Stupid Things People Do with Copiers and Printers

Stupid things people do with copiers and printersThe year 2012 is quickly coming to a close. While you may be committing (or recommitting) to all kinds of New Year’s resolutions – exercising more, eating less, kicking the smoking habit and more – we hope that you’ll also give serious consideration to this one: eliminating abuse of copier and printer machines.

Over the more than three decades we’ve been selling and servicing copiers and printers in Canton, Akron, Toledo and many other Ohio cities, we’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff. I’ve asked our service technicians to share the strangest (and, in some cases, funniest) things they’ve seen people do with their office equipment. We hope this encourages you to take even better care of your copiers and printers, so that they will take good care of you and your organization in 2013.

Construction Paper, Wall Paper and Printers Don’t Mix

Service tech Mark Rader shares his favorite stories:

Teachers love to be creative – sometimes too creative. I once had a teacher run black construction paper through a copier, thinking the copies would come out darker.

Another teacher cut down wall paper to 8- 1/2″ x 11″ pieces and ran it through the printer. This turned out to be a major problem, as the wall paper was the kind that you wet down and stick. When it went through the printer’s fuser, it wrapped around the roller. Uh oh…

Finally, one of my customers received a fax on thermal paper, which is heat-sensitive paper that’s designed for use in a thermal printer. She decided to run it through the copier to copy something on the back side of it. Surprise, surprise, the paper came out black. Lesson: thermal paper and copiers don’t mix!

Don’t Use Copiers Like a Microwave

Service tech Cory Hartley talks about a sticky situation he once encountered:

Scanner bulbs used to be made with halogen, which gives off heat. (Today, manufacturers use xenon, which remains cool.) A customer with a halogen-bulb scanner called about constant jamming in the document feeder.

The problem was perplexing, but we finally got the customer to admit that one of his employees liked to warm up his doughnuts on the copier glass. Turns out the film from the glazed doughnuts were making it impossible for the feeder to run documents over the glass. Once we cleaned that up, everything worked just fine. But we did wonder where all the photo copies of the doughnuts ended up.

Copiers Don’t Make Good Mousetraps or Condiment Storage

Service manager Ed Brudzinski reports that, on more than one occasion, techs have found mice caught in the gears, which definitely will stop a machine. He says, “Printers are a bad way to catch mice.”

After an office celebration, our service techs discovered mustard and ketchup packets inside a copier. Copiers are also not a good place to store condiments.

Store Your Office Supplies Somewhere Else

Here’s a word of advice from our tech Paul Hull:

Never keep paper clips on the copier or remove staples near a printer. When this stuff falls into a machine it usually results in a service call.

Do you have a funny story to share about how someone at your office has used a copier or printer? Share it with us in the comments below! Happy New Year!

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Office Solution Software That Will Improve Your Business Operations

save time and moneyOne of the great things about Sharp copiers and multi-function printers is all of the additional software and apps available to improve your business. Installing these apps using Sharp’s OSA technology allows you to customize your printer to exactly your business needs. No more one-size-fits-all copier!

From helping you manage your printing costs to improving your document workflow and keeping you compliant with regulations, there are software solutions for every size business and organization.

In this post, we are going to take a look at two office software solutions that can help any business—those that manage print and copy costs and those that manage document workflow.

Office Solution Software to Manage Print & Copy Costs

Copiers and printers are often the most used—and most abused—pieces of equipment in the office. Printing and copying costs can spiral out of control unnecessarily for businesses. Special software installed on your printer or copier can become a solution to this all-too-common office problem. The type of software that can assist your business with this is referred to as cost accounting software.

Cost accounting software can help you manage access to the printer or copier and control which users have access to different features of the equipment and limit output. It allows you to set up user groups based on access levels and assign codes or other forms of security keys to grant the right permissions to each group. For instance, in a school you may have differing levels of security and create special groups for students, teachers and administration. You would be surprised at how much money can be saved by managing access and enforcing limits on groups. And throughout this process, you will be able to track and analyze usage data for the user groups.

Office Solution Software to Manage Document Workflow

Switching to electronic document management can save your employees and staff members time, and also save your company money. It is important to have effective workflow processes in place to manage your documents. The type of software the can offer your business a solution to this is referred to as document management and workflow software.

