A cheaper alternative to inkjet printers: Trio Systems offers a usage-only deal on laser printers to small businesses and the self-employed

When you set up in business, it’s important to keep a tight control on your expenses, so you decide to make do with the family desktop inkjet because it’s cheaper – isn’t it?

If you’re using less than a packet of paper every few weeks, it’s probably a reasonable option, but if you’re printing off more pages than that, we need to talk.

Inkjet printers – the true cost

Desktop printers are almost considered disposable these days because they’re so cheap to buy, but the downside is you find yourself buying a new one every three years or so (maybe five years for a laser printer), when your old one breaks down.

Additionally, a set of inkjet printer replacement cartridges can cost up to £85. And once one colour runs out, your machine refuses even to print in black and white until the empty cartridge is replaced. If you’re working in the evening, which isn’t unheard of among the self-employed or small business owners, then your printer is rendered useless.

Another problem with inkjet printers is they can be slow. You have to wait for each page to dry so, while the first page is fairly quick, larger documents take forever to print off.

Helping local businesses to save more than 50% on printing costs

If you’re using more than a packet of paper every two weeks, renting a laser printer could save you money, but we find a lot of small businesses are still reluctant to commit to an agreement.

Trio Systems likes to support start-ups and small businesses (we were one once). We have a number of pre-used printers in our warehouse, so we offer small businesses pre-used laser printers and multi-functional devices purely for the cost of usage. You don’t even pay rental, just a fixed rate for the number of copies printed.

We’re helping small businesses, self-employed people and even a local Guides group, saving them at least 50% on their printing costs as a result.

For that, you also get installation and our maintenance and repair service to make sure you can be up and running again as soon as possible after a breakdown.

So that’s the deal, we get a spare machine operating and you get a cheaper service and fewer headaches; it’s a win-win deal.

As a number of my customers have said: “Why didn’t we do this before?”

Want to keep your office working? Ask for our free consultation

See what your local printer rental company can do for you, but if you get no joy, Trio Systems offers the full range of Canon multifunctional devices. For a free consultation on the best and most cost effective solution to keep your office running, contact me at Trio Systems or ring 02088 934455.


Brought to you in collaboration with Bill Blogs 




Canon E Maintenance

E-maintenance: a remote way keep your photocopier running

Did you know that the Canon photocopier you’re leasing or renting, and many other makes of office multifunctional device (MFD), can tell your supplier when it needs more toner or which parts are wearing out?

Why am I doing someone else’s job?

When you’re running a busy operation, the last thing you need is for your photocopier to break down or run out of toner, so you have to get on the phone to your supplier while bored employees twiddle their thumbs and the office grinds to a halt.

And if your machine is on a lease or rental agreement, isn’t it annoying to have to visit each machine every month and record the number of copies it’s made so that your provider can bill you accurately? Surely that’s their job.

Five benefits to you by using MFD e-maintenance support

A few years ago we started using e-maintenance technology at Trio Systems to monitor the multi-functional devices we supply to our clients.

So long as your machines are connected to a LAN, which they usually are, each one can send us an automated email report, giving us lots of useful information:

  • In the bad old days we used to chase busy staff for quarterly copy readings, but now we can do all that for you remotely.
  • If you need more toner, we’ll know and we can get one to you next day.
  • The system warns us if something’s going on, even before office staff notice. For example, if a machine suffers five paper jams in the same location over a short period, this could be a sign that a part is failing; we can see this information, deduce the cause and deal with it on a service call.
  • Sometimes a serious error develops that takes more than switching off, then on, to cure; for example a heater problem will keep shutting down the machine and it will fail completely if not dealt with. This will be highlighted at our office so we can send someone out urgently to fix it.
  • The system records a history of spare part use so we can work out average lifetimes unique to that machine. The email can then warn us if a spare part is coming to the end of its lifespan so we can make sure to put one in the post or send out the right part out with our maintainer for its regular check-up.

Through an online portal, we can even see where each machine is located in your company, but don’t worry – information only flows one way. We can’t send any instructions to your machines and have no access to your LAN.

Could you be benefiting right now from photocopier e-maintenance?

If loss of photocopier will disrupt your office and cost you money, then this is one of the ways we make sure you stay operational without you having to worry. If your MFD supplier isn’t providing you with this service then ask them why, or find someone who does.

Want to keep your office working? Ask for our free consultation

Trio Systems offers the full range of Canon multifunctional devices. For a free consultation on the best and most cost effective solution to keep your office running, contact me at Trio Systems or ring 02088 934455.


