There was a time when shopping for a new multifunction printer was a relatively simple endeavor for a small business. There were a few options on the market, so it was a straightforward matter of comparing and contrasting the available models. Today, the world of MFPs has expanded to include every configuration imaginable—a double-edged sword for small to medium-sized business owners. On the one hand, this means that there are better options than ever at your fingertips, and you should be able to find exactly the model that meets your company's requirements. On the other hand, it means that selecting the right multifunction printer can be a chore—and it's easier than ever to make an expensive mistake.
For most business owners, the baseline requirements of a new MFP aren't complicated: you just want a machine that works when you need it. And since companies often upgrade MFPs every 3-4 years on average, it's likely that you're not interested in making your decision a drawn-out one. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about upgrading a multifunction printer.
Is an MFP the Right Machine for My Business?
Not every business needs a multifunction printer, but these versatile devices have become commonplace in modern offices. For the average business, a multifunction printer fits the bill perfectly. MFPs cut down on overall operating costs while offering the functionality needed to stay on task. Modern MFPs offer features that streamline workflows and consolidate processes. For most small to medium-sized businesses, one or two MFPs can serve the entire office.
When Should I Upgrade?
The answer to this question isn't black-and-white, but we know one thing: you should upgrade before your current printer becomes a productivity drain. Many business owners want to squeeze every ounce out of their current machines, which is understandable, but they fail to realize when their current multifunction printer is causing problems. You should upgrade your MFP if:
- Your current device is costing you money in regular fixes
- You don't have the functionality you need
- Your machine is too slow
- Your printer is over five years old
In short, upgrade your printer before you're in a tight place and stuck without one.
What Features Are Must-Haves?
When considering the plethora of features that are available in MFPs, it's important to look at the work your company already does and keep an eye toward the future. Many MFPs have advanced finishing options that could save your staff members significant time over the course of a week, such as stapling, hole-punching, and booklet-making. Others have usability features such as touchscreens that make it easier to navigate the controls of the machine. Don't overbuy if you're not sure you need the features of a given device, but do think about where you see your company going. If you're anticipating growth, consider buying a machine that will continue to serve you as your business gets busier.
Is Speed Important?
For some companies, the answer is: not very. The average office professional probably won't notice a machine's speed unless it's far too slow. But if you're working with high volumes of printing each month, speed is a major factor. Look closely at what your current print volume is and decide from that. The more you need to print, the more important speed becomes.
Although we've touched on a few important FAQs here, there's much more to be said about choosing the right multifunction printer and making sure you get the most out of your investment.
For a comprehensive, straightforward guide on purchasing a multifunction printer, download our free MFP buyer's guide.