Springfield, MO

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Digital technology next in office equipment

Posted online

by Ann Bucy

SBJ Contributing Writer

If you're not already aware that the world is going digital, you may want to do some studying on the subject.

The latest digital rage is a computer that works as a printer, fax machine and copier. The computer is hooked up as a stand-alone unit or as part of a local area network, according to Jim Quesenberry, president and owner of Corporate Business Systems.

Quesenberry said the fax and printer have separate memories, so even if the copier jams, you can still send and receive faxes while the jam is being fixed.

Corporate Business Systems sells Savin products, a subsidiary of Ricoh. The entire product line is Y2K compliant, Quesenberry said. "When you're looking at buying digital equipment make sure there's someone on the staff who has the technical knowledge to fix the equipment if it becomes necessary. We have a (certified netware administrator) on staff who can fix just about any problem that may come up."

He said that digital products are more reliable than analog because there aren't as many moving machine parts, so there are fewer service calls needed.

"Also, the savings potential with a digital machine is greater," he said. "With the old fax machine, a fax cost 5 cents apiece. With the digital machines, they cost a penny apiece. Also, buying a three-in-one machine costs less than buying the three machines individually."

Other advantages include having only one maintenance contract, and a single machine takes up less workspace.

So is digital equipment for everyone?

"When making that determination, look at the function of overall volume required," he said. "If you're making 1,000 or more copies a month or 50 sheets a day on your printer or fax machine, the savings would be great enough to go digital."

Tim Chambers, the sales manager at American Business Systems, said digital office equipment is the form all copiers will take in the future.

Chambers' company offers six or seven different products in the 3M-Linear Office Products line and will offer nine new models in 1999.

"The major difference with digital is that you can scan something once but get many copies made from it," he said. "It improves your productivity and reliability, and you can collate without a sorter, requiring less moving parts." Also, with the older copiers, there are only 10 or 20 sorting bins. With digital, there's almost unlimited sorting capabilities.

"Digital copiers have been out for seven or eight years," Chambers said. "But they're getting more and more popular because the prices are going down, and the quality of the print and scan speed have improved."

He added that there's a digital copier for every market. "There's one that produces 10 copies a minute up to one that produces 65 copies a minute. We ... can pick what we want to sell after doing the research and development."

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