Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Multifunction Systems
There are so many kinds of office printing systems that can be a challenge to keep them all straight. But if you invest in a multifunction system for your business printing needs, you won’t have to learn about all the others.
What is a multifunction system?
The modern multifunction system, also known as a multifunction printer or MFP, is an indispensable piece of office equipment that can become the hub of your office communications. You no doubt have experience using a printer. And you know about copy machines, fax machines, scanners, and email programs. A multifunction system takes over all the functions that were once provided by multiple machines, combining all of that functionality into a single device. Your multifunction system will print, of course, but it will also copy, scan, fax, and email files directly from your control panel. A multifunction system is a lot like having a computer hard-wired into the printer, but with additional finishing options for your documents such as folding, stapling, hole punching, and binding output into booklets.
Multifunction systems are network-enabled. This means they can be placed anywhere in your office or business where there is space and a power supply. Many multifunction systems have Bluetooth capacity for easy access even when or your employees aren’t sitting at a computer.
Multifunction systems may look like your old copy machine, but they become the backbone of your business processes. They don’t just make copies. They don’t just scan, fax, and email. And they can make a difference not just in the smoothness of your workflows but also in your bottom line.
How will a multifunction system make my workflow easier?
Some of the benefits of a multifunction system are obvious. They do a great job printing quality documents. Some of the benefits of multifunction systems aren’t as obvious, such as keeping your office connected to your customers and reducing labor. Let’s take a look at the features of these versatile devices.
Do you have to send someone down to Kinkos or FedEx or the local print shop every time you want to print a brochure? Do you have to send annual reports filled with sensitive data to the print shop for unknown personnel to copy, collate, and bind? One of the benefits that can’t be beaten in multipurpose printing systems is double-sided (also known as duplex) printing. Having access to this useful feature means you can print your own flyers and brochures in-house hassle-free for lower costs, faster turnaround, and greater security.
Do you have employees who spend hours folding, stapling, and punching holes in your printed documents? Are your presentations less than professional because you have to use a binder you buy off the shelf at the office supply store? Many multifunction systems can perform all of these finishing tasks and more, freeing your employees for more productive activities.
Multifunction systems can let you switch back and forth between higher-quality paper for presentations to customers and clients and less expensive paper for internal use. They can even print on different types of mediums such as business cards. Many models come with multiple drawers that make switching paper types a breeze.
When you own a multifunction system, you don’t need a scanner on your desk. For companies that operate in tight spaces, the ability to move scanning to the multifunction printer eliminates clutter, keeps desks looking professional, and moves one more part of your workflow to your printer.
Some multifunction systems come with basic scanning features for single-sheet documents and photographs. Others can scan transparencies and create encrypted PDFs.
If you are already scanning and storing documents on your LAN, you get a multifunction system that you can link to your network. Some models offer duplex scanning, multiple-page scanning, high resolution, and more. Some devices even come with optical character recognition that can convert handwritten documents into searchable text for maximum convenience.
Faxing is no longer de rigeur in 2021. Most of the time, we email a document rather than sending it via a fax machine. But there continue to be occasions that customers are still using faxes and a capacity to receive them and send a faxed reply is mission-critical. Multifunction systems typically have a fax modem built-in that allows you to transmit a document in this manner when necessary.
From time to time, we all need to make copies. Your multifunction system will provide you with the ability to do so in addition to all of the other functions your workflows require.
Should you lease or buy your multifunction system?
It’s obvious the type of value a multifunction system provides to your business. What’s not as obvious is how you should go about acquiring one. There are pros and cons to both buying and leasing one of these devices.
Buying your multifunction system may provide you with tax benefits. And when it’s time to replace your device, you can probably sell it to recoup some of your initial investment. On the other hand, you’ll need a service agreement to cover future repairs and maintenance, to keep operating costs lower and more predictable. And the money you pay for your multifunction copier becomes a sunk cost. It’s tied up in the machine.
Leasing your system ties you to the model you choose for the term of your lease, but you don’t have to tie up a lot of cash for your new machine. It’s a much more palatable capital investment upfront. Repairs and maintenance are taken care of for you by the lessor, eliminating those costs from your expenses. At the end of your lease, you can upgrade to the latest technology on the same favorable terms. You won’t be stuck with an older device that can no longer handle your needs or lacks the most recent functionalities.
Are you ready for your new multifunction printing system? Stargel Office Solutions has been serving Houston-area businesses since 1987 and offers the best Business Office Technology available today from all of your favorite leading manufacturers. Contact us today to learn more.