In the world already dominated by smartphones, tablets, file sharing, and cloud computing may seem like outdated technology. Although printing on a piece of paper may look old-fashioned, many companies and industry players still rely on printed documents and business copiers for efficient communication between coworkers and clients.
Choosing the right printer or business copier out of the wide variety of options available out there is always an exciting experience for many. Whatever your choice is, you still have to decide between network or local printers, which of course depends on your company’s needs. The two printer types have their advantages and disadvantages, all of which you need to understand well before making the final decision. Understanding how each of these works gives you a better chance of picking the best one for the company.
- 1 Local Printers / Business Copiers
- 2 Network Printers / Business Copiers
- 3 7 Ways in Which Organizations Can Benefit from Network Printers and Business Copiers
- 4 Which Printer Suits Your Needs?
Local Printers / Business Copiers
A local printer can only service one computer at a time. It is usually connected directly to this computer using a USB cable. Local printers are only accessible from one particular computer. These printers are specially designed for reliability and especially for employees with large printing needs. The local printer helps improve project workflow efficiency as the printed materials are available as you need them. In addition to this, local printers can be repaired/serviced promptly should there be a problem.
Although local printers may be extremely convenient, they too have their downsides. For instance, the cost of maintaining this printer can be unusually high. This includes the cost of ink, paper, and maintaining multiple printers in the office. Servicing some of these printers can be extremely difficult and daunting especially if it isn’t from a well-known brand or outdated. Employee productivity may also be impacted should the printer break down while printing. This is because he/she cannot reroute the printing job to another printer.
Network Printers / Business Copiers
This is a printer within a part of networked computers with which any of these computers can access it at any time. All the computers within the workgroup can access this printer(s) at the same time thus improving convenience and efficiency in the workplace. The printer doesn’t, however, have to be connected physically to the network; it can be connected wirelessly but assigned to a particular workgroup. A single network printer can fully satisfy multiple employees, all at the same time.
One of the main advantages of a network printer is that it offers efficiency and flexibility to everyone in the office. This is because it is accessible from multiple platforms including Linux, Windows, Android, and Mac. Network printers also make access to various printer types (inkjet, laser, thermal, etc.) very easy within the office. With the employees able to access the printer from their devices, their output is greatly improved.
Network printers and business copiers also have their downsides. For instance, users trying to access the same printer simultaneously can cause a network jam, meaning projects will be delays as one waits in ‘queue.’ The printers also become inaccessible should the network go down for some reason or another.
Although some work environments and businesses are better off with local printers, the majority of companies today survive on network printers and business copiers.
7 Ways in Which Organizations Can Benefit from Network Printers and Business Copiers
Once configured, network computers are relatively easy to use. Setting up a network computer is very easy as well. As you might have guessed, a network computer is far more advantageous than a local printer on each computer in the office. Outlined below are 7 benefits of network printers and business copiers to the company.
1. Cost Savings
A network printer will save you money in several ways. First, you won’t need a printer for each and every employee. The network printer also saves you from the number of printers to buy, as well as the supplies that come with the same. The reduced number of printers in the organization also means lower support and maintenance costs. Training employees to use this equipment is also easy as they can be trained in clusters. This translates to substantial savings on both time and money in the long run.
2. Lower Maintenance Needs
Network printers and business copiers mean fewer printing devices and models in the office. This means a reduced need for maintenance since these are easier to manage, and support can be centralized.
3. Increased Uniformity with Less Training
You won’t have to train each employee on how to use a specific printer and such. Instead, you can have all employees trained on how to use the centralized printers at one go. This means everyone in the office will be knowledgeable of how these printers work thus improved workplace efficiency. This is unlike having different brands of printers in the office which require time to understand how they operate.
Replacing network printers and business copiers with newer ones is also very easy as well. Troubleshooting is even easier whereby the network printer program helps simplify the print environment.
4. Access to Superior Printer Capabilities
Unlike personal printers, network printers and business copiers are of a higher quality hence designed to handle complex and voluminous tasks. Network printers and business copiers have higher printing speeds, capacity, paper handling, and even come with advanced finishing capabilities. It is also worth noting that these devices have a much longer lifespan when compared to local or personal printers.
5. Remote Access
With a network printer, you can print from almost anywhere without necessarily having to be close to the printer/office physically. All an employee would need is an internet connection to connect to the office network, then send files to print remotely. This makes it even more convenient for those working on the field or from remote locations.
6. Multiple Printers Can Be Added to The Network
One of the main advantages of a network print environment is that it’s possible to add more printers to expand the business’ versatility and performance. A good example of this is if you wish to have a high-quality graphics printer for one department, and one that can handle larger print volumes for another. Adding another printer to the network only takes one or two configurations.
7. Easier Tracking
Most network computers use a Managed Print Services program that makes it easy to track printer usage. This makes it easier for the management to manage uncontrolled print costs and supply wastage.
Which Printer Suits Your Needs?
Deciding on the best printer for your business is dependent on your core operations. Consulting with a specialist to see which printer best suits your needs would be a wise idea. The print specialist should be able to determine if you only need a local printer or should invest in a network printer instead.