When investing in office equipment, one of the biggest considerations is always the price tag. And, while the initial cost is obviously one that needs thorough deliberation, there are certain costs that you must research beyond the once-off price. And one piece of office equipment that often gets overlooked when it comes to saving money is the multi-function printer.
Costs of Multi-Function Printers
One of the biggest technological advancements in the printing realm is the multi-function printer, an incredibly efficient device that consolidates the functionality of a printer, copier and scanner into one machine. These are renowned for their cost reduction benefits and enhanced workplace productivity, but even a multi-function printer has hidden costs you need to look out for.
- Cost of consumables
As stated, the initial cost might be large but the cost of supplies is an ongoing expense you’ll have to factor into the price. The ink and toner costs of a multi-function printer can be quite high so you need to inquire about the number of pages you’ll get from these before having to replace them. If they’re going to need replacing twice as often as that of a more expensive multi-function printer, then it might be more cost-effective to choose the higher-priced printer for long-term savings.
- Service and maintenance plan
All equipment, no matter the cost or type, will need to be serviced and require maintenance at some point. Without this, you’re unlikely to get the most out of your printer and will end up paying for an expensive replacement. When looking at investing in a multi-function printer, find out what service plan the supplier offers and what costs are involved. Aspects such as the turnaround time for maintenance queries is also vital, as the longer your multi-function printer is away, the less productive your company will be during that time.
- Multi-tasking capabilities
Many multi-function printers are marketed as such, but they don’t necessarily operate as you’d expect. While some printers might be able to perform all necessary functions – printing, copying and scanning – they might not be able to perform them simultaneously. These are actually all-in-one printers rather than multi-function printers and can result in serious time delays in the office. This can effectively become a hidden cost for your office – costing you in time and money.
- Energy efficiency
Modern multi-function printers incorporate advanced technological features that save on energy use, thereby saving on costs. However, if you invest in a machine that doesn’t make use of this sort of technology, you’re likely to end up paying excessive electricity bills. Check the printer’s energy star rating and capabilities, such as automatic switching to sleep mode when not in use.
- Follow-up costs
Some of the biggest hidden costs when investing in a multi-function printer come after the fact – these are the delivery, installation and training costs. Check that the delivery and installation are included in the purchase agreement and ask about ongoing software upgrades and the price of training. If the machine is particularly difficult to use or the upgrades are going to be fairly complex, staff will need to know exactly how to use the machine or you won’t be taking full advantage of its business-enhancing features.
If you’re looking at streamlining your business while also saving on unnecessary costs, then investing in a multi-function printer is a great way to do this. It’s one machine that has the capabilities of multiple machines, saving on space, and you’re also benefitting from energy-efficient technology. Just make sure you ask about all the hidden costs so you meet your budget.