Every business owner likes to get the most out of their investments, including making sure that office equipment is used to the full extent of its operational life.
However, there comes a point when trying to eek out a last few months from a tired old workhorse becomes self-defeating. Frequent glitches and breakdowns, continuous running repairs and sluggish performance just hold up day to day operations and add unnecessary costs, making the rationale for sticking with it self-defeating.
Here, we take a look at the tell-tale signs that your printer has become more trouble than it is worth and you would be better served investing in a new one.
Poor print quality
When print quality starts to deteriorate, the first assumption is that either the ink cartridges or printer drum need replacing. Most modern printers will show alerts when ink and toner is running low, saving you from second guessing the cause of the problem. If print quality is on the slide and there is no indicator suggesting you replace a cartridge, you know to suspect the printer drum.
There is a decision for you to make here. On an old printer that is not covered by any warranty, replacing the printer drum may not be worth it – the parts and labour might add up to more than the printer is worth. Also, there is the possibility that the root cause of the poor quality is down to other factors, such as hidden wear and tear damaging the drum. Replacing it could leave you facing the same problem again in a short space of time.
One thing that really exasperates office staff is slow printers. Queues build up, workflows grind to a stand still, time is wasted and stress levels rise. If you notice that your printer is appreciably slower than it once was, it’s a sure sign that age is catching up with it and it’s time to consider investing in a new one.
Also, new, up-to-date printers tend to be faster than legacy models in general, so upgrading your printer every few years as a matter of routine is a good way to boost overall efficiency.
Frequent repairs and services
This one hardly needs any explanation. If you are having to call out your service contractor every other week to get your printer back online, it’s time to face the inevitable and start shopping for a new one.
Paper feed faults are an occupational hazard with printers. And although new printers are perfectly capable of misfeeding from time to time, it is a problem that is likely to increase with age. General wear and tear of moving parts will mean that the mechanics just aren’t as slick as they once were, and even a small misalignment can lead to a jam.
You can, of course, keep repairing and replacing parts, but as discussed above, there comes a point where sheer frequency of a fault tells you to look for a new model.
No longer fit for purpose
Finally, a sign that is not necessarily down to any inherent fault in your printer. Over time, businesses grow and operational needs change. The print volumes needed several years ago may pale compared to what is required now, and your old printer may be struggling to keep up. It is natural that as your business progresses, so should your equipment.