A Multi-Function Printer print, scan, copy, fax, and even edit documents from one convenient hub. This has made them an office staple, leaving few reasons for an office to continue to purchase discrete devices for each activity.
Companies embrace multi-function devices because they increase device impact while decreasing their physical footprint. Multi-Function Printers increase company-wide productivity and revenue when strategically deployed in a printing fleet. Read on to learn how upgrading a company’s printer fleet to include these multi-function devices transforms productivity and profitability in the office.
How to Better Understand a Multi-Function Printer
There are many different terms for the device known as the multi-function printer. No standardized language exists, therefore the manufacturers are free to refer to their products as they like. In other words, there are several terms which appear in reference to MPS or similar devices:
- All-In-One (AIO): A device which has a full array of document management options. This includes printing, scanning, faxing, copying, document editing, storage, and conversion.
- Multi-function Device (MFD): May or may not be a printer, but likely has printing capabilities.
- Multi-function Peripheral or Product (MFP): Shares the acronym MFP with multi-function printer, but it may have different capabilities entirely. Read the product description carefully.
- 4-in-1 Printer: Typically refers to the main four functionalities: printing, scanning, copying, and faxing.
- Small Office/Home Office (SOHO): These printers are typically multi-function because their manufacturers assume that smaller operations have less space.
Upgraded Fleets Save Money and Increase Productivity
A printer is no small investment. Professional models run easily into the thousands of dollars, which may represent a significant expense for a business. It might be tempting to hold onto an outdated model as a result, but that could be augmenting operating expenses in the long run. Upgraded fleets save money and increase productivity because they:
1. Decrease Consumable Cost and Use
The older the printer, the more expensive consumables like ink and specialized paper stocks tend to get. This is partly because they get harder to find, and partly because manufacturers discontinue parts and supplies to encourage upgrading. Likewise, modern printers use toner and ink more efficiently. They also support duplex printing and support the option to print only in black and white.
2. Cost Less to Maintain
A single multi-function device is much easier to maintain than a horde of specialized devices. Additionally, multi-function printers are so common that most technicians will have likely seen the model before, making it easier to get a device serviced.
3. Supports Increased Integration
Most modern multi-function printers support Wi-Fi connectivity, which enables integration with other office devices. Users can easily access all of the device’s functionalities without ever leaving their computer. Likewise, mobile printing adds a new layer of flexibility and mobility to the workflow.
4. Modern Multi-Function Printer Features Make Printing Easy
Multi-function printers are notoriously easy to use. The users do not have to go digging around in complicated interfaces to find the print button. Intuitive color touchscreens direct users to exactly where they need to go. Automatic document feeders eliminate the need to fiddle with the machine.
Install Print Tracking Software
Upgrading the printer itself is only one way to save money and boost productivity. Offices which already have a reasonably modern printer may wish to implement another strategy to boost productivity and reduce costs: print tracking software.
Print tracking software, such as PaperCut or uniFLOW helps businesses get a better handle on their expenses and printing habits. Print tracking software allows businesses to:
- Automate reporting which makes tracking seamless
- Gain total visibility of the printing costs for an organization
- Highlight areas of improvement for optimizing fleets and individual printer use
- Manage consumables to help reduce costs
- Restrict access to the print environment so only the people who need to print can do so
Upgrade Your Printing Environment Today With A Multi-Function Printer
Modern businesses frequently operate on razor-thin margins, making any cost reduction potentially valuable. An optimized office print environment helps boost productivity, while reducing costs.
PaperKarma estimates that the average office worker uses close to 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year. That is the equivalent of 20 reams of standard office paper, or about 100 pounds of paper worth close to $200 per year. This article has outlined many of the ways that occur and has provided strategies to begin the optimization process.
Through the thoughtful deployment of modern printing devices, plus print tracking software, businesses can reduce this cost. Contact RJ Young today to begin strategizing your next-generation printing fleet which cuts costs while boosting productivity.
A multifunction printer emphasizes efficiency in the home or office. Designed to do it all, they are valued for their ability to provide several printing capabilities, even to small businesses which may not have space for numerous devices.
