Oki Data Australia's research shows that its SME customers are concerned about efficiency and productivity, and 74 percent of respondents are investing in IT - including printers - to address these concerns, ANZ marketing manager Antonio Leone told Business IT.
Printing related issues fall into to three main categories: the 'care and feeding' of the hardware, the way that product features can contribute to reducing the number of devices required, and workflow automation.
High capacity paper trays and support for multiple paper trays mean less time is wasted opening, riffling and loading reams of paper into the printer or swapping from one type or size of media to another.
On the subject of paper, Leone pointed out that the vast majority of Oki printers sold here have duplex printing capability
Oki printers are designed so that most consumable items - including the fuser unit and transfer belt - are user-replaceable. This reduces the cost as there is no need for a service call, and also means less downtime by avoiding the wait for a technician to arrive.
The use of LED technology reduces the parts count and is more reliable than traditional laser technology, which in turn means fewer service calls and therefore less downtime.
Oki's printers can handle thicker media than most, thanks in part to their simplified paper path, while some models also handle paper as light as 55gsm (equivalent to newsprint). Coupled with the banner printing capability on several models, this flexibility means one device may be able the place of several.
Other features of certain models further increase their flexibility and usefulness, such as the availability of white and clear gloss toners in addition to the usual cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Uses for white toner include 'chalkboard' effects on matte black media, and for printing white areas on transfers (for application to garments or other objects such as mugs) and coloured media. Clear gloss can be a creative addition to stationery (e.g., business cards and invitations) and brochures, highlighting particular areas such as a logo or other element.
Capabilities of Oki's multifunction devices can help streamline paper trails and workflows, Leone suggested. Documents can be scanned and then emailed to the appropriate person directly from the MFD, or scanned to a particular network folders. Depending on the software used, it may be possible to scan a document such as an invoice and transfer the image to an accounting or other system for processing.
On the printing side, an Oki MFD makes it possible to search through a library of PDF files and then retrieve and print the one that is required. This print-on-demand approach means that you never run out of printed documents, and you don't have funds tied up in pre-printed copies that may become obsolete before they are used.
All these features and capabilities help efficiency and productivity, said Leone.