Multifunction printers (MFPs) are more than just printers. They combine many of the functions you’d typically see in standalone printers, copiers, fax machines, and scanners and condense them into a single integrated device. A single multifunction printer can easily handle the printing needs of an entire small office, and multiple MFPs can stand in for dozens of standalone printers, scanners, and other office technology devices.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a small business or a large enterprise – the benefits of replacing countless machines with a single all-in-one (AIO) unit are quite clear.
How Multifunction Printers Benefit Businesses
There’s no question about the multiple benefits that multifunction printers bring to the modern office. Consider the following:
Having separate printers, scanners, fax machines, and copiers can make any office look and feel congested, especially when office space is at a premium. A single all-in-one multifunction printer can free up space taken up by multiple bulky machines, giving users more room to stretch out and get things done.
Multifunction printers come in various sizes, from compact desktop models to large machines capable of large-scale print production. Diversity in size and form makes it easier for companies to choose the best MFP for their office environment.
The typical office workflow involves switching back and forth between multiple office machines, depending on the tasks. This often proves frustrating for users under tight deadlines, especially when using multiple machines means covering a significant amount of floor space. A multifunction printer lets businesses consolidate devices and streamline document workflows in a way that saves employees considerable time and effort.
Ease of Use
While multifunction printers seem like incredibly complex devices, they’re actually designed specifically with ease of use in mind. Well-placed and easy-to-use controls ensure that the average user can easily access and perform a variety of essential print, scan, fax, and copy functions.
Multifunction printers also cut the complexity of maintaining an entire fleet of standalone machines. If something goes wrong with your MFP, it only takes a single technician to diagnose the problem and make repairs. Compare that with calling a technician to fix one of your scanners, and another to fix your fax machine, and so on.
Basic maintenance also gets easier with an MFP. With only one type of machine to worry about, things like ink and toner replacement are quicker and simpler to manage.
Smaller Eco Footprint
Today’s multifunction printers are incredibly energy-efficient compared to standalone printers and other imaging output devices. The more machines you have throughout the office, the larger your energy consumption and electricity expenses are bound to be. For companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint, multifunctional printers represent a golden opportunity to consolidate the printer fleet while reducing office-wide energy consumption.
Consider the costs of purchasing, installing, and maintaining each separate printer, copier, fax machine, and scanner. Those costs can add up over the years and ultimately impact your company’s bottom line. When it comes to cutting costs, consolidating those machines with a multifunction printer makes sense.
In addition to reduced maintenance costs, transitioning to an MFP fleet can also help reduce your spend on ink, toner, and other consumables. Some multifunction printers leverage those reduced costs through a continuous ink supply system (CISS), allowing users to enjoy higher ink capacity and take advantage of bulk buying for high-volume printing needs. Extended warranties also add value by eliminating a cost sink as devices age and require more intensive maintenance.
Top Features of Modern Multifunction Printers
Multifunction printers offer a vast level of capability, making them the perfect office machines. Here’s a brief rundown of the various features you’ll find in a typical MFP:
When it comes to high-volume printing, multifunction printers rise to the task. Most MFPs can easily churn out hundreds and even thousands of pages of text documents per day, making them well-suited for high-volume work. Multifunction printers are also surprisingly versatile when it comes to print media. From standard printer paper to thick cardstock, envelopes, and even labels, MFPs can handle a broad range of paper types.
Multifunction printers also offer many of the same features you’ll find on standalone printers, including duplex printing for flyers and brochures. Higher-end models can even address advanced printing needs, from stapling and folding to cover binding and hole punching.
Document scanning is another feature commonly found in modern multifunction printers. Not only can users quickly scan text and image documents for safe digital storage, but they can also make use of high-level features like PDF encryption, transparency scanning, and email integration.
Multifunction printers also offer many of the same copying capabilities as their larger standalone counterparts. Many MFPs can make copies in color and black-and-white, although such a feature adds cost depending on the type of MFP (laser vs. inkjet). Some MFPs behave just like standalone copiers, while others require a computer to utilize copying features.
Faxing might seem a bit old-fashioned compared to emails and the Internet, but many offices and industries still demand the ability to send and receive faxes. Many multifunction printers offer internal storage, allowing them to store received faxes while the machine is turned off and retrieve those faxes at startup. MFPs neatly incorporate this feature so users can send and receive faxes with ease.
Today’s interconnected world demands networking options of modern devices, and multifunction printers are no exception. MFPs offer a variety of connectivity options, allowing for greater versatility and diversity in printing options. For instance, users out in the field can bypass the PC and print documents directly from their tablets or smartphones.
What to Consider When Selecting Your Next MFP
If you’re in the market for a new multifunction printer, there are several factors to consider before you sign a purchase agreement or lease. Review the below carefully with a reputable vendor to ensure you match your new device with your budget and needs.
How much are you willing to spend on a multifunction printer? The ultimate cost depends on the features your workflows require as well as whether you decide to purchase the device outright or sign a least to spread the cost out over time.
Should you go inkjet or laser? The former offers higher-quality color prints, while the latter excels at producing crisp black text documents.
Consider the type of work that goes on in your office and how you usually use your existing print fleet. What documents are typically printed regularly? What does your monthly print volume look like? These variables can impact your MFP choices.
Need help with choosing a multifunction printer for your Wisconsin business? Contact Wisconsin Document Imaging today and let our MFP experts guide you through the process.