7 Considerations When Choosing an MFP
Multifunction printers (MFPs) are fast becoming the office workhorse, combining printing, copying, scanning and faxing into a single device. They are often a budget-friendly choice, and can help you to improve document workflows. However, acquiring an MFP is an investment that should be taken seriously. These tips can help guide your research.
Consider the number of users, how often it will be used, the need for color printing, paper usage, document workflows and other factors to make sure your new MFP will do everything you need it to do without having to spend money on features you don’t want.
2. Cost of Operation
The cost of an MFP does not always tell the full story. You should also look at the cost of service, supplies, warranties, the history of reliability and power usage. When it comes to the service that will be provided to maintain the system, you need to know if you will be receiving OEM parts and supplies or if the vendor providing the service will be including lower quality, aftermarket parts and supplies, which may adversely affect the warranty. Be sure to ask what type of warranty comes with the new system. Is it from the manufacturer directly, or the service provider? What is the length of the warranty, 30 days, 90 days, three years? Is the warranty included in the lease and service contract? Finally, if you are leasing the system be sure to check the fine print before signing so there are no surprises and hidden fees.
3. Third-Party Reviews
Don’t rely simply on the manufacturer’s specs. Consult independent testing agencies as well to find out how well the MFP you’re considering stands up to the competition.
4. Ease of Use
An MFP that takes extensive set-up and training to use can create both short and long-term issues, preventing you from getting the most out of your device. Look for intuitive controls and easily accessible documentation and support.
5. Multifunction vs. Multitasking
Multifunction printers complete different jobs individually, on a “first come, first served” basis. A user may have to wait until someone else’s job completes.
Multitask printers can complete different jobs simultaneously which can help prevent delays and bottlenecks when multiple users or departments share the device.
Like any other device on your network, your MFP must meet the security and confidentiality needs of your business. One question to consider asking suppliers is this: is the entire system secure, or simply individual sub system components? Consider the scalability of its security to grow with your needs.
7. Software, Support and Solutions
Be sure to find out what compatible software and solutions are available from your vendor and their solution partners.
Leasing or purchasing an MFP can be a good investment for your business. Be sure the device meets your needs to enjoy many years of use.