Multifunction Systems

Color Document Creation Made Easy

Multifunction Products (MFPs) can quickly print, copy, scan and fax documents with ease. In fact, Multifunction products are 20-40% less expensive than the combined expenses of single function products that print, copy and fax while requiring up to 50% less office space.

Besides the expense and room savings, MFPs simplify your office by allowing you handle fewer devices in one convenient location.

MFPs can also easily handle high-volume color and black and white output. You'll be glad you invested in you Multifunction System.

What About Color?

Today’s world works in color. Users that create content on their color monitors expect it to be viewed in color, increasing demand for color paper and electronic documents. Fortunately, there are new color technologies that print and email color more cost-effectively and allow you to control your color usage. One way to control your costs for color printing is to charge them back to those who are doing the printing. Charging back these costs can help reduce operational costs in two ways.

1. Internal users who are billed for all or some of their color printing are likely to be more aware of, and more mindful about, how much they print—and, as a result, more judicious in their use of printing resources. This can result in less usage.

2. By billing external users, organizations can eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, the color printing and copying costs that they normally absorb on behalf of their clients or patrons.

The right color printing solution can reduce costs and improve efficiency in a variety of printing and imaging environments. The following scenario describes how one organization is using HP color printers to bring a key printing function in-house—and dramatically cut costs and increase efficiency.

The organization: Professional sports team

The situation: Need for an alternative to outsourcing of season-ticket printing

The problems: High printing costs, slow turnarounds, limited ability to accommodate change The solution: HP Color LaserJet 9500 printers

The results: 54 percent reduction in ticket printing costs, as well as faster delivery and increased flexibility

Color printing has been around for years, but until recently, it was not that widely used in everyday office environments. According to industry observers at CAP Ventures, this may be because color printers have traditionally been perceived as too expensive and complex to be of much value for everyday usage.1 However, now that color devices are becoming more affordable and functional, that’s changing. Even so, it’s still entirely possible to spend too much on color—by failing to carefully match needs to capabilities. As Don Jones points out in The Definitive Guide to Office Color Printing, many organizations don’t understand the range of options available to them for using color; as a result, they “often implement overly expensive solutions for everyday use.”2 This planner is designed to help you align printing requirements with devices in order to get just what you need in color printing—no more, and no less. Did you hear the one a few years back about the intern who faxed some charts to a team of reviewers in advance of a meeting—with a cover note directing their attention to the figures in green? Quite a faux pas in the days before color faxes. But it’s no joke: Color can be one of the most powerful tools at an organization’s disposal when it comes to organizing information, increasing understanding, and making people and operations more productive and efficient. And today, the technology for color printing to help achieve these ends is more advanced, accessible and affordable than ever.

“If you want to understand how color impacts us, next time you get in the car, take note of how you stop at red and go on green. Color plays a big role in persuasion. We should understand its value.” –Bryan Eisenberg, ”The Color of Money,” ClickZ Network. Organizations that are incorporating color into their printing and imaging environments would like to be able to control access to color printing in order to maximize the return on their investments in color. This doesn’t simply mean limiting access to color, or placing controls on who uses color and who does not, although there is certainly value for some organizations in being able to do just that. But controlling access to color also means being able to monitor how color is used and to track usage by a variety of criteria, in order to make informed decisions that affect operational efficiency. And for some organizations, controlling access to color may also mean accurately determining color usage in order to bill clients or internal users for their usage. Applying color access controls in any or all of these ways enables organizations to use color as effectively and cost-efficiently as possible.

MFPs Combine Four Vital Business Tools:

Printing

Multifunction systems allow for the printing of documents of varying sizes. Because multifunction devices are scalable, the volume that can be printed on these systems can also be scaled. The strongest benefits of multifunction systems over laser printers are lower costs and greater productivity. MFP’s also utilize the same print engine that you have grown to value in laser jet printers. Moreover, these systems also feature finishing options not typically available in ink-jet or laser printers such as stapling, booklet-making, and three-hole punch.

Scan Your Document Once, then Print Multiple Copies

Instead of requiring your document to be scanned over and over again in order to deliver multiple sets, the scan once – print many capability of multi-function systems allows you to scan the document only one time and produce multiple documents from that first and only scan. This is especially beneficial for large copy runs as you can have access to your original document immediately. Moreover, documents are printed as complete sets without the need to bulky and cumbersome stacking bins so you are no longer limited to the number of slots available in those stacking bins.

Pre-scan Your Jobs

Because of the scan once – print many capability, you also have the capability of a job pre-scan. This enables you to scan multiple jobs ahead of time and the multi-function system will automatically print your document as the previous documents complete. You will no longer need to wait until the previous job is finished to start preparing your next job.

