October 13, 2017

So, your company has decided that it needs new office technology. You might have even decided what type. For many, the next biggest question revolves around how you will pay for this equipment—through a lease, or by buying it outright?  Both options come with advantages and disadvantages. Read on to learn more.

The Advantages of Leasing Office Equipment

  • Newest Technology: Office Technology is constantly changing and improving. At the end of your copier lease, it’s easy to switch to the newest equipment. Even if you are a small company, leasing enables you to stay competitive in your field.
  • Fixed Cost: With a lease, you will have a consistent monthly budget item for your office and document management technology, and you can use it to plan and budget accordingly.
  • Upfront Costs: Don’t worry about shelling out a huge sum of money for your office equipment. Your company can keep those funds in your account and allocate them for other uses. Or, your company might not have that amount of money; leasing allows you to have the multifunctional devices and document management technology while paying at your own rate.

The Disadvantages of Leasing Office Equipment

  • Cost: Leasing usually is more expensive than purchasing a copier outright. Monthly payments are easier to handle while paying, but you are paying for that convenience. The overall cost will end up adding up to more than the original cost.
  • Leasing Agreements: Leasing terms can include maintenance regulations and payment requirements. If you stop using the equipment, you may still be required to pay for the entire leasing period or a large fee, or to buy out the rest of your lease.
  • Lack of Ownership: You will never gain equity in the equipment because you will never own it. This means that you can’t sell the office equipment if you no longer need it, and it is not an asset of your company.

The Advantages of Buying Office Equipment

  • Easier: When you buy new office technology, you pick out what you need, and then you buy it. You don’t have to worry about negotiating terms or setting up your financials with the leasing company.
  • Ownership: When you buy multifunctional equipment outright, it is yours and you can do as you see fit with the machine.

The Disadvantages of Buying Office Equipment

  • Outdated Technology: With the rapid changes in document management technology, your office equipment will become outdated. You will need to either continue using outdated equipment or donate or sell the copier and buy new. Newer multifunction machines are easier for service companies to maintain and typically have lower operating costs.
  • Cash Flow: If you’re a smaller business, you might not have the funds to shell out the money required to buy office technology outright. This could limit your ability to purchasing copier equipment that will help you be as strong as your competitors.

Buying new office equipment and document management technology can be a big decision for your company. To learn more about the office equipment that Centric offers, contact us at (877) 902-3301.

September 29, 2017

In a world where photocopiers, printers and scanners are present, and usually prolific, across all office environments, we struggle to imagine or remember what life was like before this technology was readily available.

It's All Greek to Me

Charles Carlson lived in that time and saw a need for a quick and easy way to make copies. He created a process called electrophotography in 1937; the process was later renamed Xerography, which comes from the Greek words xeros, meaning dry and graphos, meaning writing.

A job with a local printer in his teenage years led Carlson to his interest in the duplicating process. From his work, he inherited a small printing press on the edge of its life. On it, he printed a magazine for amateur chemists.

It was a modest publication, and he only printed two issues, but the hobby made Carlson aware of the difficulties of getting information into multiple hard copies. He started a little inventor’s notebook, where he would record any ideas he had on the subject.

Trying economic times led the well-educated (he held degrees in chemistry and physics) Carlson to trouble in finding and keeping jobs. After being laid off from a research engineer position with Bell Telephone Laboratories, he worked for a short time as a patent attorney before moving to an electronics firm. He studied law at night and earned a law degree; he was later promoted to manager of the firm’s patent department.

As Carlson moved through his career, he continued to think about the duplication process, noticing that there always seemed to be a lack of carbon copies of patent information. There were limited options for obtaining more copies—sending out for expensive photocopies, or retyping the documents and manually checking for errors.

Copy That

Carlson began to research imaging processes, thinking that offices would greatly benefit and excel with an in-house device that could make copies quickly and inexpensively. He developed the fundamentals of his methods in his apartment’s kitchen and submitted his ideas for a patent.

To further invest in his research, Carlson rented a second-floor room over a bar and hired a lab assistant, Otto Kornei, who was a physicist and German refugee. Together, they worked to create experiments from Carlson’s ideas.

In 1938, Carlson and his lab assistant created the first photocopy. It read “10.-22.-38” signifying the date, with their location, “Astoria” underneath.

It would be 10 years before Carlson found a company that was willing to develop his idea of xerography. In 1944, a nonprofit research company agreed to begin developing the idea after signing a royalty-sharing contract. In 1947, The Haloid Company, which developed photo paper, entered the deal and began to develop the idea of a photocopier.

What's In A Name? The Generic Trademark

The company changed its name to Haloid Xerox and created the first automated xerographic machine, the Copyflo. The first commercial push-button photocopier was introduced in 1958—it was called the 914.

The 914, named for its ability to copy anything up to the size 9 inches by 14 inches, saw great success and was in huge demand, despite there being some flaws. Haloid Xerox shortened its name to Xerox and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

By the mid-1970s, Ricoh, Minolta, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp and Canon were producing competitive products to the Xerox machine. Xerox initially overall held consumers’ loyalties, but other copier manufacturers began to employ a local tactic—small local dealerships would sell their machines and service.

Manufacturers worked to break the interchangeable use of “Xerox” and “copy.” Xerox machines became photocopy machines or photocopiers; Xeroxing became copying. A new age of companies exists because the original photocopier made a recognizable difference to the everyday workflows of companies across the world.

For more information on the latest technology in photocopiers and office equipment, contact us at 877-902-3301. 

September 21, 2017

In an office environment, the printers are almost always busy completing their latest jobs. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year, according to The Paperless Project. With so many prints, there are common mistakes that can cost you and your company time, money and professionalism. Read on to discover some of the most common printing mistakes, and how you can fix them.

Printing in color

Though a great number of office documents are monochrome, employees regularly are printing in color without knowing. Though it costs only a few cents more for each page, those pennies quickly add up. Just one employee printing in black-and-white instead of color could save your company hundreds of dollars each year. Be sure to check your printer’s preferences and change color to black-and-white. For companies, there are management systems that allow users to be defaulted or restricted to printing in black-and-white.

Using low-resolution images

When printing a photo, always make sure that its resolution is at least 300 pixels per inch (PPI). Finding the resolution of a photo varies based on the type of computer and program you are using. In general, if you are on a Mac, you can open the photo in Preview and click Command+I. On a PC, right-click on the file. Then choose Properties, and click the Details tab. The Image section will tell you the image dimensions, and the File section will show the image file size.

Poor design

In corporate, and most other, design, it is best to keep your documents and designs simple. Aim for clean, crisp text in dark colors. Try not to overcrowd a document. Don’t use more than three colors, and make sure that they look good together. Stick with timeless fonts—Times New Roman, Garamond or Georgia if you want serifs; try Ariel, Tahoma or Century Gothic if you are looking for a sans serif font. These fonts are popular for a reason. Avoid Comic Sans, Curlz and any other font that is overly detailed. There are, of course, exceptions, but for most office printing, it’s best to keep it simple.

Spelling errors

Always be sure to double-check (and even triple check) work before it is printed. Not doing so can call the company’s professionalism into question. Never rely solely on spell-check, as it does not catch diction errors such as “there” being “their” or “red” where you meant to type “read.”

Printing single-sided

Some prints and copies need to be single-sided, but many do not. By printing double-sided, you can save in paper costs up to 50 percent!  Double-sided printing can often be chosen as a default through the printer or through a print management system; this way, you need only go into settings to choose single-sided if you know that it is necessary for the document.

Printers are central to all office environments and they are often one of the most useful and powerful tools. Be aware of your printing habits, and what they can cost you.