Ten Things Your Enterprise MFPs Must Have

MPS discussions often go beyond the device level and into workflow. Rightly so. A good MPS program should lead to optimizing document workflow and streamlining processes. But multifunction printers (MFPs) remain critical to that objective. In fact, they’re downright essential for digitizing content, automating workflow and keeping workers productive.

If you want devices that are more than just paper output portals, what should you look for? You might consider the evaluation criteria explored by the document imaging professionals at Buyers Laboratory LLC (BLI.)

When the time comes to evaluate devices, consider these ten factors. BLI did.

1. Scanning Performance
One reason digital devices and digital workflow go hand in hand is scanning – the on-ramp to digital workflows. “Scanning is a key part of office workflows,” noted Marlene Orr, Senior Analyst, Printers/A4 MFPs, BLI.

Keep in mind:

  • The ideal MFP scanning interface is fast and easy, with simple job programming and support for a wide range of file formats.
  • The device should maintain scanning speeds in various modes, such as double-sided pages or color documents.
  • Does it offer one-touch scanning to certain destinations, with color, PDF or other formats predetermined?

2. “No Excuses” Reliability
When business processes and customer service depend on documents, device downtime is not an option. “Office workers want to know an MFP is ready to go when they need it most,” said Pete Emory, Director of Research and Lab Services US/Asia, BLI. It’s no surprise that reliability is a major part of BLI lab testing. In fact, they perform the most extensive reliability testing in the industry.

Keep in mind:

  • Pay attention to uptime data when evaluating the reliability of a workgroup device.
  • Note speeds when printing and copying double-sided documents. These options save paper and lower costs, but shouldn’t slow you down.

3. Sustainability Smarts
If they have the right capabilities, MFP devices can contribute to your enterprise sustainability goals. Look for a device with smart settings in the drivers that help conserve toner. Also look for the ability to print multiple pages per sheet and duplex to reduce paper use.

4. Usability and Productivity
Does the device family use a similar interface across product line? When an MFP line uses a common interface, users won’t be interrupted or delayed in their work when they move from one department or location to another. They will still be familiar with touch screens and can quickly move on with their document task.

5. Driver Viewing from the Desktop
Anytime you have to stop one thing to check on another, it slows you down. For example, how often do users have to manually check toner or paper before sending jobs, so they don’t worry about running out? Or consider the delays of investigating how many jobs are ahead of them, so users will know if they need to print to a different device if they’re on a deadline.

What if the MFP offered driver views from the desktop? Users could get detailed paper status without having to leave their desk and interrupt their work.

Proactive Communication with Users
Machine-to-person communications can make the difference when users need to know details about their print job. When the device takes the initiative, that’s even better. Look for communication capabilities like these:

6. Are there animated graphics to guide user intervention? When a device has this capability, it ensures more people can use the resource without delay or interruption. If there’s a situation in need of attention such as paper refill or toner replacement, the correct menu automatically pops up. The visualization makes the problem easy to solve, even for inexperienced users.

7. Does the device notify users when their specific job is completed? This saves countless trips away from your desk to check on queued print jobs.

8. “Print Around” to Keep Work Moving
Who hasn’t had the unpleasant surprise of discovering their print job has been held up in a queue? Productivity suffers when you’re stuck behind another job that may be unprintable because of an empty paper tray or some other reason. “Print around” means the problem job gets held in memory, while other jobs go ahead and run.

9. Support for Remote or Visiting Workers
When on-the-go workers move from one office location to another, a simple, uniform print set up makes it easy for them to access a networked device and continue with their work. Mobile and global drivers give employees like sales agents and service representatives an entry point for bringing paper documents into digital workflow.

10. Customized Document Workflow
Not only do MFPs provide an entry point into digital workflows, they can also make the workflow more streamlined. A device with extensible interface platform (EIP) allows seamless, customizable integration with other business solutions. An EIP makes it easier for IT and your MPS provider to customize document workflows from the endpoint into your business processes. The outcomes are greater productivity, speed, security and savings.

Can You Find All This in One Device?
Is it really possible to get all this performance in one device? Well, here’s one to consider. The Xerox WorkCentre 4265 received highly recommended and highly reliable ratings from BLI in their evaluations of this monochrome workgroup MFP class device.

In fact, the MFP performed flawlessly for the entire 125K lab run and turned in a dominating scan performance. Learn more about the vigorous BLI reliability testing and what it revealed about the Xerox WorkCentre 4265.

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