Preserve Document Color

In today’s marketplace, color is critical in communicating key information. You may choose to print web pages, presentation or marketing material and need to have the color right, when you need it. Even word processing documents and spreadsheets utilize color to effectively communicate key information. No longer is color printing and copying a slow and costly proposition for an organization. The new multi-function systems provide you the means by which you can produce your documents in color in a timely and cost effective manner. You can realize the benefits of color in your organization without causing strain on your budget.

Copying

In addition to printing and scanning color and black & white documents, all multifunction systems have the capability to copy. Using the latest digital copying technology, you can be assured that you will see the greatest quality reproduction with the ease of use you have come to demand. Most multifunction systems now provide advanced features such as scan-one–print-many functionality, job pre-scan, and increased ability to maximize the resolution quality from your color originals. Learn more...

Scanning

Scanning documents has become a necessity for businesses of all types today. It is critical that businesses have the capability to convert their paper-based information into a readily transferable medium. Moreover, with the pervasiveness of color documents in our businesses today, faxing a document often will not work. With a multifunction system, creating an electronic document from paper-based information has never been easier… in color or black and white.
One of the hallmarks of a multifunction system is its ability to scan to various locations. Some of these locations include scan to email, scan to file, scan to OCR (optical character recognition), and scan to electronic document management, in addition to many others. The ability to scan and save a document as a PDF, TIFF or mTIFF can provide you versatility in how you communicate with your documents.
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Faxing

It may be assumed that as scan to email capability rises, the need for faxing will decrease. Although this may be true in the years to come, fax volumes are currently on the rise as businesses are attempting to continue to provide technologies their customers require. Multifunction systems provide a multitude of options for faxing documents that a traditional fax machine may not offer. Options such as inbound fax routing, desktop faxing and faxing directly to your electronic document management system can provide an increased level of productivity that positively affects your bottom line.

Scan-to-email's rise may signal the end of faxing- someday. Whether or not faxing eventually disappears one thing is certain today: total fax volume is currently rising as businesses are continuing to provide technologies their customers require. Multi-function systems feature an array of options for faxing documents that a traditional fax machine may not offer.

Outgoing Faxes

Multi-function systems allow for faxing from the device itself just as a standalone fax would. The greatest benefit of most multi-function systems, from an outbound faxing perspective, is its ability to allow faxing from any Windows desktop on your network. Rather than printing a document only to scan it again during the faxing process, you simply send your fax from the comfort of your office.

Routing Incoming Faxes

The most common scanner in the world today is a fax machine. As a fax machine user initiates a fax, he or she is simply putting that document in a scanner for transmission. This document can either be printed on your fax machine in your office, or the electronic version of that document can be captured and routed to the location of your choosing. This can be routed to an email address, a folder on your network or even automatically indexed and routed directly to your electronic document management system.

Fax Servers

Fax server technology allows for greater functionality for faxing. Fax server technology has all the basic functionality of a multi-function system, but adds greater productivity features. Some of those features include the ability to electronically manage all your fax documents in one, easy to use interface, route documents to multiple locations based on the phone number dialed, reduce the number of telephone lines your company uses but increase the number of fax lines and many more features. For medium to high volume fax applications, these features allow for greater productivity and lower costs for faxing in any organization. In addition, fax servers can be tightly integrated with multi-function systems to allow for better end-user experience.

Additional Fax Features

Whether your fax system is from a standalone device, multi-function systems, or fax server, some of the features that your organization will benefit from are as follows.

Multi-Tasking Access

One of the largest concerns with any multi-function device is what to do if the device is being used for another function. If the device is being used for copying or printing, how will that affect an inbound fax. Of course, standalone fax systems don’t require multiple access capabilities, but multi-function systems allow for the system to be used for multiple functions at the same time. If the system is being used for copying, printing or scanning, the fax function will simply work in the background.

Multiple Line Support

In many cases, high-volume faxing applications require more than one line. Traditionally, the approach would be to have two separate fax machines available for your users. Many multi-function systems now have the capability to incorporate a second line in the same system. This prevents the necessity of multiple fax machines in any given location. Fax servers can support two, four, eight or more fax lines.

Multifunction System or Fax Machine?

For your organization, you may find that a standalone fax machine is all that is needed to meet your specific business requirements. In the event that you need more for larger or more specific faxing applications, you should consider adding faxing capability to your multi-function system or adding a fax server to your network environment.

To learn more about which systems can best improve your business, contact us today.

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