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Sounds crazy I know but printing is the last thing you want to do on your photocopier.  The days of photocopier salesmen booking their Barbados holiday off the back of your 8,000 black and white prints and 4,000 colour prints a month are gone, and I for one am glad.

Let’s just put the environmental benefit to one side at the moment as good as that is, it’s not my point here.  The modern-day photocopier (which in my opinion should be re-branded as a computer with toner!) can do so much more than print documents and in fact printing is number 5 on my list of what you should be using these devices for :-

1 – Office 365

That’s right Office 365, the copiers that we now sell link straight into your Office 365 account which is great but what does this mean? In a nut shell it means the copier has access to your Office 365 SharePoint Sites (Microsoft’s version of Drop Box for those of you that haven’t heard of SharePoint).

Once configured your scanned documents go straight from the copier into SharePoint, not only does this streamline the old manual process of scanning in a document, emailing it to yourself, saving it on the server and forwarding to your colleagues, you can even browse the SharePoint folder structure from the photocopier and save the image under the correct folder in SharePoint.

We have implemented this very solution for a team of Architects in Birmingham, their plans are scanned straight from the copier directly into Office 365. The whole process takes seconds and once in SharePoint they are available to anyone who has access to the SharePoint site, this can be guys on the ground, sub-contractors on site, builders on site, the client and of course everyone in the office.  New versions of plans are again scanned in from the copier and are live in SharePoint in seconds for everyone to see.

2 – Go Paperless

Ironic that a machine that requires feeding with reams and reams of A4 paper can be used to make your business paperless but it can. We have already delivered a solution where all the incoming post is scanned and automatically emailed to the person the letter is addressed to. The magic comes in the form of barcodes that are stuck on each letter and each member of staff has their own unique bar code. Post is then loaded into the scanner and the copier reads the barcode as it scans and emails the letter straight to the addressee. Furthermore, the post is then destroyed as they have a permanent digital record of the letter that can then be saved against the client, neat!

3 – Store documents

Our latest copiers now come with built in storage to store documents directly on the copier and can even be used as a scanning destination. Annual leave request forms, engineer sign off forms in fact any standardised form that is used across the business can be stored on the copier directly. If you need to access these forms you simply walk up to the copier, login and access the forms you need, you can even print it straight from the copier without needing a PC. What’s more you can even share the file across several copiers throughout the business and even between branches giving everyone access to the latest documents regardless of where they are working from.

4 – OCR

OCR or Optical Character Recognition is a built-in feature on our copiers which allows you to scan a document and convert all the text in that document into an editable word file that you can then change on your PC. This is perfect for those occasions where you only have a hardcopy of a report but would like to edit some of the text. Simply scan the document through the copier and the OCR will convert it to an editable word document and email you the copy.

5 – Lastly Print (but make sure you do this first)

Lastly, if you must use your printer as a printer (!) make sure you have the printer setup in the most efficient way as follows: –

  • Install the printer on everyone’s PC so they can only print black and white, this is easy to do and can be configured to be the default install on any device. This will save hundreds of pounds in printing costs
  • Check the document you are printing hasn’t spilled over and has a blank page at the end, if you have a 10-page document and the 11th page is blank, if it goes through the printer then you will be charged for a black and white print even though it was just moving a blank piece of paper through the copier.
  • Enable energy saving mode on your copier, it will use a lot less electricity, the down side of this is it might take a few seconds for the printer to warm up before printing but it saves money. Our printers also have a walk-up sensor which automatically takes the printer out of standby mode when it senses someone walking towards it!
  • Make sure you set print jobs to print in draft quality automatically which will save on the amount of toner you are using. In the same respect don’t change the toner when the printer comes up with low toner, make sure the cartridge is completely empty before fitting a replacement