Single function or multifunction? A simple enough question but before, you make a decision, it’s work taking a look at just what a multifunction printer can do for you. An MFP isn’t just a device for making copies and sending faxes; it can streamline, or even transform your document management processes. Here’s how…
Paper is bulky, heavy and it’s a fire hazard. If you need to store or archive documents, multifunction printers allow you to do it digitally. Scanning your paper documents converts them to an electronic format such as pdf, which you can store on your hard drive, in the cloud or on external media, such as a USB stick.
This means that you can store as many copies as you need, without taking up any physical space. Storing a backup copy in the cloud, for example, also means that you’re protected in the event of a fire or a catastrophic failure of your PC.
Rather than making multiple copies of a document and handing it round to everyone, you can simply scan it and e-mail copies to the relevant people. Of course, you’d need a copier to make the physical copies too but, by scanning and sharing electronically, you’re working smarter.
If you still have a need for faxing, many multifunction printers allow you to send and receive faxes without printing a hard copy. A fax-enabled MFP connected to a PC can forward you an electronic copy of an incoming fax so you can decide whether or not you need to print it.
You can also send an electronic document from your PC via a fax, so no more standing at the fax machine, feeding in sheets of paper which come through blank at the other end because you put them in upside down.
Single or Multifunction?
Most businesses, and even home users, would benefit from a multifunction device but is there a case to be made for buying a single function printer? As usual, the main benefit is cost – a single function device will be cheaper to buy than the equivalent MFP, while the running costs will be the same.
If you’re printing high-end graphics or images, the quality of the output will be your most important concern. It would be hard to justify spending an extra £2000 for a scanner and fax when you’re producing signage or point-of-sale material, for example.
On balance, though, there are very few situations where you wouldn’t benefit from a multifunction device. You may be managing perfectly well with a single function device but you could be missing an opportunity to improve your productivity and efficiency.
Here at Printware, we practice what we preach and all our office printers are multifunction devices. If you want to discover more about MFPs and how they can transform your business, give us a call on 023 9262 3300.
by Anthony Morgan