Multifunction Printers are key to keeping your office running efficiently. We all know the frustrations of having a copier or printer that won’t work the way you need it too. It won’t print the document you need or is constantly requiring service. This makes for an unhappy work environment and unhappy employees! When it’s time to replace your old copier or buy a new MFP, here is what you need to know.
COST / BUDGET
This is usually the most important factor to most business owners but the lowest price isn’t always the best bang for your buck. If you buy an older or used machine, it may be less expensive up front but could end up costing you more in the end. Older machines are more expensive to run and maintain. Also, an older or used MFP will need replaced sooner than buying a new one.
PURCHASE / LEASE
Deciding whether to purchase or lease the new MFP is the next decision. Purchasing is a large upfront cost but will save you money on the interest of a lease. If you choose to purchase you need to ask your solutions consultant questions about your maintenance contract. When it will be billed – monthly / quarterly / semiannually / annually and what is included and what it will cost. The cost of a maintenance contact on a new machine will probably be significantly less than what you were paying on the current MFP.
When leasing, make sure you find out what type of lease it is, a $1 Buy – Out or a Fair Market Value(FMV). $1 Buy – Out leases maybe considered a purchase when doing your taxes so you cannot write your monthly payment off as an operating cost. With an FMV lease you need to find out what the terms are and what your responsibilities are at the end of the term.
GETTING THE BEST MFP FOR YOUR NEEDS
Work with your consultant to get the most efficient machine for your needs. New MFPs have the newest technology and features that may be capable of doing your jobs more efficiently than what you are used too. Here are some general options that you will want to consider.
BLACK AND WHITE OR COLOR
Many people shy away from color because it is an additional expense but if you currently outsource or use an inkjet printer for your color prints or copies, you may be able to save money by doing it all on your MFP.
SIZE AND SPEED
The size and speed of the machine your office needs may be based on the monthly volume. If your office is low volume, you may be able to purchase a less expensive desktop or a lower speed floor model. If you have a high volume or an office with lots of employees using the same machine a faster speed is probably necessary in order to maintain optimal workflow. For larger machines with higher volumes, the cost per page will likely decrease.
When choosing an MFP make sure that it has all the features that you need: copy / print / scan / fax / staple. Do you print sensitive or confidential information and how will the MFP handle that? If you use individual printers, scanners, or faxes consider combining them into 1 MFP to reduce costs and necessary supplies.
SERVICE OR MAINTENANCE CONTRACT
You will want to purchase the service contract that your dealer offers with the new MFP. This is the warranty for your new investment. Make sure you find out what the contract covers – parts / supplies / labor / toner? How many pages are included monthly and what is the cost per page? Cost for overages? Can changes be made to the contract? Where are the service techs located and what are is the average response time to your area?
Having this information will help you make the most educated decision when it comes to purchasing your new MFP.