Close up of a worker standing at an office multifunction printer using the interface.

How to Choose the Best Multifunction Printer

A multifunction printer is invaluable if you want to improve your office workflow. They make your business more efficient while cutting costs.

However, not all printers are the same, and you can only reap those benefits if you choose the model that best fits your processes. With so many options, finding the right multifunction printer can be challenging.

If you’re not sure what factors to consider, this article will help. Read on to learn about the main things you should take into account.

1. Your Print Volume

The first step to choosing a multifunction printer is assessing your needs. Doing so ensures you won’t overspend on a machine you won’t use to the fullest or buy one that can’t handle the work.

A small desktop option will do the trick if you only need around 1,000 prints per month. You’ll want to consider standalone printers if your volume is about 5,000 monthly prints. If your business involves printing 15,000 files or more, you’ll need a capable production printer.

Determining your monthly print volume is quick and easy. All you have to do is look at your current printer. Most devices keep track of the volume; some even split prints by categories (A3, A4, color vs. black-and-white, etc.)

Your printer will most likely show you the total number of prints you’ve done since buying it. Divide this number by the months used, and you’ll get a clear picture of your volume.

Ignoring this factor can lead to various issues. If you get one with a low duty cycle and overwhelm it, it will likely break down within months or a couple of years, resulting in costly repairs. On the other hand, a high-end production printer might be a failed investment if you only end up using a small percentage of its full capacity. Choose a printer in the ballpark of your monthly volume, and you’ll get the best value for money.

2. All Associated Costs

A multifunction printer is a substantial investment. While it can pay off handsomely if you get the right option, you’ll want to be mindful of both initial and operating costs.

The latter is something people often overlook. They just check the price, forgetting to factor in maintenance. Don’t make this mistake if you don’t want unpleasant surprises down the line.

At this point, it’s worth discussing the difference between laser and inkjet printers. Aside from the obvious technology distinctions, they also vary in costs. Laser printers often involve a higher upfront investment. In return, you get a longer shelf life and higher page yield. The opposite is true for inkjet printers, so take this into account when making a final decision.

Whatever option you go with, you’ll inevitably incur maintenance costs that add up over time. That’s why choosing the right option for your business is essential.

3. Ease of Use

Just because a multifunction printer can perform various tasks doesn’t mean it’s complicated and confusing. Still, not every option features an interface your team can quickly get accustomed to.

This can result in many inefficiencies, from printing or scanning errors to high onboarding and training time. To eliminate this risk, you should go with a printer with an intuitive user interface that lets everyone complete their work quickly and without hassle.

The best multifunctional printers have displays similar to those of smartphones. They’re easy to navigate and guide users through all the steps in a logical way that won’t result in them spending too much time figuring things out. So while ease of use might not seem as important as the printer’s cost or other major features, it’s worth considering.

4. Buying vs. Leasing Multifunctional Printers

As you saw above, a multifunction printer can involve high costs. While there’s a benefit to owning a printer, many businesses can’t comfortably afford to do so. In this case, leasing is an excellent option.

Now, you can go down the traditional road of leasing a printer without any extras. But in the past few years, businesses started switching to a much more convenient and cost-effective option – managed print services.

MPS is a comprehensive approach to your printing needs. Instead of just getting the device, you can have all the necessary supplies, maintenance, and ongoing support bundled in one package. Frugal businesses looking to avoid overspending on printing often find MPS highly beneficial.

What’s more, modern technologies allow MPS to offer additional intelligent solutions that can support your business. It’s enabled MPS providers to offer data tracking that helps you understand your needs better and adjust your processes accordingly. Another highly valuable service is preventive maintenance, which can save you a significant amount of money over time.

If you’re not ready to invest in a printer, MPS can be an excellent choice. It will meet all your printing needs and eliminate the hassle of managing your own equipment.

Find the Right Multifunction Printer for Your Office

A printer is among the most important pieces of equipment you’ll ever buy. That’s why you should do thorough research and take your time to explore all the available options. Not doing so can be a costly mistake.

If you’re not ready to invest in a printer, it might be better to lease it for now. As you saw, managed print services come with many benefits that will streamline your office workflow.

Whether you’re looking to buy a multifunction printer or learn more about its benefits for your Houston business, feel free to reach out to the Stargel team. We’ll help you find the best option for your business and offer all the guidance you need.