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ISM Article

It’s Not Just a Copier

24 Oct, 2008 By: David Bates

It’s Not Just a Copier

Often mistaken for a basic copier, multifunction products (MFPs) combine
copying, printing, scanning and faxing into one easy to use system. However,
many organizations have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to
utilizing the full functionality that resides inside an MFP. MFPs offer a wide
range of features, so it is important to understand what’s available, when to
use each feature, and how each can benefit your organization by saving time and
reducing costs. 

Scanning options

Basic and advanced scanning features, such as scan to network, desktop,
e-mail and scan to USB thumb drive can enhance worker productivity. These
functions help streamline business processes by giving workers the ability to
easily and quickly capture, store and share hardcopy documents in digital form.
For instance, the scan to network feature converts hard copies into electronic
versions, such as PDF files, and saves the files on a server or in a network
repository for future use and archiving.

Versatile faxing

Many MFPs already have built-in fax capabilities, eliminating the need for
scattered standalone machines that require their own toner cartridges and paper
- which can drain many offices’ supplies and maintenance resources. These
features may include network faxing, which uses a single server to manage all
faxes. This reduces the number of phone lines needed and centralizes the
management of all faxes. In addition, MFPs equipped with fax forward to e-mail
allow you to automatically route incoming faxes to your e-mail.

Multi-up, duplex and sample print options

MFPs offer an array of printing features that allow businesses to save on
paper costs by decreasing paper consumption. Features that may already be
available to you include multi-up printing that enables workers to print several
pages – such as two or more PowerPoint slides – on a single sheet of paper,
cutting paper and supplies costs when printing drafts of documents.

Secure printing features

With document security top of mind in most industries today, many MFPs allow
businesses to restrict access, track usage and protect confidential information.
For example, many MFPs also allow jobs to be safely stored at the device until
the owner enters a personal number to release them - controlling unauthorized
viewing of documents on the printer. 

Finishing features

MFPs may offer optional finishing features such as collating, multi-position
stapling, hole punching, booklet making and various types of folding options
that will save employees time and enable more complex documents, such as
brochures, newsletters or training manuals, to be printed in-house.

Understanding all the features and capabilities available on your MFP will
help maximize your investment and increase employee productivity.

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