrong. Similar to buying a new car with a three year warranty, if you buy everything from one company (machine plus maintenance fees), you know exactly how much money is spent instead of possibly having unexpected costs. Make sure you consider all costs before you sign a contract and evaluate each machine before you make a purchase.
Image by juhansonin.