Document management and workflow software can allow your office to communicate more effectively and adopt a digital workflow with ease. Set up predefined workflows with document management software that you can select from your multi-function printer’s touch screen, for each type of document your process. Define what file type the document should be stored as,  where it should be stored and if it needs to be emailed or faxed to someone as well. The software also provides easy, user-friendly methods for searching and retrieving documents. Forget the room full of filing cabinets; with digital document management sorting, storing and retrieving documents is a breeze!

There are numerous software solutions available for your Sharp copier or printer to assist with cost accounting, and document management and workflow. Contact us or speak with your sales representative to determine which piece(s) of software would best fit your office’s needs. Make your life easier and save your company money!

Best of Copeco’s Copy Talk 2013

The goal of Copy Talk is to bring you informative articles that will help you troubleshoot problems, use your multi-function printer or copier more effectively, and help your office run more smoothly. In short, we want to let you get to know us a little better! Our talented staff has shared some great information this past year on the blog. To prevent that information from getting lost in the archives and deep dark corners of the web, we bring you the best of Copy Talk from 2013. These articles contain the best tips we’ve shared that are sure to help your business.

best of copy talk 2013

Get Video How-to Resources for Sharp Printers on YouTube

If you use a Sharp multi-function printer or copier at your office, you will want to read this article. Who has time to read the highly technical and overwhelming product manual that comes with your office equipment? I know that I’m much more inclined to Google the answer to my problem. But then thousands of results are returned. Which will give you the answer you are looking for? Sharp has produced some excellent resources to help, in video form! No more diagrams to follow. See a real person, using a real machine and showing you how to accomplish what you need to do.

Before You Call For Copier and Printer Service

Lines or spots on your copies? It is a common problem that can be very frustrating. But, before you call someone out to take a look at your equipment, you may be able to troubleshoot the problem yourself. Mark Pamer walks you through some simple things to check before you call. These tips will save you time!

How to Recycle Your Sharp Toner Cartridges

Stop, drop, recycle! Sharp makes it very easy for you to recycle your used Sharp toner cartridges. Their bulk recycling kit makes gathering and shipping your toner cartridges a breeze! Place the shipping box in the mail room or near each Sharp printer or copier and most of the work is done for you.

How to Use Specialized Printing Functions on Your Sharp Copier

The specialized printing options available on Sharp printers and copiers are truly amazing. No more printing several different times on several different papers and then assembling your reports, manuals and other books. Specialized printing options allow you to specify different weight or colors of papers for the front page and back page of your project or any page in-between. Your multi-function printer will perfectly print and collate your project.

How to Quickly Resolve Copier Error Codes

An error code appears on the screen and then panic breaks out. What to do? Good news! Many error codes are easy to fix yourself. Mark Pamer shares three easy tips that will help you resolve the error code on your Sharp printer or copier. No need to fret; if you cannot get the error code cleared yourself, our trained service technicians are always here to help.

5 Common Mistakes People Make When Purchasing a Copier

When purchasing a piece of office equipment like a copier or printer, you want to make sure you make the right decision. Learn from others’ mistakes and how to avoid making them yourself. Randy Hudson explains why not buying color, not understanding the lease, not understanding the service contract, over or underbuying, and buying used or “pre-certified” are the most common mistakes.

We look forward to providing you with more tips and tricks in 2014 to help your business and office run more smoothly. Do you have any questions on Sharp copier features, issues you want to learn how to troubleshoot, or any other copier or printer topics you would like to see us cover? If so, please leave us a comment below! We hope you have a Happy New Year!

How to Quickly Resolve Copier Error Codes

Office SuperwomanIt’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Error Code Fixer!

Smooth operations in an office are essential, and our goal is to keep your office moving and your equipment humming. Previously we discussed quick tips for clearing paper jams. In this post, I will give you some tips on what to do when you receive an error code.

The best news about error codes? A major fix is not always necessary, as they can be remedied quickly and easily. You may be able to resolve the error code quickly yourself and become the office hero—cape optional.

