WHICH IS BETTER FOR YOUR NEEDS: MFP OR DESKTOP PRINTER?
Weighing the features, cost, digitizing and networking capabilities, and security against your specific company’s needs should help you make the best choice for your next printer or MFP purchase.
The multifunction printer (MFP) has greatly improved document management, workflow and office efficiencies, but desktop printers can still be found at some workstations. In fact, despite the many technological advantages of the MFP, the desktop printer hasn’t completely disappeared from the modern office environment.
Document management is complex, and there is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution. Print strategy often involves a hybrid approach that may well include not only desktop printers, but strategically placed MFPs, as well.
The main point is that an MFP allows you to do more than print.
FIVE CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING A PRINTER OR MFP…
1. FEATURE SETS
An important question to ask when deciding between a single or multifunctional printer is what your document needs are, both now and in the future. Do you regularly send and receive faxes, make copies, and scan documents? Will you have the need to setup document workflows? Additional add-on software can allow them to do even more to manage the document workflow and secure documents so that an organization can increase efficiency, control access, or meet industry compliance guidelines.
2. INITIAL VERSUS RECURRING COSTS
The initial price of a printer is generally more cost-effective than the purchase of an MFP. However, MFPs usually have a much lower cost per printed page than a traditional desktop printer. Another cost to consider is that service and maintenance. An MFP is more economical than having several separate machines to service. Also, consider the cost of any continuing consumables like rollers, toner, and even energy usage. This cost may be best compared on a case-by-case basis, depending on the machines recommended for your specific office needs.
3. OFFICE REAL ESTATE
Multifunction devices can save space. One centrally located MFP generally takes up less space than the several devices it replaces. Additionally, some MFPs have as small a footprint as a desktop. However, the desktop offers the convenience of not having to leave the workstation. This is a main reason why some organizations continue to still have some desktop units available, usually for their higher-level executives or those who print extremely sensitive documents.
4. DIGITIZING AND NETWORKING
Modern MFPs are intelligent network devices with operating systems that better allow for digital document management and networking. With MFPs, paper documents can become digitized files, then be routed and delivered across an enterprise intranet, or the Internet as part of a digitized workflow. Modern MFPs are intelligent network devices with operating systems that better allow for digital document management and networking. With MFPs, paper documents can become digitized files, then be routed and delivered across an enterprise intranet, or the Internet as part of a digitized workflow.
5. DEVICE AND DOCUMENT SECURITY
Maintaining security, inside and outside the organization, must be an integral component of any MFP or desktop unit. Security features such as secure pull printing, which prevents printed documents from sitting in output trays, is available on MFPs. The use of individual access codes is another feature of MFPs designed to both secure the print process and track usage.