For business owners and facility managers, picking the right equipment is absolutely crucial for success. So what’s the right call when picking between a printer or a MFD?
Everyone has used a printer before, though there are many variations out there. Some produce wide format creations, while others are focused on more graphically advanced results.
But device diversity doesn’t stop here. There’s an entirely different class of devices that are known as multi-function devices (MFDs). An MFD, as its name suggests, this device can perform printing in addition to different functions like scanning and faxing.
There are pros and cons to going with each option, so how can a business owner pick the right fit for their needs?
Functionality: Which Option is Superior?
A company needs to consider what functions they require in a device before making a choice. Some people would say this is a simple process - all they need to do is think about what they’re currently doing and find a device that can perform all these functions.
But what about the future? It’s easy to overlook the fact that a company’s needs can change, in terms of the workflows they perform and the hardware they require. While a printer may suffice in the present, what happens if the organization needs to scan or fax in the future?
Consider workflow needs both in the present and the foreseeable future to accurately pick the right device.
Consider the Convenience of a MFD
Some people may think that if they decide to add new functions to their device fleet later on, they can simply add new hardware pieces. But consider the complications this can present.
The first is that it can limit floorspace. No one wants to work in a congested office where they’re bumping into one another and having to squeeze around a full print fleet of multiple devices. Saving space is better for aesthetics, productivity, and safety.
When a company adds new hardware, they have additional hardware to maintain and monitor. This represents an energy and financial cost, so adding a new device can be burdensome. In this case, going with a MFD is more efficient.
What Are the Costs of Adding a New Device?
Speaking of convenience and its impact on choosing between devices, there are several areas to think about when it comes to this selection process.
The first and obvious consideration to make when it comes to adding devices to a print fleet is the price tag. Since MFDs can perform more functions than regular printers, they typically also cost more.
This cost also translates in terms of maintenance. After all, the additional equipment needed to facilitate faxing and scanning functions requires its own type of servicing and unique supplies.
If the functions a company needs necessitate this cost, it can prove worthwhile and profitable. But if not, it may be better to go with fewer functions and stick with more basic hardware.
What About Device Security?
When it comes to adding any new device to a print fleet in 2023, there’s always the question of security - after all, connectivity is a common feature on even the most basic printers these days. Is a printer more or less secure than a MFD?
This question depends on the devices’ respective security standards, along with user habits like setting strong passwords, using access controls, and applying regular security updates. But the true answer of whether one is more secure could come down to probability.
Simply put, more devices represent more entry points to a network. Simplifying hardware setups creates fewer targets for cybersecurity issues, making it easier to monitor and safeguard these devices and their impact on the network.
Get a Hardware Partner That Offers Both
Every decision that a company makes regarding equipment will have a long lasting impact on the organization. Having the right hardware that delivers returns on investment can aid a company in reaching its goals and growing steadily.
For companies that want to save money, or that only need print functions, a regular printer should suffice. For those that want to perform more functions, or may want to do so in the future, a MFD is the way to go.
Having fewer devices to perform multiple functions can provide benefits in terms of upkeep, space saving, and security. But no matter your choice of what device to add to your setup, make sure you have a tech partner that can deliver high-quality solutions.
Doing Better Business offers printers, multi-function devices, and more. To get the best solutions for your industry and your company, contact us today.