Do I Need a Printer or Multifunction Device?

Patrick Flesch
Author: Patrick Flesch Date: 01/10/2017

If you’re old enough you’ll remember (not very fondly) the printers of 20 years ago: big, clunky and able to do little other than simply print pages. Today, businesses have a wide range of options when it comes to printers, and even have what are called multifunction devices at their disposal.

Which is right for your needs? In general, printers tend to require a smaller investment and have fewer features that can speed up productivity and enhance security. Printers can also be very small, while multifunction devices tend to take up more space. 

If you’re having trouble determining which is the most practical for your organization, it's best to work with a Managed Print provider to help you make up your mind. In the meantime, though, use these guidelines to help you decide which is going to deliver the greatest overall value.

What Features Do You Need?

Many businesses today require the ability to print, copy, fax and scan documents. Sometimes a device for each function works best (if, say, one department scans but others don’t) but typically it will make more sense to have one or more machines that offer multiple functions, making workers more productive in the long run.

What’s Your Budget?

Because single function devices are much simpler, they’re going to be easier on the budget, but if you need the added features of faxing and/or scanning, then it will probably make more sense to look into a multifunction device.

How Much Security is Required?

Multifunction devices provide a higher level of document security than a printer/copier. They have software that can place restrictions on printing, like printing documents only after someone with appropriate access has swiped a card to verify identity (this is called authentication). Several other measures help in this way, too:

  • Intelligent rules and routing that send print jobs to the most budget-friendly device, or one that’s not busy
  • Scanning security, where documents can’t leave your environment unless authorized and alerts sent when breaches take place

How Much Space Do You Have?

If counter and floor space is at a premium around your office, a small printer, a tabletop fax machine and a scanner that can fit on a desk might make sense. In total, though, you probably have the floor space for one device that does it all and minimizes clutter in the process. Today’s multifunction devices are relatively small, yet still powerful assets in terms of productivity.

How Much Technology Do You Need to Support?

If your people would be more productive if they could print from a smartphone or tablet, you’re going to need a multifunction device with a mobile print release feature. This allows users, from any location, to connect to the device and print, scan and even fax. This is great for workplaces that have employees working from home or while away on business.

With the help of a business technology expert like the Gordon Flesch Company you can quickly determine the most cost-effective equipment that offers the greatest opportunity for improving productivity around the office. Why not reach out today?

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Topics: Managed Print

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Written by Patrick Flesch

Patrick joined the Gordon Flesch Company in 2006 as Territory Account Executive and worked his way to become VP of the Sales for the company’s Western Region. Today, Patrick is President of the Gordon Flesch Company.

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