All-in-One Printer (MFP) Pros and Cons
May 12, 2020
All-in-One Printer (MFP) Pros and Cons
Saving money while making profits is a considerable perk for businesses of any size, especially when you can buy office devices that can be used for multiple tasks. So, you might be thinking of buying a multi-function printer (MFP) instead of a standalone one. These multi-function printers can handle large volume jobs and can scan, copy, and fax in addition to printing.
It seems straightforward, isn’t it? But before you go out and purchase an all in one printer in a mad dash to save a ton of money, be sure that it is the right one for your office. Let us have a look at the pros and cons of a multi-function printer.
Pros of Purchasing a Multi-function Printer
Rather than buying multiple digital devices to handle your office work, you will be using a single printer, which means if there is a repair or replacement, you essentially pay for one. By buying all-in-one toner cartridges in bulk that can handle a higher volume, you get significant cost savings as opposed to buying for each device separately.
Ease of Maintenance
When upgrading the device drivers, you will need to download and install one, when compared to three or four if you use multiple devices.
Many startups or small businesses typically start in a small space and grow with time. They also employ less staff owing to space constraints. In such a case, there may not be much room left to dedicate to four different machines – printer, scanner, fax machine, and copier. With an MFP, you can save space as it comes in a small package.
Several devices fill your desks and counters with tangled webs of power cords, but with a printer scanner MFP, you can lower the risk of this maze of cables. Besides, using one device at a time means much lesser energy consumption with less number of power strips.
MFPs come with greater capacities and deliver the results at higher speeds. These days, the quality of the output of these machines is comparable to standalone printers. There will also be less time needed to pause the use of a single device for maintenance.
Cons of Purchasing a Multi-function Printer
While the repair, maintenance, and replacement costs may be low, the initial costs of a multi-function printer are generally more than single-function devices. So, before you purchase one, make sure to ask about the cost breakdown and replacement analysis of the printer over its expected lifespan. But the good news is that, typically, higher initial investment cost may mean a drop in its operational costs.
Lack of Features
You may need to transition your files to the cloud or digital; then having a multi-function printer may not be right for you. Instead, you may want to look into a dedicated scanner that is connected to your PC. Another feature that may be lacking is a good OCR (optical character recognition.)
Here, overloading is not on the machine itself, but for the number of employees waiting for their turn to use the MFP. While MFPs suit smaller businesses, if you have several employees from various departments vying for their time to utilize the machines, there will be traffic jams and consequently, it may slow down productivity.
The problem with an all in one printer is that your business is relying on a single machine. So, with a multi-function printer, you are typically putting all your eggs in one basket. Where you could have four separate devices for different tasks, you use one which is a recipe for disaster, if something goes wrong. In case of a malfunction or breakdown, the printer may go down.
You will have to shut its operation until the problem is diagnosed and fixed. But, meanwhile, all the four operations are down, too. To avoid this, you need to be proactive and have a business printer services provider on call to fix the issues promptly and provide quick turnarounds.
The above pros and cons as but a small guide to help you understand where the multi-function printers work and in which cases, they do not make sense. However, the crucial thing is that you know your office and business requirements well, and plan accordingly. Ultimately, it boils down to your decision, budget, and comfort levels.