Although we specialize in Sharp printers and copiers, these tips will help you with most any model of printer or copier.

3 Tips for Resolving Sharp Copier Error Codes

  1. Read the error code and other messages carefully. Take a minute to read the error code and message, since some codes are merely maintenance codes that mean it is time to service the machine. If that is the case, it is usually OK to continue to use the machine until it is serviced. Other codes will show actual problems with the machine.
  2. Try resetting the machine. Sometimes copiers can produce false error codes. Reset the machine by simply turning it off and then back on using the main power switch usually located inside the front door in the lower left-hand corner. On some smaller machines, the main power switch is located externally on the left side panel of the machine. On most newer copiers, you will need to wait until the little LED light by the power switch on the control panel turns green, then turn that switch back on as well. If this procedure resets the code, you can continue to use the machine. If not, proceed to tip three.
  3. Call us with the error code. We are here to help! Before you call, write down the error code and any other messages the copier is displaying. Or, if you can, call us while near the machine. Providing error codes on the call allows us to ensure our technicians have the needed parts or supplies when they visit your office. 

If an error code has you stumped, our qualified service techs will be there to save the day. Our goal is to make sure your office in Canton, North Canton, Akron, Toledo or elsewhere in Ohio is up and running in no time. Contact us!

Before You Call For Copier and Printer Service

Copeco Sharp Printer BlogJust when you’re ready to print or copy that report you’ve been laboring over for weeks, you discover lines or spots on your copies. While Copeco’s service technicians for your Sharp copier and printer are always ready to correct the issue, you may want to try these simple tips to resolve the problem yourself—without having to break out your printer or copier service manual.
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25 Years of Amazing Changes in Copier and Printer Service

Around the time when people were singing Bad with Michael Jackson and the ladies were swooning over Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, I started as a copier repair technician with Copeco. My how fast 25 years – and its swiftly changing technology – can go!

Office Equipment Maintenance ‘Back in the Day’

The way we handle the servicing of copiers and printers today looks almost nothing like it did a quarter century ago. When I started in 1987, I often was asked to repair typewriters. Copiers made copies and printers weren’t even part of the equation. Some copiers could staple, enlarge and sort documents, if you had a top-of-the-line machine. Email didn’t exist, so if you wanted to send a document, it was snail mail or fax.

Copier and Printer Service Communication Back in the 1980sIn the late 1980s, there were no pagers, no cell phones and no desk-top computers. Service calls were taken by our dispatchers and written on call tickets. Every morning, I and my fellow techs got our tickets. When we completed our work, we filled them out and called a dispatcher from – drum roll, please! – a payphone. Yea, we spent a lot of time using payphones. We relied on them. So, as you can imagine, communication was difficult. The worst scenario was finishing a call 50 miles from our North Canton office and driving back, only to have another request from the same area pop up while I was in transit.

Enter the simple digital pager. That device sure saved us a lot of time! Emergencies were easier to handle, and dispatchers could reach us (at least with a phone number) no matter where we were.

The next big improvement in communication with copier and printer repairs was the cell phone. When they initially came out, they were very expensive and rather large. (Remember those bag phones?) So, until the cost of cell phone technology decreased, we still used our pagers. But once we were able to use them, cell phones were an amazing leap forward in communication, and we haven’t look back since.

Copier and Printer Repairs à la 2012

Today printer and copier technicians are just as advanced as the equipment we fix. We carry laptops with aircards and get service calls in “real time.” From virtually anywhere, we can remotely login to our network and view a machine’s service history, our parts inventory, service manuals, tech support and much more. We can communicate with each other instantaneously and look up available parts throughout our territory, saving time, money and mileage.

People have asked me if I now get more done, thanks to all this wonderful technology. Yes and no. Although information is much faster and more accessible, the problems we encounter in the field are far more complicated than they were 25 years ago.

In 1987 my biggest problems were paper jams and fax phone lines. Now we have to look at why a multi-function printer jams only when it’s printing from a specific program or why a scan-to-PDF for emailing isn’t functioning. In essence, modern repair techs are your first line of IT support. We have to understand software and networks, as well as copier hardware, which is one reason I believe it’s so important to use techs who are certified specialists in the equipment they maintain.

