A Multifunction Printer is a device which combines the functionality of a printer, copier, scanner and/or fax into one machine. Multifunction Printers are good choices for budget-minded businesses if one wants to reduce costs, improve workflow, and consolidate assets. In order to get the right machine for you, it’s very important to evaluate your business needs so here are the ten important things one must know while buying a multifunction printer (also referred as MFP).
- Analyze your needs
It is very necessary to understand that what you are about to do with your printer. You are buying it for yourself or for your end users. Apart from copying, and printing how you’re going to use the MFP to manage documentation work, reduce paper usage, manage forms, simplify workflow, etc.? The number of copies, prints, faxes, scans, and email jobs you will run each day? The numbers of devices you’re going to share with your device, whether you need color capable machine or not, etc.? How many users will share the device? Will you need it to be color capable?
- Evaluate the Total Cost of Ownership and figure out value benefits
It’s an intelligent approach that before buying a MFP, don’t analyze the initial cost of the hardware only, there are various other factors which need to be considered, including the cost of supplies. Once when ink costs are taken into consideration, inkjet MPFs are perceived as being low cost initially, but often they turn out to have an equivalent or higher total cost of ownership than the higher performing solid ink multifunction and laser printers after some time. This cost may increase significantly in the case of those devices which are hard to use and maintain, lacking the features and capability to effectively and efficiently produce the results you need, or unreliable. .
Your multifunction printer may prove a useful asset in managing, controlling, and saving costs for printing and imaging, and it may also add new capabilities to your organization if you have selected it wisely. Consider the ability of MFPs and evaluate how they can address total cost of ownership for printing and imaging assets, improve business process efficiency by consolidating and improving the management of resources across the organization.
- Read the reviews and know the experience of the users
Compare the data provided by the manufacturer and the actual performance. Read the reviews of users and analyze the data provided by third parties from independent testing agencies. What the users and other experienced people of the industry are saying about the performance and the quality of the machines, how much maintenance cost, you may bear and other pros and cons of the product you are considering?
- Ease of creating connectivity to an existing network
Consider how easy it is to deploy and the ease the system will integrate with the existing network. Does it come with wizards or software to guide you through installation, troubleshooting, upgrading, and require minimal start-up training?
- How easy to use
To prevent bottlenecks and costly employee down time, check the operability and the throughput of the machine you are about to buy. To find a multifunction printer which is easy to operate, check for minimal training requirements, intuitive user interfaces, and accessible online help and documentation. If you will require support, find it out that the product is backed by manufacturer-provided or third-party provided service and support coverage.
- Figure out its multitasking abilities
A Multifunctional means multitasking. A multifunctional printer should be truly multifunctional. Check that users can access each function it has at the point of need, even if other functions are being used already? There are some products, like All-in-Ones (AiOs), offer multiple functions all in one device, but they can’t perform multiple tasks, and cannot perform all the functions of a multifunction printer concurrently and as a result you may risk downtime because of bottlenecks.
- Does it have bi-directional communication capabilities
A device which is not capable of communicating accurate information on time to the users and IT administrators about the status of jobs, queues, and devices will tend to create more intervention by you and your staff to sort out, prevent or anticipate errors and issues. In order to keep a product run consistently, it’s essential to have a solid bi-directional communication, both at the device and across the network. Check the print device for print job and device status capabilities from the desktop or laptop and the ability to see all job queues across the network and at the device.
- Check the available device management, remote intelligence, support, etc.
Consider the vendor’s and manufacturer’s commitment to deliver robust device and fleet management utilities and tools that is something you may need now or in the future. Check out device relationship management program which optimizes the device’s availability and uptime. Find out that does the vendor offer superior response time and provide consistent quality of service? Make sure that it’ll help you to run and have an efficient and productive office by verifying that it’ll be trustworthy and stay running.
- The level of security and confidentiality it provides
There is a lot of competition and every business owner wants to succeed the business of its counterparts. So it’s of utmost important concern and responsibility the you check whether the machine offer the appropriate level of security for your business or not? Is it scalable in order to provide robust security if your business demands that change?
- How many compatible applications and printers are available
There are a lot of compatible software and solutions are available from the vendor, and their solution partners, so check that which suits you best. After analyzing all the above discussed factors, but buy the machine which score maximum on your required parameters.
Multifunction printers may be very helpful to streamline cumbersome and duplicate document processes, and electronically manage, edit and archive your paper works. An MFP is a simple software application to help you to turn paper documents into electronic format and send them to multiple destinations – email, network folders, document repositories, even remote printers – with a single scan. To make and take an informed decision about which multifunction printer is right for you, you need to ask the right questions and find the right answers.
Jessica is an expert tech writer and work for data recovery service provider company, who writes about technicalities involved with the system’s hardware as well as software and always discuss about computer repair & virus removal services.