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Common office printer frustrations and how to avoid them.

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Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the office printer. On most days we barely think about it as it operates smoothly in the background. The second something goes wrong all hell breaks loose.

One of the biggest frustrations in workplaces across South Africa is office equipment not functioning as it should. This can lead to missed deadlines, inaccurate reporting and myriad other problems that could all be solved if your printer, for example, would simply play fair.

This is not a new problem (remember the fax machine?), so thankfully Konica Minolta Gauteng has plenty of expert advice from our years in the field. Below is a list of the most common office printer frustrations and solutions.

1. Nobody knows how it works!

While we have developed into a fairly tech-savvy race, the mysteries of the office printer / copier still elude most people. Don’t feel bad, this is purely because you’ve never bonded with it the way you did with your phone or vehicle. And nobody expects you to!

The solution:

Whether you have a staff of 3 or 3000, there should be one person in charge of the printer / printers. Bigger firms often have an IT department, which helps, but even then, you should ensure that your IT experts have all the right training and information they need to keep the printers in good shape.

Smaller companies can simply appoint a person who oversees calling your office equipment supplier when you need help with the printer. Not everyone is a tech whiz (that’s what we’re here for), so just make sure the correct person is called when help is needed.

2. Printing costs on the rise

In this case, it all depends on what the type of business you run and what your printing needs are. Most companies should, however, be able to predict what their monthly print costs should be based on the amount of paper purchased over previous months. If your printing costs increase dramatically without any other fundamental changes in your company, you may want to contact Konica Minolta Gauteng for a free assessment.

The solution:

Do a print ‘audit’. Depending on your network setup you should be able to identify where the increased printing is taking place. It could be that a setting has changed or that a specific department has a once-off need for increased printing. Whatever the reason, your office equipment supplier should be able to help you identify the problem.

3. Paper jams

These are a nightmare and seem to happen only when you’re in a hurry. What many people don’t know is that paper jams are rarely the fault of the machine, but rather the paper. Paper that isn’t stored in a dry area absorbs moisture, which causes it to stick and case jams. Inferior paper products are also a big problem as the quality of the paper may be so brittle that it simply can’t flow through the machine without getting stuck.

Solution:

Always ensure that your paper is stored in dry area, always fan out the paper (to make sure the pages aren’t stick to each other) before inserting into the machine. Most importantly, ensure the paper you use is approved by supplier for use in your machine – this will save you a lot of frustration.

4. Location

Interestingly, one of the most common office printer frustrations is location. Both in terms of within the office, as well as where the office itself is located.

While it’s impossible to keep everyone 100% happy, it’s never a good idea to place the printer in the middle of the office or right next to someone’s desk. This is going to cause endless irritation in the workplace for those sitting next to the printer.

Solution:

Have your printer supplier place your printer in the best possible area. Find a quiet corner where the printer is out of the way. Not only does this reduce employee frustration, but also protects your printer from unnecessary wear and scuffmarks that happen when they’re placed in a high traffic zone. Always keep out of dusty environments and if this can’t be avoided ask your supplier for a machine cover.

If your office is located in an outlying area plan ahead with your office supplier for preventative maintenance and allow more time for service call.

5. Dusty environments

Many businesses can’t get away from dusty environments (factories, construction sites, mining areas, or anywhere in Gauteng when it hasn’t rained in a while!)

Dust gets in everywhere and can negatively impact the way your printer / copier functions.

Solution:

Contact your supplier to get a cover for your printer / copier and make it an office habit to cover the machine when it’s not in use.

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