If 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!