All you need to know about multifunctional printers for your home office

Equipping your home office

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Equipping your home office

There was once a time that equipping an office with all the essentials meant purchasing a lot of different hardware and then trying to find a suitable space for it all. With the advances in technology, it's now possible to combine your essential day-to-day business functions with just one piece of equipment.

Working from home doesn't mean you don't need access to all of the equipment you would have access to when working outside the home. When you work in an office environment, you are provided with telephone services, Internet access, a multifunction printer, and perhaps a complex document management system. You will need all of this when working from home, but it is on you to provide it for yourself.

Choosing multifunctional printers for your home office

When it comes to choosing a multifunction printer, the initial decision to be made is whether to select an inkjet printer or laser printer. Each of these has their advantages, so it comes down to what you intend to use your printer for. Inkjet printers

They're suitable for small businesses such as those run from home. They are typically low-cost to buy compared to their laser counterparts and also have an advantage when it comes to printing photographs, usually giving a much higher overall quality. Inkjet printers are also commonly used where large format printing is needed such as in plotters. Disadvantages of using an inkjet printer for everyday office use are that over a long period they are more expensive to run, also because the ink dries on the paper, you can suffer a loss of quality and smudge on things like letterheads, invoices, etc. which gives your business a less professional image. Laser printers

They're well suited to busy office environments who print medium to large quantities of documents on a daily basis. They tend to be cheaper in the long-term than inkjets due to their lower overall cost per page, speed and memory capacity. Unlike many inkjets, laser printers can be networked which allows everyone in the office to use them. The printing method used in laser printers results in a better final quality and more precise output as toner is used rather than ink directly on the paper. However, laser printers are some way behind inkjets when it comes to printing photographs.

Why do you need managed print services?

A Managed Print Service is one that will be responsible for managing all the equipment in your company that produces hard copies of documents, whether that is by printing, photocopying or scanning. The first step in the process of implementing this is finding a company to complete a print audit. So, why would I want a service contract for my printer? There are good reasons why you need managed service contracts as described below.

Time Management

There isn't usually an internal department that has the sole purpose of purchasing and monitoring the cost-effectiveness of the document production equipment in your business. An outsourced MPS allows your IT or purchasing team to concentrate on their day-to-day responsibilities.

Equipment Utilisation

Especially important in a large company, a MPS will identify which printer belongs to which department or employee, so that each machine is used to its full potential.

Automation

The ordering of consumables such as toner and ink will be done as the machines notify the MPS that they are running low, so they send out new stock.

If you are considering using this type of service, many of them will complete a free audit that will advise the best way to proceed. Once the service is in place, the team will review your printing needs on a regular basis and send you a report or arrange a meeting with you to discuss any changes that need to be made to ensure the continuing optimal performance of your equipment.