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So you know that it is time to invest in the office machine that will dramatically increase your productivity and your satisfaction with your equipment. That is the easy thing to know. How do you decide which machine is right for your business? How can you be sure that you are considering all of the right elements of the machine? I have given you a simple rundown of the basics in this blog post, and at the bottom you will find a link to download our Buying Guide. I highly recommend that you give this piece a read. You want to be the informed consumer capable of making educated decisions, and we agree that you should be.
Do I even need to upgrade?
We hear this a lot from the people that we do business with. They are experiencing some issues with their machine and then the small issues start to grow and they wonder if this is the best time to move to a more sophisticated piece of machinery. In short, if you have outgrown or out-innovated your technology, it is time to get back up to speed. New machines produce more than copies, your investment will replace the need to consider upgrading other equipment in your office like your scanner, your document storage solutions and it will act as the hub for your network, keeping the documents that you have digitized instantly accessible to your team.
What kind of machine do I need?
Previously you were told what to buy, but now you are empowered. Consumer 2.0 knows so much about the products they are considering, but in the office machine industry there isn’t a lot of information out there. There are statistics that get our tech department excited about functionality, but those numbers do not mean a lot to people outside of our industry. What we have done is break down the three main classes of machine to give you the goods and help inform your decision:
All in One (AIO) Multifunction Printers
These machines are the smallest and most space-saving of the MFPs. They are durable and are generally considered the machine of choice for start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses. While they appear relatively simple, that does not indicate the depth of their functionality. There is a great emphasis on print and scanning capabilities which are often made more powerful with scan organizing software. Some of these machines offer the ability to copy and fax, but on lower-end models you will see that this becomes less of a priority.
The AIO is the least expensive option in the MFP line-up but do offer a lot of bang for that buck. Depending on the model they can be hardwired or connected by wifi and are often equipped with smart card readers, USB ports and digital camera connectors.
Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) Multifunction Printers
Compared to the AIO, the SOHO is an upgrade in functionality and also a step up in price point. These machines are equipped with advanced facilities that are more tailored to a professional ofice. SOHO MFP’s hae full print, copy, scan and fax capability (although fax is often not included in the base model). The versatility of these machines increases with the model and you will notice in using these machines that they harness a substantial amount of power and offer numerous features that make them the stepping stone to the larger machines.
Some of the features that you can expect from the SOHO MFP series are digital authentication, document storage and retrieval, duplexing and much faster output.
Office Multifunction Printers
The Office MFP is the most common and popular of the three we have detailed. These machines are the definition of workplace efficiency and represent an essential addition to an innovative work space. The four basic functions of these machines are print, copy, scan and fax. These functions are enhanced with impressive and robust security protocols, full credential document authentication, protected document retrieval and storage as well as the ability to run custom made software.
The standard inclusions above are only part of the package, these machines are equipped with the bells and whistles. Some of the super perks include:
- Binding of reports.
It is almost like having your own professional print shop at the cost of a few good print jobs. The best part, these functions are easy to use and literally at your fingertips. Your MFP should act like an employee and we promise that a good MFP will be the best employee you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.