It goes without question to state that computers and technological equipment are a must in business for communication with other clients and completing documents. As most will know this is the very bane of running a successful company and keeping every piece of information stored, organised and recorded. However, one thing that companies do need is a printer to go with the computer. Not just any old printer, but one that can function is many ways.
There are always ways of transferring document information to clients wither by email or fax, however many businesses if not all will keep a record of all hardcopy information as well as saving them electronically. Often it may be easier to print, fax or email in one go, in which a multifunction printer (MFP) comes in handy. Before investing in such device it is always a good idea to consider some of the few options making sure that you are buying it for the right reasons.
The cost of printing can often be expensive and in the current economic climate of the UK, most companies will want to try to cut corners and reduce costs as much as they can. MFP machine usually works by incorporating more than function into one machine. This reduces the need to have more than one device, further reducing costs and reducing your carbon footprint. A typical MFP works by incorporating the following functions: Printing documents, Faxing documents, emailing system, photocopying and scanning.
If these are the things that you would need from a printer then you have answered your first question - what do you need the printer for? If you think owning one of these will help to improve the business in any way then perhaps purchasing a good quality printer will make a difference in how you work. This will then lead you onto the next point, which is how much will it cost to purchase and maintain thereafter? Will it work out to be a good investment?
Simply buying a MFP will not be enough, because with it will come plenty of supplies and maintenance. The printer will presumably be used on a daily basis, throughout the day making it an extremely important asset to the company. Will you need a colour printer? What size copies will you be making? Does it need to print documents out quickly if you are in a rush? Who else will be using the printer and will they need training on how to use it?
These are just simple questions that relate back to what you require from the printer. This will then bring you to the third point and that is how much will ownership of the printer cost you. What are the costs and the benefits? Traditional printers which are built solely for printing only may break down easier than a multi function printer and may be more expensive to keep maintained. However, a multifunction printer may require more expensive ink cartridges and depending on the kind of printer that you want and the speed at which it works, it may need restocking regularly. It is good to weigh up the options, see how much the cost of keeping will affect your overall costs in the end.
The fourth point to consider is when actually shopping for a new MFP, always research what other people had to say about using them. It pays to take your time on this and possibly read up on customer testimonials. Approaching the manufacturers themselves will not always provide you with accurate information as they are likely to be biased about their products, however it is a good idea to gain some useful information about the printers, how to use them and get a clear idea on the average cost of owning one.
The final thing to remember is how easy is it to network the machine up to multiple computers? Will the staff need training on how to use it? Are there simple drivers to install? How much will it cost to upgrade or replace if it needs to be replaced? Furthermore, as mentioned before, how easy is it to trouble shoot and will this be expensive? Once you have all of these questions down and are happy with what will be required of you for using the machines, then you can start making decisions on the brand and manufacturer you want to go with. Never buy anything on a whim.
Anna Stenning has recently used an MFP in her office and has seen how much money has been saved from purchasing one.