Brought to you in collaboration with Bill Blogs




Image scanners on your multi-functional devices: some interesting facts

Image Scanner

Office scanners may briefly have become a source of fun at all those office parties last month, but now that the festivities are well and truly behind us, we tend to overlook this useful machine and how much it contributes to the productivity of the office.

I once came across a company that made do without a scanner in their office by taking photos of documents on mobile phones. Apart from the quality of the images, there was a complete lack of security and accountability of the copies made.

Needless to say, I quickly persuaded them that an image scanner would serve their needs, offering a proper virtual “paper trail” for every document.

So I thought I’d take a quick look at image scanners this month. I find this sort of thing fascinating, and I think you will too.

The history of image scanners

During Victorian times, there were numerous inventive attempts to create a device that could recreate images, some of which became acknowledged as the forbears of modern fax and image scanning machines.

  • The Italian pantelegraph came into service in the 1860s and used a series of electromagnets and pendulums to recreate and transmit small drawings and signatures by synchronising movements with a remote machine.
  • The French responded with the Belinograph of 1913 which used a drum rotating at up to 240 rpm and photodetector to send analogue signals to a receiver.
  • However, it wasn’t until a team at the US National Bureau of Standards led by Russell Kirsch achieved the Holy Grail in 1957 by building of the first modern image scanner. The first image ever scanned was a small photograph or Russell’s three-month-old son, Walden.

How scanners work

Image scanners optically scan pictures and documents, converting them into a digital form that can be read and stored by computers and recreated on a monitor.

A photoelectric cell in the scanner measures the amount of light reflected from each part of the original image, differentiating dark typeface from the surrounding paper and the different shades of colour in photographs. It then converts these measurements into a digital code.

The scanner head moves backwards and forwards across the subject document or picture to build up a complete digital image.

Getting the most from your scanner

The paperless office has been a dream of office bureaucrats for decades, but image scanners bring that concept a step closer to reality.

Many of my clients work in the law, in which case only a hard copy will do. Fortunately, as well as scanners, our MFDs also incorporate photocopying, printing and even fax capability. However, for most offices image scanners mean savings on stationery and storage costs. They also cut down on your postage costs by letting you attach documents to emails.

Trio Systems offers the full range of Canon MFD, complete with scanner function. If you’d like more information on the best MFD to suit your office needs, then contact me at Trio Systems or ring me on 02088 934455.

Brought to you in collaboration with Bill Blogs



Reading the small print – what to look out for when you’re signing a printer hire agreement

The devil is in the detail when you sign a lease hire deal for a new multifunctional printing device, especially when that contract runs to six or more pages. But at Trio Systems we pride ourselves on fitting all of our terms and conditions onto one side of A4 paper – that’s less for you to read and fewer places for us to hide any unpleasant surprises, if we had any.

Admittedly, the font has to be a bit small to squeeze onto one side of paper, but it’s still far easier to read our standard contract than the legal documents that some of our competitors expect you to understand and sign.

As far as we’re concerned, terms and conditions are there to protect both sides, not a chance to bamboozle the customer into an arrangement that makes them feel trapped; that benefits nobody in the long run.

So, I’m going to be like a member of the Magic Circle and giving away trade secrets by pointing out some of those clauses to look out for, before you sign, which cost you more than you expect.

Hidden costs

You may think you’ve agreed the monthly cost of hiring your multifunctional device, but look out for extras in the body of the contract – e.g. delivery, installation and connection fees. I found a monthly “network support charge” in one contract, whatever that means.

You can also expect to be charged extra if you need more toner or a replacement part, especially if you need it quickly.

And providers may also reserve the right to “amend” charges during the period of your agreement.

Minimum volumes

Make sure you specify a realistic minimum monthly or quarterly printing volume charge. If you don’t set a minimum, the provider may estimate one for you. Either way, if you don’t meet your minimum volume each period, you’ll find yourself paying for printing you don’t even do.

Termination clauses

Check how much it will cost you if you decide to end your contract early or decide not to go ahead before the device is delivered. You may even be charged for the equipment to be removed.

I read one contract that demanded 50% of the retail value of a multi-functional device if you decide you don’t want to go ahead, or your finance provider turned you down, once you’ve signed an order form. Considering that machines can be valued at well over £10,000, that’s thousands of pounds you could end up paying for nothing.

Make sure you return the printer in the same condition you received it in - dents, stains or scratches will also cost you – and don’t forget to return all manuals instructions and service records.

