Choosing the right multifunction printer (MFP) comes from a thorough evaluation of the needs of your organization or company. Based on those needs, you must then evaluate the performance characteristics of each multifunction printer under consideration to determine an MFP that provides an adequate solution to address those needs. This step-by-step guide will help you make an educated decision.
1. Needs Evaluation – The first step is to conduct is a needs evaluation. What does your organization need from a device besides just printing documents? Is there a need for faxing or scanning capability? How about finishing options such as stapling, hole punching, and folding? Does the MFP need to be accessible by a network of users and have the ability to multi-task? Be rigorous with the needs evaluation and include everything that is desirable to you.
2. Calculating the Total Cost of Ownership – The total cost of ownership is the equipment cost plus the operational costs of the paper and the ink. Calculate the cost of a printed page with the same types of costs for using a different printer in order to determine the best choice for your unique needs.
3. Output Speed – A printer’s output speed is the number of printed pages per minute. High output speeds are desirable if you have a large printing volume.
4. Check Online Reviews – Online reviews are an invaluable way to find out about other’s experiences with an MFP brand and model. Word of mouth can help you steer clear of shoddy devices.
5. Connectivity – A Wi-Fi-enabled multifunction printer may be easier to install and use for workgroups than having to run physical connector cables to an MFP.
6. Ease-of-Use – Evaluate the ease-of-use of the MFP to make sure your staff won’t struggle to use the device. Sometimes, complexity is not desired and can make learning how to use an MFP more difficult than necessary.
7. Bottlenecks – If you’re going to have multiple users connected to the same device, look for potential bottlenecks caused by the usage pattern should more than one person need to use the MFP at the same time.
8. Service Issues – Does the vendor have a comprehensive service policy and stand behind the quality of their equipment with a warranty?
9. Security Issues – Document security should be important to all organizations, regardless of the industry in which you operate. Advanced security measures for MFPs can help prevent hacks and restrict the printing of protected documents by using passcodes for authorization.
10. Enhanced Applications – Some MFPs have access to enhanced functions by running special software applications. Can users request simultaneous tasks and will they be processed properly in the correct order? Can an active job be put on pause to do another task that is more important? Is it possible to scan a document and convert it into an electronic format that can be shared with others and stored easily on connected network storage?
By following this guide, it is possible to make a better choice for an MFP. Contact us today for help selecting one that is a good fit for your workflows.