A Multifunction Printer like the Epson multifunctional printer or the oki multifunctional printer, often referred to as an MFP, is a device that consolidates the functionality of a printer, copier, scanner and/or fax into one machine. Multifunction Printers are a common choice for budget-minded businesses that want to consolidate assets, reduce costs, and improve workflow. If also considering scanners, take a look at our list of multifunction printers, specifically recommended for scanning documents.
Multifunction Printer Evaluation Considerations
To make an informed decision about what multifunction printer is right for you, you need to ask the right questions. Here are the ten things you must know before you buy a multifunction printer.
1. Know your requirements
Understand what you need the multifunction printer to do for you and your end users. Beyond printing and copying, how do you want to use the multifunction printer to help manage documents, reduce paper, simplify workflow, manage forms, etc? How many copy, print, fax, scan, and email jobs will you run each day? How many users will share the device? Will you need it to be color capable? There are a number of requirements to consider.
2. Know the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Cost/Value benefits
When evaluating a multifunction printer, beware of looking only at the cost of the initial hardware. There are a number of other factors to consider, including the cost of supplies. Once ink costs are taken into consideration, inkjet multifunction printers, initially perceived as being low cost, often turn out to have an equivalent or higher TCO than the higher performing laser and solid ink multifunction printers. TCO can also increase significantly for devices that are hard to use and maintain, unreliable, or lack the features and capability to efficiently and effectively produce the results you need.
Your multifunction printer can become a useful asset in managing and controlling costs for printing and imaging, and can also add new capabilities to your organization if you choose wisely. Consider how multifunction printers can address total cost of ownership for printing and imaging assets, better consolidate and improve management of resources across the organization, and improve business process efficiency.
3. Know what third parties have to say
Compare the data on the actual performance and management and support issues promoted on the vendor’s specification sheets with data from independent testing agencies. What are experienced people in the industry saying about the quality and performance of the product you are considering?
4. Know how easy it is to connect to an existing network
Consider how easily the multifunction printer system will integrate with your existing network. Is it easy to deploy? Does it require minimal start-up training? Does it come with software or wizards to guide you through installation, troubleshooting, and upgrading?
5. Know how easy it is to use
Prevent bottlenecks and costly employee down time by finding a multifunction printer that’s easy to operate. Check for intuitive user interfaces, minimal training requirements, and easily accessible online help and documentation. If you do need support, check that the product is backed by manufacturer-provided service and support coverage.