Good service, not clever contracts, keep customers

Our policy is to win and keep customers by being honest and open with them. We’d rather build up a long term relationship with clients than catch them out with hidden charges. We make more money in the long run and you get the service and peace of mind you want from knowing that our contract best suits your needs, and we’ll keep your device working.

Always be prepared to negotiate with a potential provider, but if you want a clear, straightforward contract, then contact us at Trio Systems or ring on 0208 893 4455 for some answers in plain English.

Brought to you in collaboration with Bill Blogs




Is your multi-functional machine out of action? The Loan Printer rides to the rescue.

It never rains but it pours. Since Christmas I’ve been called out to three of my clients’ offices because the multi-functional printers we’d supplied them had been flooded with water!

Although rented machines remain our property, they’re insured by the customer and I know it can take time for their insurance claims to be processed. I value the relationship I have with my clients so, if they rely on their machine, I make it my priority to ensure they can keep on operating.

One of the many services I offer is to loan them a similar printer, or even a brand new one, as a stop-gap replacement for the machine that’s been damaged for whatever reason, even by flood.

One client of mine runs a business centre with serviced offices for small firms in Dorking. I supply them with a Canon multi-functional printer which sits in the main reception so that everyone can use it. They all have their own access codes so they can be charged correctly for usage at the end of the month. I know that it’s crucial that the machine is always available.

Unfortunately, the other weekend, there had been a power cut and when the electricity came on again, the centre’s automatic flush toilets switched themselves permanently on, flooding the reception.

The paper tray on the printer ended up full of paper maché and the machine was totally dead by the time its owner came in on the Monday morning.

Fortunately, Trio Systems was able to get a new machine to them within a few days. We usually work with our regular delivery company to get a machine to a client as soon as we can, even if we have to rearrange other deliveries to get a loan machine onto the lorry.

Then we transferred all the users’ personal codes onto the new machine and they were ready to go, while we were able to liaise with insurance companies and get the claim dealt with.

If you’re looking for that extra bit of customer care or you’re interested in finding out more about how we supply your multi-functional printer needs, then please get in contact with me at Trio Systems or ring me on 02088 934455.

Brought to you in collaboration with Bill Blogs





PaperCut could save time as well as paper in your office


Modern offices are so efficient and convenient these days. You can send a document from your desktop to the printer and it’ll be waiting for you at the office machine - no waiting around, no waste of paper - it’s far more efficient, yes?

Well… no. You waste time getting up and down from your desk all day, someone takes your printed letter by mistake or throws it in the bin, or you realise you’ve printed ten copies by mistake.

A more efficient way to control printing

At Trio Systems, we now sell a very popular document management software package by PaperCut that makes people wait at the printer for their work, and yet, counter-intuitively, it ends up saving you time and paper.

Even though I get paid by the copy, I’m recommending this to my customers, especially solicitors, accountants and schools, because of the amount of printing they do and the potential there is for cutting down massively on wastage.

The software only takes 30 minutes to install on your office server, no matter how many printers or multi-functional devices you have on your office network. We then put an app on each printer, which is the interface with the user, and you’re ready to go.

How PaperCut works

While you’re busy working at your desk, you send each completed document to the office server. Then, when it’s convenient, you can go and collect all your documents in one go from the printer of your choice.

Your documents aren’t waiting for you to collect (or getting picked up with someone else’s work). First you have to log in and look at your account, which makes you decide which print jobs you really need; then you hit the GO button and your account prints off only your selected documents – don’t worry, modern printers don’t keep you waiting very long – and you’re done, saving time and paper in the process.

And if a job remains unprinted after a set time, it’s automatically deleted, again saving paper and preventing annoying log-jams of old jobs.

Better control and auditing for your printer

As well as saving on paper wastage and time, PaperCut requires a PIN or swipe card system to access your account, so it tightens up office security.

And PaperCut stores all the information on who prints what, where and when, giving your office manager or financial department all the data they need to control the stationery budget.

Free trial

Recommending PaperCut may cut into my commission but I like giving my customers the right advice to solve their wastage problems.

So if you’re interested in cutting paper wastage, improving efficiency, increasing security and having greater budgetary control over your office, contact me at and we can talk about the 40-day free trial that PaperCut offers

Brought to you in collaboration with Bill Blogs


5 / 12 / 2016


Canon Europe, world-leader in imaging solutions, is today completing its successful imageRUNNER ADVANCE portfolio with the launch of two compact A4 colour multifunctional devices (MFDs). For the f...

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