There’s no getting away from paper documents, even in today’s digital era. Countless enterprises still rely on traditional business processes that call for the use of paper documents. And that’s where copiers and printers come into play.

These devices are at the center of typical office workflows churning out documents day in and day out. But there’s more to copiers and printers than meets the eye. Despite how similar they look, copiers and printers have quite a few differences that are worth exploring.

The Difference Between Copiers and Printers  

Chances are you constantly hear the terms copier and printer used interchangeably, often to the point where you’d assume they’re the same. But as mentioned above, they have their fair share of differences that make them stand out. And that’s where things get a bit complicated.

Traditionally speaking, the most significant difference between a copier and a printer is that the former can duplicate physical documents without the need for a network connection. Meanwhile, a printer creates physical documents from files sent from a computer network to the device, where it’s printed out.

When most people think about copiers, they usually envision the traditional photocopier. In many cases, it’s a big machine that historically did one thing and one thing only: make copies. These days, the term “copier” also describes “multifunction printers.” MFPs, also known as “all-in-one” printers, enhance office workflows by combining several functions usually found in standalone equipment – copying, faxing, scanning and printing.

Multifunction printers have made significant headway in countless offices thanks to their varied capabilities. These devices typically replace standalone scanners, copiers, printers, and fax machines, bringing all those functions into a single centralized device.

Dedicated photocopiers offer faster turnaround times thanks mainly to their copying speeds. In comparison, printing jobs take longer and provide better quality due to the technologies used. Both devices have become incredibly user-friendly over the years. Still, a typical multifunction printer may offer a slightly steeper learning curve due to the multitude of functions offered on a single machine.

Cost is another differentiator between copiers and printers. Modern copiers, especially those under the “multifunction printer” category, often cost more than standalone printers due to their enhanced functionality. This is not always the case, and there are plenty of factors that impact the costs of either device. For example, printers using inkjet technology are often less expensive to purchase initially than those reliant on toner cartridges. However, inkjet printers may be more expensive in the long run due to the cost and continual need of consumables.

For the remainder of this piece, we’ll refer to multifunction printers as “copiers” and further explain the benefits these devices offer for your Houston business.

How Copiers Benefit Houston Companies

No two offices are the same when it comes to their daily workflows. Nevertheless, the sheer versatility of modern copiers makes them a solid fit regardless of your office needs. To get a proper understanding of what a copier can do for your office, it’s essential to recognize the benefits they offer:

  • Time Savings – Today’s copiers revolve around saving users as much time as possible. For instance, some models feature sensors that detect approaching users, allowing the device to boot up without making the person wait. User-friendly interfaces also help cut down idle time while reducing confusion among users.
  • Space Savings – Space is always at a premium, especially for small-to-medium businesses with limited office space to spare. Instead of using several separate devices to accomplish business processes, a copier allows you to consolidate those tasks into a single machine. Not only does this save office space, but it also reduces unnecessary foot traffic.
  • Cost Savings – Multiple devices come with multiple costs that add up as time goes on, whether maintenance, consumables, or power consumption. Today’s copiers are designed to be efficient in every way, with most models earning the coveted ENERGY STAR rating. These devices not only use less energy but also fewer consumables.
  • Added Convenience – Modern copiers make it easier and simpler for users to carry out their document creation and management tasks. Combined functions allow users to carry out multiple jobs – printing, faxing, scanning, etc. – from the same device, which speeds up workflows while reducing idle time and foot traffic.
  • Better Security – Modern copiers come with the latest security features to help protect users and businesses against ever-evolving cybersecurity threats. These include “pull-to-print” options and data encryption, ensuring that only authorized users have access to their data.
  • Improved Productivity – Businesses can take advantage of the latest document management features to help improve and maintain productivity throughout the office. Businesses can utilize detailed logs to track print jobs and reduce waste.

What to Consider Before Your Next Copier Lease or Purchase

The decision to purchase or lease a new copier isn’t to be taken lightly. There are plenty of crucial factors that can influence your next copier lease or purchase:

  • Monochrome or Color – Color copiers give you more options in terms of document management, but the ink or toner cartridges can prove expensive. Monochrome copiers are ideal if you’re only dealing with black and white documents, not to mention they’re less expensive overall.
  • Volume Considerations – Consider how many documents you print daily, how quickly they’re needed and how often you outsource print jobs to local or online copy/print shops.
  • Cost Considerations – There’s more than just the initial cost of your copier to worry about, although that on its own may influence your decision to purchase or lease one. There’s also the cost of consumables to consider and the costs of long-term upkeep.
  • Connectivity – Do you want wired connectivity, Wi-Fi, or both? These options have their pros and cons to consider, especially regarding security.
  • Reviews – It doesn’t hurt to read reviews for specific models from other users. What they  say about the copier’s performance, reliability and features can help you make your final decision.

Overall, understanding the difference between copiers and printers puts you one step closer to making your ultimate purchasing or leasing decision. If you’re shopping around for a new copier for your Houston business, contact On Demand today. We´ll be happy to discuss your options.