What are Multifunction Printers? Multifunction Printers, or MFPs, are devices that combine the functionalities of a printer, fax, scanner, and/or copier into a single machine. For budget-minded businesses wanting to improve workflow, reduce costs, and consolidate assets, multifunction printers are one of the best commercial printers to consider. If you are considering a scanner also, check out our multifunction printer list, specifically those that are recommended to use for scanning documents.
Considerations For Evaluating Multifunctional Printers
In order to make informed decisions regarding which multifunction printers are the best ones for you, the right questions need to be asked. The following are ten things you need to know before purchasing a multifunction printer.
1. Know what your requirements are
Make sure you understand your end users and what you need a multifunction printer to do In addition to copying and printing, how else would you like to use a multifunction printer in order to help you manage forms, simplify workflow, reduce paper, and manage documents? How many prints, copy, scan, email, and fax jobs are you going to be running on a daily basis? How many users are going to share the device? Do you need it to have color capabilities? There are numerous requirements to take into consideration. Our Multifunction Printer Buyer’s Guide will help you define your requirements even further.
2. Know the total cost of ownership (TCO)
When making an evaluation of a multifunction printer, be careful that you don’t just look at the initial cost of the hardware. There are several other factors to take into consideration, including how much supplies cost. Inkjet multifunction printers, after considering ink costs, which are often perceived to be low cost initially, frequently turn out to have a higher or equivalent TCO compared to solid ink and higher performing laser multifunctional printers. There can be significant increases in TCO for devices that are difficult to maintain and use, unreliable, or lacking in capability and features to effectively and efficiently produce your desired results.
3. Find out what third parties are saying about Houston multifunction printers
Compare data on actual support, management and performance issues that the vendor’s specific sheets claim with data provided by independent testing firms. What are experienced industry professionals saying about the performance and quality of the product that you are thinking about buying?
4. Determine how easy connecting with an existing network is
Take into consideration how easy it will be to integrate the Houston multifunction printer in with your current network. Will it be easy to deploy? How much is start-up training required? Does it have wizards or software to help guide you through the installation, upgrading and troubleshooting processes?
5. Determine how easy the printer is to use
Make sure you prevent costly employee downtime and bottlenecks by looking for a multifunction printer that is easy to use. Look for online documentation and help that is easy to access minimal training requirements and intuitive user interfaces. If you require support. make sure that the product offers manufacturer-provided support and service coverage.
6. Know what the multitasking abilities of the printer are
Search for a multifunction printer that really is multifunction. Are users able to access all of the functions that they need, including other functions that are in use already? Be aware that there is some product like All-in-Ones, where multiple functions are offered from a single device, but they are unable to multi-task. Therefore, they are unable to provide all of a multifunction printer’s functions at the same time, which means you could end up with bottlenecks and downtime as a result.
7. Know what the bi-directional communication capabilities of the printer are
If the printer fails to communicate accurate and timely information to IT administrators and users on the status of devices, queues and jobs it will result in your staff having to intervene to prevent, anticipate or solve problems. Having sound bi-directional communication, across the network as well as at the printer itself, are essential in ensuring that a product continues to run on a consistent basis. Search for device status and print job capabilities from a desktop as well as the ability to be able to view all of the job queues across the network and at the device.
8. Know what support, remote intelligence, and device management are available
Consider the commitment of the vendor to provide robust fleet management and device utilities and tools. You might want that in the future or now. Search for a printer that comes with device relationship management software for optimizing the uptime and availability of the multifunction printer. Are consistent quality service and superior response time provided by the vendor? You need to know that your multifunction printer is going to remain up and running to make sure that you have a productive and efficient office.
9. Know whether the printer provides the levels of confidentiality and security that you need
Is the appropriate security level that is offered by your device meet your business needs? Can it be scaled to provide even more security if the needs of your business change?
10. Know what solutions and software are available
Understand what compatible solutions and software are offered by the vendor, and solution partners as well. Multifunction printers can assist you with streamlining difficult and duplicate document process and also electronically archive, edit, and organize paper documents. Use a simple software application and the multifunction printer will allow you to make paper documents into electronic ones and send them to multiple destinations – remote printers, network folders, document repositories, email – with one scan.