It’s hard to say what the future holds for all-in-one printers, but I am pretty certain we’ll see more open systems architecture and cloud-based applications. Also, I believe IT specialists will write even more software for specific jobs and functions within a company. Perhaps in another 25 years, someone else from Copeco will write another blog post about changes between 2012 and 2037.

In the mean time, if you have a business or organization located in Canton, Akron, Toledo or elsewhere in Ohio and need copier/printer service, contact us. You can be certain one of our highly trained service techs will get the call right away!

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FAQ: What Is the Best Copier for My Business?

Get Sharp Color Copiers and Printers in Canton, Akron, Toledo and Northeast OhioThis is one of the questions that begins nearly every conversation I have with a new client. How do I choose the right copier for my organization’s needs? It doesn’t matter if you own a small business, manage a department in a mid- to large-sized company, or run a church or school office. You still need a copier, printer or all-in-one machine that will do everything you need it to do at a price you can afford.

The first place I always start is by asking, “What needs do you have that aren’t currently being fulfilled by your printers and copiers?” So, you should start there, too.

  • Create a list of must-haves, as well as printer options you’d like to have.

In most cases, you’re probably ready for functionality you didn’t have before, like scanning, stapling or three-hole punching. But maybe you aren’t sure of all the amazing things today’s advanced printing technology can do. Be sure to ask! Some options that were add-ons several years ago now come standard, which is always an added bonus.

The next thing to consider when you’re picking out a new printer is black-and-white copies vs. color copies.

  • Determine how often you’d like to make color copies.

This whole issue has changed dramatically over the past decade. Just a few short years ago, 90% of what I sold was B&W printers. Today, it’s just the opposite. Color printing has become more and more affordable. I can find a table-top or multi-function printer with color that will fit just about anyone’s budget. If you’ve been outsourcing your color printing, this may be the perfect opportunity to bring it in house.

And speaking of budget, what’s yours? That is the next issue you need to consider when trying to pick the best printer for your organization.

  • Define your budget parameters.

Most people typically have a budget in mind for leasing or owning a printer, as well as expenditures on parts, supplies and service.

Finally, you’ve got to think about printer speed. This is THE defining aspect of copiers and printers today.

  • Figure out how often you will use your copier and how many copies/prints you want make at one time.

Sharp has 15 different models currently, running the gamut between 20 pages per minute and 110 pages per minute (i.e., production print equipment capable of 70,000 to 200,000 copies per month). Color is slightly slower.

Basically, if you run a lot of copies every day, you don’t want a slow printer. People who are used to 90 pages per minute will not want to go down to 60 pages per minute. It’s a balance between the cost of the printer and the value of your time and productivity.

Of course, you don’t want to forget about service. It’s critical to getting the most out of your printer.

In this area, you always get what you pay for. Make sure you choose a copier and printer company that has well-trained techs and top-notch service standards.

Other options you can consider include managed print services, which will ensure maximum efficiency on all levels across your entire fleet of printers.

So, if you’re part of a business, church or school in Northeast or Northwest Ohio – including Canton, Akron, Toledo and surrounding areas – and looking for a new copier or all-in-one printer, give me a call. I’ll be happy to walk through this entire process with you. Together, I’m sure we can find the exact right printer for you.

Communication Is Key to Good Copier and Printer Service

Once you purchase or lease electronic office equipment, you have to live with your dealer’s service department for at least three to five years. That can be a long time if you’re not satisfied with the way the technicians do their job.

I first started providing maintenance and repair for copiers and printers in 1992. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what makes the relationship between a customer and a service technician run smoothly. On my list, communication is #1. From scheduling on-site appointments to working through a major repair, a good technician will keep you updated at all times throughout the process.

Communication is key with service on copiers and printers

However, assessing communication skills up front – before you purchase a copier or printer – may be challenging. That is why I recommend asking these seven service-related questions before you enter into a sales agreement. You’re certain to learn more about the company’s communication practices in the process.

