As a small business with a relatively limited budget and IT infrastructure, making an investment in a device as costly and hard to replace as a multi-function printer is a big decision. If you lack a designated budget for IT management, more thought will need to go into deciding on what kind of device and service can benefit you in the long run. To help you make the best choice, we came up with a list of points to consider before purchasing an office multi-function printer.
1. A3 or A4? Think about the Documents You Print
An A3 MFP tends to be the standard choice for enterprises, although some mid-sized businesses have a need for it, too. However, A3 MFPs come with a significantly higher price tag than A4 MFPs. Unless you often print large-format documents such as blueprints or layouts, there’s no real need to splurge on an A3. A3 MFPs do offer faster speed, but A4 MFPs nowadays offer similar specifications at a lower price and with a smaller footprint.
2. Consider Your Printing and Scanning Volume
If you only print two or three pages at a time, investing in a high-speed MFP is unnecessary. But if you print large-volume documents on a regular basis, speed should be one of your top considerations. MFPs offer a wide range of speed specifications from 20 pages per minute (ppm) to over 60 ppm, so choose the one that’s right for you. If you scan heavily, look for an automatic document feeder (ADF) that handles scanning of multiple pages automatically.
3. Look for Serverless Solutions
MFPs can go beyond their basic print/copy/scan and fax functions and enhance productivity, adding value to your business. For example, there are solutions that digitize hard copy documents or automatically distribute scanned documents to multiple destinations in one go.
The problem with these solutions is that they are often server-based, requiring a costly, dedicated server you may not be able to afford. But the good news is that there are MFPs equipped with an open platform, able to run solutions without an additional server.
4. Think about Mobile Options
If you do a lot of your work on mobile devices, you can benefit greatly from mobile printing. Basic mobile printing services allow you to print directly from a mobile device connected to the office MFP, as long as you’re within the office network.
If you are always on-the-go, working outside the office or traveling a lot, cloud printing is the way to go. Cloud printing is a form of mobile printing that allows you to print from a mobile device via cloud storage. The cloud server routes print jobs to the printer, allowing you to print from anywhere, even from outside the printer’s network.
5. Inquire about Maintenance & Service
Finally, consider the reliability of the brand you choose. No matter how reliable a device may be, you’ll likely have to call for support a few times during your product’s life cycle. For peace of mind, look for consistent quality of service and support.
Ask your vendor or reseller how they can ensure dependable service. For example, we provide a mobile application with printer error troubleshooting guides to standardize the quality of IT service provided by service engineers.
We hope you find your perfect MFP. To see what’s available in our product line, check out our product page.