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There are a lot of specifications and features thrown around when looking at Multi-Function Printers. Print speed, capacity, various technology names – it can be confusing and even a little intimidating knowing which device will be right for your business’ needs.
Here at Copyworld, we understand that sometimes having more options can make choosing even more difficult.
We also know how important it is to get the right printer for you. With such a big investment, you don’t want to be paying for a printer with features you don’t need or lacking features you do. So, our friendly staff are always happy to help work with your business to find the right MFP for your office. When looking for a printer, there are some tips to consider that will help point you in the right direction.
First, you’ll want to understand clearly what you intend to get out of an MFP and how it’s functionality can support your business. Remember that MFPs can do more than just print and copy, they can help simplify workflows and help with document management, especially when combined with Toshiba’s e-BRIDGE management software. If you’re looking to reduce paper usage and waste, Toshiba’s new hybrid printers allow both regular and erasable printing which can cut paper use by up to 80%.
So, you’ll need to define the volume of work the MFP will need to support – how many copy, print, fax, scan and email jobs will be run each day? How many users will the MFP need to support? Do you require colour printing? How much security you require – for example, if your business routinely prints sensitive documents. These considerations can help nail down exactly what you need from a printer.
When deciding on a device that’s right for your business, make sure not to only consider the initial cost of the hardware. The right printer may have a price tag that seems too steep for your business, but many businesses opt to acquire printers with rental plans rather than purchasing outright. Make sure to check out our article on renting vs buying if this isn’t something you’ve considered yet, as it can make a big difference on the TCO of the device.
Also, if you do plan on buying outright, the initial price tag rarely tells the whole story of the device’s TCO. Lower costing inkjet printers, after considering running costs will often turn out to be more expensive to run than higher performing laser printers. A device’s TCO isn’t limited to monetary amounts either – a device that is hard to use or unreliable can cost employee time, unexpectedly increasing the TCO. When you talk to the staff at Copyworld, they’ll be able to help assess your current TCO of an existing device. They can also estimate what kind of return you can expect from a new MFP with a lower TCO.
It’s important to make sure that an MFP’s specifications match their actual performance. Looking at reviews from independent testing agencies can help make sure the device does what it says on the box. You’ll want to know what experienced people in the industry say about the quality and performance of the device you’re considering. Also, be sure to test and validate the MFP’s performance using your own applications within a network environment. It’s important to know that it will function as intended for your business’ use as every office operates differently.
This point should rank highly in importance for you as it will ultimately determine how much IT resources get tied up with the device. Things like training, problem management and help desk calls can be reduced by a printer that is easy and intuitive to use. Devices with large touch screens like most Toshiba e-STUDIO models are great for ease-of-use as their interfaces are intuitive and similar to using a tablet or smartphone.
You should also consider how easily the device you’re considering can integrate into your existing network. Does it require minimal start-up training? Does it come with guides or installation wizards? A device that is easy to deploy with little training will further help to reduce the TCO. Conversely, a machine that has a long-winded and complicated rollout can hinder your business during the transition, costing valuable employee time.
Make sure to determine how capable the MFP is of running its functions efficiently and simultaneously. This is another consideration where you’ll want to do some testing to make sure the device is right for your business. Some ‘All-in-One’ products may offer multiple functions which may look great, but can’t offer multitasking. This leads to bottlenecks when users try to have them perform multiple functions at a time, wasting valuable time every day.
Consider the availability of robust device and fleet management tools and software. While your business may not need all the bells and whistles at the time of purchase, it’s important in today’s world to future-proof your business investments. Ideally, the machine you’re considering should have a host of software options to optimise availability and uptime. If you’re considering a Toshiba machine, you should check out our articles on what their software packages can do for your machine and your business. You may find that the e-BRIDGE suite alone is enough reason to pick Toshiba over other manufacturers.
If your business prints sensitive and confidential documents – such as medical or legal documents – it’s important to make sure your device is adequately secure. For example, Toshiba’s ID Gate software offers SecurePrint, which requires users to use both their ID card and a secure PIN for the device to finish the print job. This ensures only the authorised user can retrieve the document after printing.
We hope these tips come in handy when deciding on a new Multi-Function printer for your business. If you’re still scratching your head though, the experts at Copyworld can help you find the right device for your needs. You’ll find that when you invest in the right MFP for your office, you’ll get great returns in efficiency, security and uptime.