Owning an MFP – What is the total cost of ownership?



The initial price tag on a Multifunctional Printer is hands down the largest investment that you will make in a single machine. Your service contract, your consumption and your costs to keep the machine running (energy, paper, networking) will be small by comparison. But that does not mean that those costs are not important. Here is a quick guide to knowing what you’re spending when it comes to your MFP investment.

Ink, Toner and Solid Ink

The cost of fueling your machine with the goods that make it to the paper can be high. There are a few things to consider when you are choosing your machine, but definitely ask about the cost per print of the machine, ask about the price of ink and toner cartridges and the number of prints you can expect from each. Many business owners find the ink printer attractive at first glance but don’t understand the expense of frequently replacing small and expensive ink cartridges. Conversely, many business owners are hesitant to spend on the toner fueled machines because the initial cost is high and the cartridges are expensive but are much larger and last for a substantial period of time. More on the here.


Energy Consumption

There are many machines on the market that masquerade as environmentally friendly based on their ink consumption, and others that wash over the ink consumption with impressive energy savings. Do your homework. The reality here is that a machine will not be all things environmentally friendly, but some are definitely better than others.


Estimated Service Requirements

Does the company you are considering buying from have an in-house service department? Are you getting a service contract with your machine? What is the likelihood that you will have to hire outside service if you are receiving your service from a third-party provider? How close is the third-party provider to your business? Do they handle accounts that are all comparable to your account? Where does your company size and machine type put you on the priority list? All of these items are cost-oriented and can be vital to the successful operation of your MFP in your office environment. Don’t be afraid to ask how you will be taken care of after the initial sale.

Financing or Leasing Details

If you are financing or leasing your machine make sure you have all of the details up front. If business is great today but in two years you are struggling, what is the flexibility in your plan. Can you save interest money by creating a plan that allows you to pay more up front with larger monthly payments? Are you spending extra money because of your contract length that could be shortened to see dramatic savings?


Finally, make sure that you are comfortable with the initial cost and have calculated the lifetime costs before you take the plunge. If you are uneasy, talk to your sales rep openly and honestly to see if there is a better solution that is in your price range. A good salesperson will tell it to you straight. If your company requires the machine in question, you will know. If the same functionality is available with a few less “bells and whistles” you will know.

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