Businesses looking to upgrade or replace a general printer may wish to invest in a high-impact device, such as a multifunction printer. For most modern offices, they provide all of the quintessential document solutions in a compact, easy-to-use format. It is no longer only about the print quality of your black and white documents, it is about bringing all your printing needs into one device.
There are a lot of advantages to having a multifunction printer in the office. Here are four benefits, which sometimes get overlooked, but have a tangible impact on how well an office functions.
1. A Multifunction Printer Improves Document Management
A multifunction printer improves document management by putting all of an organization’s printing infrastructure in precisely one place – physically and digitally. While a multifunction printer enables printing, scanning, and copying, and often faxing from the same device, most models on the market also come with powerful software which lets any wireless or mobile device operate the printer. With the increase of mobile devices in the workplace, mobile printing is becoming a desirable function to have. In other words, users can enjoy designing and printing a document from a single interface.
Such a feature has advantages for transforming an office into a productivity powerhouse. However, this consolidation also presents several opportunities to tighten an organization’s document management processes. Making the multifunction printer the hub through which all documents flow helps maintain visibility, security, and compliance. It also facilitates the creation of standardization procedures to support office organization further.
2. They Make the Print Environment Easier to Control
Print environment control becomes much easier when all printing activities happen on one network. Much like with document management, access control and tracking are easier when they only occur with one device.
Controlling the print environment increases security and decreases printing costs. It cuts unauthorized printing, whether it is part of the 78 percent of employees who print personal material at work, or someone stealing confidential information. Likewise, companies who are required to mind privacy regulations such as HIPAA may find that a consolidated device in a secured area is much more effective (and compliant!) than multiple devices in discrete offices.
3. Multifunction Printers Reduce Office Costs All Around
Multifunction printers are not only smart because they take up less space, a good multifunction printer takes up fewer resources as well. This includes:
A multifunction printer results in a lower electricity bill because fewer machines are running. Likewise, many professional multifunction printers now have Energy Star ratings, which are 40 to 55 percent more efficient than non-certified models.
Multifunction printers reduce the overall cost of paper, ink cartridges, and other consumables over the course of their lifespan. Part of this occurs because multifunction printers make it easier to digitize documents and turn them into other useful digital formats. Part of this occurs because improved print environment control means businesses are no longer underestimating their printing costs quite so dramatically.
It is easier to keep one generalized machine in working order than it is to maintain several specialized devices. Likewise, the commonplace status of multifunction printers means that spare parts are easier to find, and therefore cheaper.
4. Users Only Need to Learn One Interface
Multifunction printers are known to be easy-to-use — this faciliates efficiency so that users only need to learn one interface. With intuitive color touchscreens and simple navigation devices, users can master a simple interface and unlock all of their printing, scanning, and copying needs in a single action. For the average modern office where the documents need to keep flowing, this represents a major advantage over other powerful, but specialized printers.
Implementing integration software which standardizes the interface across devices has the same effect with the printer’s more powerful capabilities. When employees only need to learn one interface, they spend less time mastering these interfaces and more time on the processes which makes the business run.
Choosing the Best Multifunction Printer for Your Office
There are a variety of multifunction printers on the market which offer a variety of capabilities — this means that the choice is not a straightforward one. However, the right selection will transform a print environment into a productivity powerhouse.
Multifunction printers are best for offices which have demanding but generalized printing needs. They marry productivity and simplicity to provide all of the necessary features which the modern office requires. Advanced features, such as network connectivity, help make multifunction printers central hubs in the productivity hive that is an office.
As experts in printing solutions, RJ Young understands the myriad of distinct challenges which different businesses and industries may face. Let us leverage our expertise in office technology solutions to amplify your workflow. Contact us today to start a conversation about the goals you would like to meet with your next office printer.
The multi-function printer is designed to do it all: printing, scanning, and copying in color or grayscale. However, with the immense selection of printers available, how does a small office or large organization decide which is best? The answer depends on an organization’s printing needs and habits. Outlined below are the pros and cons of an inkjet or laser multi-function printer for business use.
Inkjet vs. Laser: What Is the Difference?
Inkjet and laser printing are two different types of printing technologies. Understanding this explains why they produce different printing results.
