Updated: Jan 26
There are so many options in the world of Multifunction Printers. MFP's have a combination of document processing functions such as copying, printing, scanning, Faxing, and other capabilities to make your business more efficient. Manufacturers are engineering new MFP's to help organizations increase productivity and lower costs. Software and apps can add a host of additional functionality. Some machines can assist with finishing options such as stapling, punching, booklet-making, and folding.
"We understand that choosing the best business machine for your organization is challenging. That's why we've put together this guide to make your choice much easier!"
1.) Color or Monochrome?
Sometimes the most straightforward decisions are the hardest. When choosing an MFP, the first choice is whether your copier should be black & white (monochrome) or color.
Typically, monochrome MFP's are less expensive to operate than color MFP's that have the same configurations. Black & white copies are best for organizations that only require text and content used internally or text and content that doesn't have to be graphically detailed. Color MFP's best serve organizations that need clean and colorful graphics, marketing/sales materials, charts, graphs, and other customer-focused content.
2.) Home Office or Workplace
To figure out which device will serve you best, let's consider the environment. What does your workspace require? Are you working out of your home or in a larger work area? Where will the MFP be set up? Will the MFP be placed on the floor, a table, a desk, or a counter? Another vital question to answer is how many people will use the copier on average every day? 1-2 people, 3-15 people, or more than 15?
One tabletop MFP can typically fulfill the needs of a 1-2 person home office. For applications where the workgroup is 3-15 people, we suggest a floor-standing copier with a paper capacity, speed, and durability to handle the needs efficiently.
3.) Monthly Print and Copy Volume
It can be tricky to match your volume requirements to the proper MFP. If your needs include a large workforce or corporate space with many employees, your requirements could be 10,000 prints per month or more. If you are working out of your home office, you may only need 1000 or fewer prints per month. Getting this choice wrong and placing a machine designed for light use in a heavy use scenario will most likely result in many monthly copier repairs, service requests, calls, frustrated users, and a shorter lifespan of the MFP.
4.) Print Speed
Another essential question to ask when choosing an MFP is print speed. Usually, you'll see print speed written as pages per minute "ppm." It's not always true that more ppm means a higher price point. Another spec you'll probably hear is first copy out time "FCOT." The FCOT is how long it takes for the machine to wake up, warm up and process or print/copy a document. MFP's that serve a small home office should have print speeds of 25 to 40 ppm. MFP's in a larger workspace should have print speeds of 45 to 60 ppm.
5.) Paper Capacity and Paper Handling
The number of sheets of paper that an MFP can hold is its paper capacity. Choosing an MFP with a larger paper capacity means less time spent reloading the machine. A fundamental term to know is A4 or A3 device which relates to the paper size an MFP can handle. An A3 machine can handle paper up to 11 x 17 inches, while an A4 can handle 8.5 x 14 inches. You'll need to know the MFP's paper handling specifications if you need to copy or print a document on heavier weight or glossy paper.
Most Multifunction Printers contain a built-in scanner. However, not every MFP has duplex scanning abilities or an automatic document feeder. You must consider whether or not you'll want to copy or scan large volumes of documents. If so, an "ADF" or automatic document feeder is something you'll want to ensure is on your MFP. You'll be able to perform double-sided scanning with the duplex feature. Another suggestion is to learn the capacity of the ADF. If the capacity is 200 pages or more, you'll be able to insert larger stacks of paper for scanning, increasing efficiency in your workplace when heavy scanning is needed.
Choosing the right business solutions can be a daunting task. That's why we believe in walking you through the process and ensuring that your workspace gets an MFP that will perform every task you need. Our team can help you get the right solutions in place to make your work environment run at peak efficiency.