Are MFPs all the same in terms of what they can do?
Multifunction printers have become widely popular with small and home businesses. For a good reason, MFPs reduce energy, save up space, and increase productivity by integrating traditional office duties such as printing, faxing, copying, and scanning into one device. Even if you don’t fax, monitor, or copy regularly, an MFP can do so if required. But do all MFP devices offer the same features? The simple answer is no, but the features you want on your MFP are up to you.
Choosing Your MFP
Choosing an MFP starts with one essential question: What will it need to do? Beyond printing, copying, and scanning, what additional functions will be necessary regularly? High-volume MFPs can produce colour prints as fast as 65 pages per minute, but if those services aren’t used within the business, they may not be worth the extra cost. Instead, an honest assessment of office requirements will help determine the most pressing needs for an MFP ad guide purchasing decisions.
If printing is your primary use of an MFP, it would be essential to look into an MFP to match your printer capabilities. More expensive models are typically designed for higher print speeds and heavier use. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of available MFPs based on both inkjet and laser printing engines. There are even MFPs that excel in colour photo printing.
Some MFP devices no longer include fax modems, which is acceptable for businesses that do not need to exchange faxes with customers or vendors when it comes to faxing. Faxing is still handy for sending/receiving documents requiring signatures, but setting up your fax service involves connecting to a phone line. A regular phone line can be shared with a fax machine if tying up the phone line while sending/receiving faxes is not a concern. Otherwise, a separate phone line is needed. If you need fax capability but don’t want the hassle and expense of setting up your fax, several online services allow you to send and receive faxes via email, web, or smartphone.
Most MFPs come with a low to medium resolution scanning unit designed for document scanning. Suppose you need high-resolution scanning of photos or other media-like slides or negatives. In that case, you will want a separate standalone scanner or an MFP specialising in photo scanning/printing, such as the Canon Pixma line of MFPs.
When considering which MFP to add to the office environment, there are many factors to consider. Most importantly, keep in mind the guiding question: What will it need to do? As with all other essential office infrastructure, an MFP is an investment. However, if chosen correctly and in line with the business’s needs, an MFP can streamline workflow, facilitate a more productive work environment, and keep up with all the business’s demands, no matter the volume or intensity of the job at hand.
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