Inkjet printers print tiny dots of different color inks which are combined on paper, creating a wide range of colors. When printing photograph-quality images on regular paper from an inkjet printer, the print may still feel wet for several minutes since there is no heat, or an alternative method, to set the ink.
Conversely, laser printers use the same basic technology as photocopiers. A laser scans back and forth over a photoconductive drum, creating regions of static. The regions of static allow particles of toner to stick to it. When paper rolls under the drum, toner transfers to it. The fuser then binds the toner to the paper with heat, producing a dry printed product.
When an Inkjet Multi-Function Printer Is Best
Modern inkjets offer stunning color quality and flexible paper options. However, these capabilities far surpass what most businesses need. Choose an inkjet only when both needs exist:
1. Photo-Quality Color Printing
Companies that routinely print gallery or photo-quality color images may be served best by an inkjet printer. They easily print vibrant images with depth and clarity.
While recent advances in technology have led to the color inkjet multi-function printer becoming more efficient than their predecessors, inkjet printing still costs more than laser printing. Inkjet printers are not recommended as the sole printer for offices that also print business documents on a regular basis.
2. Printing on Multiple Types of Paper
Inkjet multi-function printers handle a wider range of paper types than many laser printers. Media stock is not made to withstand the heat from the fuser in a laser printer. It could melt, damaging the hardware along with the printed items. Similarly, paper stocks of certain textures may not allow enough heat in the grooves to properly bond the toner polymers.
Users should always look for products labeled as compatible for laser printers, whereas the result is more consistent with inkjet printers, no matter the paper type or stock.
When a Laser Multi-Function Printer Is Best
Laser printers remain an office staple, offering printing speed and efficiency to businesses that print or copy documents frequently, or in large amounts. Companies will find that laser multi-function printers and copiers are the most economical solution in their operations.
1. Crisp Printing
Businesses that primarily print office documents rely on laser printers for their ability to quickly produce clean, precise lines for fine text and form style printing. This precision stems from the use of toner. Composed of electrically sensitive polymers that immediately fuse to paper in the presence of heat, toner is a far more conservative material than ink from inkjet cartridges and lasts much longer.
For office settings, laser printers offer serious advantages in comparison to inkjet printers, where ink dots may bleed and spread in paper fibers, or where the ink does not dry fast enough, resulting in the inability to print batches of paper at one time.
2. Rapid and Double-Sided Printing
Most modern laser printers come standard with automatic document feeder with duplex printing. Here, toner is fused in one layer and dried immediately, delivering the ability to print on both sides without impacting clarity. Duplex printing gives offices the opportunity to dramatically reduce the amount of paper they use, purchase, and process. This is still not a standard feature on inkjets. Double-sided printing can be done manually by reloading prints into the paper tray of an inkjet printer; however, print quality often plummets because the ink penetrates and bleeds through to the other side.
Despite their complicated process, laser printers print much faster than inkjets. While inkjets may put several layers of ink down, laser printers only place one layer. Laser printers are also made to withstand heavier office use and built with stronger engines to produce higher output in less time.
Laser Multi-Function Printers Improve Business Productivity
Today’s multi-function printer offers a range of features and sophistication, including automatic document feeders, color touchscreens, and Bluetooth and wi-fi connections to a smartphone or tablet. Modern multi-function printers strive to simplify the modern office with its efficiency and ability to meet every need.
Laser multi-function printers offer the widest range of applications while remaining the most cost-effective. Models such as the HP Color Laserjet Pro multi-function printer, produce professional quality printing.
If photographic-quality color printing on a non-traditional stock is not a requirement, a laser printer more effectively balances long-term costs with print quality.
Choose RJ Young for Your Multi-Funcation Printer
Buying or leasing the right laser multi-function printer can significantly impact a business’s productivity. Start a conversation today with an office technology expert to determine the best choice for you.
