Technological advancements and the introduction of cloud services make many business owners contemplate going entirely paperless by dropping specific office equipment. Why occupy floor space with a copier or a printer if you can digitize everything and share documents with other companies and clients online?
The great thing about technology advancing is that printers have also evolved to perform more tasks, better, faster, and cheaper than ever before. With the right type of printer, you can do more in an office setting.
Office Equipment With Multiple Features
Today’s multifunction printers (MFPs) are necessary office equipment for boosting productivity and ensuring the efficiency of business operations.
While some companies tend to delegate their printing needs to cloud services, physical printers can still provide a lot of value, especially MFPs.
An MFP can allow companies to streamline many of their processes due to its wide range of features. Copying, printing, scanning, and even faxing can be managed on a single machine. This type of office equipment even helps store documents and share them among devices or multiple applications via the internet.
Automating scanning processes can help streamline admin tasks and record-keeping and free up employees to perform core administrative duties.
Having an MFP enables businesses to reduce their operating costs across all departments, as the machines can easily be shared and used to perform a multitude of tasks.
Office Equipment for Easier Client Interaction
It’s tempting to assume that office equipment like an MFP is unnecessary for a modern business environment. Companies are increasingly trying to digitize their systems and processes to create a paperless workplace.
While that’s a commendable approach to reducing the carbon footprint, it’s not always the right move.
Sure, sharing documents online with employees, partners, and clients is easy enough. But so many of your clients may need actual hard copies of project plans, invoices, audits, presentations, assessments, etc.
Hard copies and paperwork remain key elements of business success, even at the height of the paperless environment trend.
Incorporating printed content in business plans and informational and advertising materials allows businesses to become multifaceted and prepared for any situation.
Imagine serving a mom-and-pop store that mostly accepts cash, doesn’t take online orders, and rarely needs a computer to run its business. Trying to communicate with that client solely online can put a strain on their business, especially if you’re delivering invoices and record-keeping materials.
Besides inconveniencing yourself and others, enforcing online invoices can lead to financial issues. If clients don’t have easy access to your invoices, you won’t get paid on time. They may even drop you in favor of a competitor that makes communication and document sharing easier.
Smaller businesses need to offer more to edge out their competitors. Something as simple as having office equipment capable of scanning, copying, and printing hard copies of digital documents can offer a significant advantage. Especially when plenty of companies rush to become paperless without considering how it can affect client interactions.
Printers Make Great Backups
One of the biggest arguments against using office equipment to print your own documents is that cloud services provide easy storage and access to hard copies. Digital documents are a very effective backup, as you can protect and store massive amounts of documents without needing a physical file room.
In reality, this argument goes both ways.
Think about the following scenarios that can happen at any time in a business. Computer crashes, hard drives getting wiped, unrequested system wipes and resets, cloud servers going down, high latency, or not having internet for several hours. And worst case, being hacked and having your data held for ransom.
A company that relies only on digital document sharing and storage could be left with no way to perform administrative and operational tasks. They may have to find a new way to bill clients, follow up on projects, or present new offers to prospects.
Employees could be left with no way of efficiently collaborating between different departments.
You might think that cloud service is infallible. In reality, every cloud service runs on physical servers. They may not be in the same building as your office, but they’re out there and at risk of physical damage, failure, and data loss.
No one can guarantee that your data will be protected forever if a cloud service fails and their backups fail too. The same goes for a cloud service provider or managed print provider going out of business.
Creating hard copies of essential documents and doing it in-house enables your company to ensure it always has easy access to crucial materials, regardless of its internet connection and provider uptime.
A very important consideration for using MFPs is you will encounter fewer problems during an audit and have more peace of mind moving forward about justifying your record-keeping, expenses, tax deductions, etc.
As a bonus, you won’t be left high and dry before making a pitch to a potential client or starting a new marketing campaign. You can still reach many prospects with hard copies, and some of them will thank you for choosing a more traditional path.
MFPs Final Verdict
There’s a lot you can do with a MFP these days. Sure, traditional copiers don’t always make sense in a modern office environment, but a MFP is a different type of office equipment. It combines the functions and features of multiple machines, and depending on the volume of work, one could be enough to serve multiple departments inside a company.
Sharing documents, printing business projects, creating marketing material, and enriching presentations with hard copies are tasks that can be accomplished using a MFP.
MFPs provide more peace of mind, streamline client interactions, and simplify administrative and record-keeping work. If you’re interested in what type of office equipment your Houston business needs, contact On Demand today to discuss options or request a free online quote. Founded in 1999, we’re conveniently located in the Galleria on the Sam Houston Freeway.