How Often Should I Replace My Copy Machine?

A decrepit copy machine can really stifle the productivity of a business, not to mention frustrate its employees. On the other hand, a fast and effective copier can breathe new life into a stale business and as a matter of for many companies, it has. But a copy machine is not always cheap. Breaking the bank is certainly hard to justify in any scenario, even when your copy machine is only “sort of” working. So when do the benefits of owning a fast copier outweigh the monetary costs? Read more to find out how often you should replace your copy machine.

Diagnose Your Business

The first thing to look at when trying to decide if a new copy machine is right for your business is, well, your business. How your company runs and how important is your copier within the overall structure? Obviously the less important role a copy machine or color copier plays in your day-to-day operations, the longer you can go before replacing it. For most businesses though, when the copier is not running at optimum speed, the whole company comes to a crawl. For some companies, a copier running at tip-top shape is the minimal performance that they can allow. Where are you on the spectrum? Make the best and most objective assessment of your business requirements and you’ll have the best starting point for how often you should replace your copy machine.

Diagnose the Problem

The next step is to figure out how bad your copier woes are and when they began happening. If your copier use is limited, you may not see a single problem until a year or more into ownership of it. In other situations, copiers may need to get serviced within a week after it arrives at a company. If, after a year, you are losing only a small amount of clarity and crispness on your prints, consider yourself lucky. Usually this can be fixed with a simple maintenance visit where they will do a cleaning of the rollers and heads. If you are experiencing bad and frequent paper jams then you know that your copy machine is on its way out and that it’s time to replace it.

So…How Often?

Before you calculate how often you should replace your copier there are just a few more things to take into consideration. First, consider what level you would like your printing capabilities to be. This will dictate the kind of copy machine that you choose to replace the old one with, which will in turn, determine how often you need to replace that type of machine. You will also need to decide what brand you want to buy. Will you go with the same brand or a new one? A little research will answer this question for you but, depending on use, Ricoh copiers will differ from Canon copiers which will again dictate how long the copier will last, so be sure to get the copy machine that is right for your company and workload.

Taking all these factors into consideration, if your company is on the high-end of usage, you will need to replace your copy machine at least every 2-3 years. This will avoid any major meltdowns from occurring and will keep your company running at an optimal pace. If you don’t print that much on a daily basis and you can handle some hiccups and breakdowns along the way, you can stretch the life of your machine out to 5 years or more. If you are diligent with getting regular check-ups and cleanings from day one and you don’t use your printer much, you could potentially limp along past the 7 year mark. However, having a machine this long will be met with inevitable breakdowns and days where you cannot print. To ensure your company doesn’t run into these sorts of problems, every 2-3 years is a good rule of thumb.

Take an honest assessment of the printing needs within your company. If you take all the above things into consideration, you will be able to make an honest appraisal of the demands on your printer and can replace it accordingly. If you have a machine that is older than 3 years, don’t wait, assess your needs and replace today!