There are a number of key aspects to consider when buying a new multifunction printer. Some are obvious such as cost, but shopping for a printer for a small to mid-sized business is not as simple as just picking out the shiniest model. There have been several developments in the multifunction printer market and it may be a surprise to see the number of features these devices come out of the box with. Here are 10 important aspects to consider when determining what new office printer to purchase:
1. Laser or Inkjet?
This is a common question that inevitably comes up when shopping for a new office printer. Each type of printer has its own strengths and weaknesses. Generally, if a company is mainly printing documents and looking to keep cartridge replacement costs lower, they should choose a laser printer. However, an inkjet might be the better choice if they want to print the most colorful, best quality images.
2. Can Services be Connected?
Most organizations make use of various services to help manage workflow processes. Is it possible to simply link these services using the new multifunction printer and simplify workflows? Look for compatibility with the top cloud storage services and other important services used frequently within the department.
3. How Fast Should a Printer be?
The pages per minute (ppm) of the multifunction printer selected is a very important feature to consider. Some printers are designed for low to medium volume printing, while others are designed to keep up with high volume users. Team leaders should consider their team’s usage patterns and then look for a printer that can satisfy their needs.
4. How Does the Multifunction Printer Integrate with a Network?
The last thing companies want to do when setting up a new office printer is completely change the network infrastructure to accommodate it. Rather, printers should fit into the existing network setup so that there is no wasted time or cost. Businesses should simply be able to deploy the new printer and easily set up any necessary monitoring services.
5. Can Printers Connect with Other Devices?
Most companies are long past the age where printers simply had to interact with computers on the network in order to do their job. Now, employees need to be able to print from their smartphones and tablets. Connecting and using these devices should be quick and easy. Once the devices are connected, employees will be able to print from any device, no matter where they are. No need to interrupt productivity just to print.
6. Find Out the Scanner Quality
Resolutions are not just for New Year’s. When scanning documents, the resolution at which documents are scanned can make a big difference on how it looks and how the scanned images will be used. A basic scanner built into a multifunction printer might be fine for text documents. However, if users are scanning detailed images that they need to print or display, a high-resolution scanner could be the preferable option.
7. Determine the Level of Security Required
Depending on the industry and the type of information processed, data security requirements may be more stringent than other businesses. Ensure that a new office printer not only meets business printing needs, but also its security needs. For example, a health care business must comply with HIPAA and, therefore, should look for a multifunction printer that meets those requirements.
8. Understand Total Cost of Ownership
The initial price tag is not the only cost included with new small business printers. There are additional maintenance and material costs that can add up over time. A rock-bottom price tag may not look that great after a few years. Look at the total cost of ownership over several years – including basic maintenance and replacement – to get a sense of how much the printer will actually cost.
9. Reputation of the Brand
There are a number of manufacturers available, but not all brands are the same. Before making a purchase, take time to research the available options. Reputable dealers will sell well-known brands with strong reputations for quality.
10. What is the Monthly Workload of the Printer?
Duty cycle is a term often heard when shopping for a new office printer. This refers to the number of pages a printer can realistically handle throughout a month of work. In addition to pages per minute, the new printer must be ready to take on the monthly print volume of a fast-paced office.
Talk to an Expert
There are a lot of variables at play when looking for a new office printer. With so many things to consider when buying a printer, it can feel overwhelming even for a seasoned pro.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Get the team at RJ Young to do the work for you. Contact us today and let us guide you through the buying process to ensure you get the right model for your needs.
The abbreviation of words or phrases can come in handy when you need to repeat the same word or phrase a number of times throughout writing and/or speaking. These words or phrases are typically pronounced as a series of letters or acronym. For example, a Portable Document Format file is often referred to as a PDF.
When this happens, do you find yourself getting lost in the lingo? There are some terms used in the office equipment industry you may not be familiar with. A glossary of terms can be very useful, especially terms that reference multifunctional printers. We have taken some of the most common acronyms and spelled them out for your convenience.
No industry is immune to acronyms. Don’t get so buried in the alphabet soup of letters that it sounds like a foreign language. Learn the lingo and be able to efficiently communicate and understand your office equipment.
Kelsey Brewer, Account Representative
Kelsey is passionate about building relationships and understanding new technologies to better herself and her customers’ success. She attended Calhoun Community College and is an Active Ambassador with the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce. Kelsey services the Cullman and Morgan County areas and works from the Huntsville, AL office location.