What To Consider When Buying A Multifunction Printer

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What is a multifunction printer?

Multifunction Printers (MFPs) help businesses to reduce the number of machines they have in their office by combining all the regular features of a printer with other typical office devices such as copiers, scanners and fax machines into one appliance. Smaller offices and budget-minded businesses are now starting to use MFPs due to their ability to rationalise regular office tasks, thus helping them control assets, reduce costs, maximise workspace and improve productivity.

Factors to consider

There are a lot of convenient MFPs available, each with different functionalities, so it is important to consider the following factors before deciding which one best suits your needs.

Printing, Scanning, Copying and Faxing:

Printing is an everyday task that employees in every office participate in. When selecting a multifunction device for your office, consider the printing habits of your employees. How often do you and your employees print? What sort of documents are you printing? Are you printing in black and white or colour? Is the print quality high on your list of priorities? What print technology does your office use, Inkjet or laser? Luckily, MFPs are built to meet various printing needs therefore, whatever your printing habits may be, you will never struggle to find the right MFP for your business.

When scanning a document, you want to ensure the machine captures the quality of the images and text, as well as being able to load scanned documents onto USB devices, email them to accounts and save them to the server. This is important as many offices require the use of scanners and MFPs allow you to complete these tasks without the use of a separate machine.

A MFP has the capability to meet office copying requirements; from copying large documents to creating high-quality copies of documents in black and white or colour that are one sided, two–sided or  have multiple pages per sheet. A multifunction device can copy from or onto a wide variety of paper types and sizes and media.

Despite faxing being far less common nowadays, some offices still rely on this service. If this is the case for your business ensure you choose a MFP that allows faxing. Many MFPs allow you to receive and send faxes while in the process of printing or scanning.

Connection:

The connectivity of your MFP is significant due to the fact that most offices will have employees printing or scanning from various destinations; such as desktops, laptops and tablets etc. Without a wireless network connection, the use of the MFP will only be limited to one desktop at a time. By purchasing a relevant MFP, you will be allowed to easily print from desktops connected to a server, USB connection or wirelessly.

Support:

When purchasing large, multi-purpose machines, there will almost certainly be maintenance issues at some point, so carefully consider the warranties or support contract covers of the MFP you plan on purchasing, you don’t want to be stuck with a broken MFP and no way of fixing it.

Size:

This factor is largely based on personal preference and practicality. MFPs tend to be bigger than single-function printers, so if you have a small office, or want to save as much space as possible, choose a smaller MFP; however if space isn’t an issue a larger MFP could be a suitable option.

Cost:

If cost is a key driver for your business, make sure you compare price or contract options across a range of MFPs and purchase the one that offers best value for your business needs. The total cost of ownership will include more than just the price of the machine; it will also include future costs of maintenance and supplies such as ink cartridge replacements.
The needs of each office will vary depending on a range of factors, so identify your main printing habits and needs and then determine which MFP will best suit your environment.

To find out how you could save money on your in-house printing and documents requirements speak to DigitalTeam.

References:

http://www.office.xerox.com/small-business/tips/mfp/enus.html
http://blog.marconet.com/blog/bid/332600/8-Factors-to-Consider-When-Buying-Multifunction-Printers
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-things-to-look-for-in-an-all-in-one-printer/

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