When weighing the differences between a copier or a multi-functional printer (MFP), some of the key factors to keep in mind will be budget, the volume demands that will be placed on your equipment and the flexibility your team requires. You may also want to consider how your decision aligns with your organization’s sustainability efforts, document security and more.
Let’s start with a few basic questions that can help you get clarity:
- Is budget a factor?
- How many users do you have to accommodate?
- Does your team need other functionality like scanning and faxing?
- How much office real estate do you have available for equipment?
- How many copies are printed/copied on average per month?
- Do you often have a need to deal with large scale images for blueprints, posters, etc.?
- Is the high quality of your print production integral to your business success? This often applies to advertising agencies, architectural firms, graphic designs firms, etc.
Once you’ve evaluated your needs, line them up against some of the features of copiers and MFPs.
Generally speaking, copiers can be more expensive than today’s multi-functional printers. High-volume copiers offer a wider range of paper sizes and finishing options, like binding, collating and stapling. They also have the capacity for a much higher volume of copies, and they get the work done fast! Copiers tend to take up more of your office space because of their flexibility in handling a range of paper sizes, finishing options and the capacity to hold large quantities of paper.
Multi-function printers are becoming a popular option for many businesses because they can replace several different pieces of equipment, like scanners, fax machines, and photocopiers. This can be a cost-effective alternative to having several different machines for various purposes. If you’re considering an MFP, be sure to look into whether you need a machine that can truly multitask or if you’re OK with one that can only perform one function at a time – like scanning, faxing, printing, etc. This will depend on the size of your team and how many people will need to perform these tasks simultaneously.
Aside from eliminating the cost associated with printers, scanners and fax machines, the expense that goes into each machine – toner, ink, paper, etc., as well as maintenance are reduced. Multi-function printers can also save on space and energy use – substantially lowering your organization’s carbon footprint. Increased efficiency is another benefit of these machines, as many come ready to implement digital workflows, mobile printing and more without compromising security.
After reviewing your unique situation, keep in mind the performance demands that will be placed on your office equipment. Consider any needs for high-end output, the number of users, the volume of work, your budget and what your office space will allow. You may find that one or the other is a clear winner or you may still have a need for both a printer and a copier strategically placed in different areas of your organization.
Interested in a workflow analysis or more information on the office equipment that will best serve your needs and increase your team’s productivity? Let’s talk!