  1. What level of skills and training do your service technicians have? Many dealers will send one or two technicians away for classes from time to time. But if you can find a dealer with an on-site trainer, you can be assured of an even higher level of competency among technicians. That’s because an on-site trainer makes sure technicians consistently receive the latest technical information available, right from the manufacturer.
  2. Are your technicians certified to maintain and repair the equipment you sell? Yes, on-the-job learning is valuable, but every machine is different. Each one requires a certain level of specialized knowledge that’s best gained directly from the manufacturer or a dedicated trainer.
  3. What is your technicians’ average length of service? Everyone is new to his or her job at some point, of course. However, if most of a dealer’s technicians haven’t been with the company long, that may be a red flag.
  4. How long has your company dealt with a particular copier and printer manufacturer? You can learn a lot about machines based on experience and training with previous models. It’s a good idea to contract with a dealer that’s been selling a particular brand for substantial period of time. Your service will most likely be better as a result.
  5. What is your average service response time? Find out what the dealer’s standards are for the time between the phone call and the technician arrival time. It should be one business day or less. If it is not, you may want to rethink things.
  6. How do you handle copier and printer parts? Ask if technicians generally carry common parts with them. If parts must be ordered, get an understanding of the dealer’s process, including requirements for a loaner machine. Think about what lengthy equipment downtime might mean to your business.
  7. What is your average recall ratio? In other words, do your technicians usually fix the problem properly the first time? Find out how many times a technician must be recalled for the same problem per 100 service calls. A dealer should keep a record of this and be able to pull it up on request.

With our service team at Copeco, we emphasize good communication and fast, accurate service with all our technicians. Most have been with us for 12 years or longer, and they know many of our customers on a first-name basis.

I believe a copier and printer service technician has an obligation to clearly explain the problem and let the customer know how and when the problem will be solved. Then, the technician must follow through. When that happens, a happy customer is virtually guaranteed.

If you’re in the process of buying or leasing a copier or printer, make sure you ask your dealer about service before finalizing any contract. If the answers are right, that happy customer will be you.

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The Platinum Factor: What to Look for in Sharp Copier Service

In the world of equipment maintenance (pick any industry), it can be difficult to decide which technician to use. Your options include asking friends and colleagues for recommendations or googling provider reviews or even old-fashioned trial and error (which can get mighty expensive).

However, there are some standards of service quality you can look for. In the automotive field, it is ASE certification. In HVAC/R, it is NATE. But, when it comes to copy machine and printer repairs, things are not as clear cut. So, if your copier is on the fritz and you are not using a certified technician (which I highly recommend), what should you do?

If you have a Sharp copier, you will not have to ponder that question too long because Sharp runs its own rigorous certification program, which is designed to help you choose the very best copier and printer service. Copeco and other Sharp electronics dealers that exceed performance benchmarks and consistently use best industry practices receive the Platinum Level Service Provider designation for:

  • Excellence in training, including 100% Gold-certified technicians, qualified on all current models for each sales office, as well as at least one technician per office that is certified in CompTIA PDI+ and CompTIA Net+ standards.
  • Excellence in service support, such as written service level agreements, a commitment to quick on-site response (less than four hours), loaner machines within 24 hours of a system failure and use of only genuine Sharp parts and supplies.
  • Excellence in customer satisfaction by ensuring that all reasonable efforts have been made before opening a support ticket with Sharp’s technical hotline and providing 100% call closure.

From the beginning, Copeco made a commitment to be the best, and the platinum award is a confirmation of the fact that we have one of the top service departments in the United States.  We look to maintain the award by demonstrating our ongoing commitment to keeping office equipment running at peak efficiency. That is a distinct advantage if you are trying to choose a good copier service provider.

Ohio dealer of Sharp copiers and printers wins platinum service award

Our extensive copier and printer service area in Northeast Ohio, Northwest Ohio and Southwest Michigan includes:

  • Stark County (Canton, North Canton, Massillon and more)
  • Summit County (Akron, Green and beyond)
  • Tuscarawas County (Dover and New Philadelphia)
  • Medina, Portage, Carroll, Wayne (Wooster), Holmes and Coshocton Counties
  • A 14-county area in and around Toledo

Contact us to learn more about how our service department can help you keep your Sharp multi-function printer running at peak performance.