The TDSIT Blog

Multifunction Printers: They’re Not All Created Equal!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Sun, May 31, 2015 @ 09:20 PM

not all mfps created equalIf you’re planning on adding a multifunction device in your office, you’ve probably noticed that they all look alike! They all print, fax, scan, and copy. The only difference seems to be the price, but even then, there’s not much difference! So how do you differentiate between MFPs to find the right one for your business? It starts by asking the right questions!

Look Behind the Curtain

The true differences can be found in the level of support provided by the manufacturer or reseller. Examine the warranty. Who covers it, the manufacturer or the reseller? How long does it last, 90 days, six months, three years? 

Is there a service agreement attached? Does the agreement offer service credits?  Your machine will inevitably require service at some point in its lifecycle. When the service tech comes to your office to repair your machine and prints multiple color and black and white test prints, who pays? Believe it or not, small differences like these can make a world of difference.

Check Under The Hood

MFPs generally use one of two engine systems. The first is a drum based engine. This requires a service technician to maintain the machines. The second is a cartridge-based engine.  Much like laser printers they have replaceable components like toner cartridges. They generally require less onsite maintenance.

Another area that should be examined is mobile printing.  As more businesses move more functions online, mobile print is a growing trend. There are a variety of devices, each with different requirements. Make sure the printer you choose supports the devices your workforce employs. Also, if leasing there may be an additional charge to enable mobile print. Ask your vendor before signing any contract.

Finally, security is an issue on every business owner’s mind. Since You MFP basically functions as a computer with an internal hard drive, memory, and Internet connectivity, it can become a security risk.  Look for systems offering full system security. Certified by the manufacturer and verified by a third party service such as Common Criteria Certification, this typically is installed by the manufacturer.

With a little bit of research, you’ll soon see that not all multifunction printers are created equal. Go beyond simple price point and functionality to find the true value when making a choice!

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Tags: multifunction print devices, warranty, purchase office equipment, multifunction printer, Purchase multifunction Printer

Purchase or Lease MFPs: The 7-Point Comparison

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 01:22 PM

Office Equipment These days our business world is full of options. Full-time or contract? Sales or marketing? Two- or three-ply in the corporate washrooms? 

While the benefits of single-, double- or triple-ply are easy to fathom, knowing whether it is smarter to purchase or lease your new Multi-Function Printer (MFP) can be a toilsome decision. Which will get you the technology you need now to empower your users? Which one will be cheaper in the long run all things considered? Will it affect your service contracts?

There are plenty of elements to consider when deciding whether leasing or purchasing your new equipment is right for you. For example, will being able to write-off purchased equipment benefit your business? Will purchasing negatively impact your current cash flow?

Each side of the lease/purchase coin has its benefits, so consider the following points when deciding whether to lease or purchase your new MFP.

Leasing
When considering leasing equipment you should consider things like how long you will require the equipment for (and therefore how long the lease will be), is there a buy-out option at the end of the lease, what type of equipment guarantees are there etc. Be sure to consider how the following points affect your company's objectives: 

  1.  Cash Flow: leasing has significantly smaller upfront costs as the sticker price is deferred over the long term. This can free up company cash to invest in other projects. Not only is the upfront cost mitigated, you also can control your cash flow by knowing exactly how much you will need to reserve for lease payments. 

  2. Flexibility: Leasing agreements often come with flexible payment plans that allow you to customize your equipment payment schedule. In addition, leasing office equipment can empower you with upgrades and trade-in opportunities that upfront purchases often can't offer. 

  3. Value: When your lease ends the value of the equipment may by higher than that of outright-purchased machines—offering you residual value over time. 

Downsides: Often it is hard to know exactly how long that piece of equipment will suit your needs and early termination of lease agreements generally incurs expensive penalties. Also, you may get caught with automatic renewals with terms that are less than favorable to you. 

    It is best to think long-term before you commit to a lease, and discuss renewal options before you sign. 

    Purchasing
    When contemplating purchasing your equipment outright you need to consider issues of scalability, cost and value.

    1. Lower Upfront Costs: Purchasing your MFP(s) outright is generally cheaper in the long run as it locks in your costs for life and avoids you paying additional costs for things like penalties and interest. 

    2. Value: Owning assets may be a plus for your company in terms of liquidity. Purchasing your MFP(s) also gives you a write-off that could help your company with this year's taxes. 

    Downsides: Purchasing office equipment upfront can affect the scalability of your solution, along with negatively affecting your cash flow in the short term. Once you no longer have use for the equipment you may find it doesn't hold the same value it once did. Also, your trade-in and/or upgrade options may be limited—which can adversely affect you keeping up with technological advances. 

      Deciding whether to lease or purchase your MFP and other office equipment is an important—and personal—decision that must be carefully weighed. Whether your current circumstances dictate that leasing or purchasing is right for you in the long term, be sure to also carefully weigh what type of service contract(s) you'll be needing alongside the MFP. 

      If you've made the decision to purchase or lease equipment in the past, we'd love to hear how it turned out for you—we encourage you to share your experiences with us. 

      Click here to find out how much your business spends on print with our free print assessment

      Print Assessment

      Tags: control print costs, lease multifunction printer, scanner, copier, office equipment, fax machine, Purchase multifunction Printer