These days, most businesses and offices need more than just a printer or a “plain-jane” copier. Multi-function printers/scanners are rapidly becoming standard equipment. This is especially true in workplaces that are trying to be “paperless” as possible.
While the logistics of office space and staffing may remain somewhat the same as they were 10-20 years ago, much has changed nonetheless. The demands and utilities of the typical business, office, or even lab continue to evolve at a breakneck pace.
Moreover, thanks to the Multi-function Printer (MFP's), it has become easier than ever for a business to stay on the leading edge of the office tech wave. While at the same time, reducing its overall dependence on paper. Best of all, most can do this out of a small space in the corner of any office or shop, with just one machine.
Regardless of the business or industry, work is always shifting, evolving and trying to become more productive. Roles are shifting as well. For example, the marketing department may now be called the social media department. Public relations may now be handling tasks such as publishing newsletters and emails, along with old-school press releases. As duties evolve in the workplace, so must the tools needed to stay efficient and meet goals.
The MFP can be a practical addition to any workplace or business. The main reason being is its ability to fill a wide array of needs while maintaining a high degree of flexibility. Best of all, in one efficient unit that's easy to use.
Let’s take a look at some real-world applications for MFP’s:
1. Property Development
Development teams handle plans, blueprints, and drafts of every aspect of a project, from conception to completion. These include floor plans, site surveys, and interior designs, among many other items.
During the entire process, development teams have to interact with various service providers and vendors. Not having the right plan, idea sheet or other materials handy during the course of a critical meeting can cause untold problems or delays. So it becomes more important than ever to keep all materials easily searchable and accessible.
With a high-quality MFP on the job, it’s easy to scan everything into the cloud. Then all the project manager has to do is make the materials readily available to the other parties involved with a shared link. This enables everyone working on the project to access what they need, and when they need it. Designers and engineers can view, notate and download materials on demand, making the project proceed efficiently without delays.
Better yet, it can all be done without needing to wait on drafts or plans to be Fedex'ed overnight, or the need for any other specialized equipment. Required data can be easily accessed even with a smartphone or tablet. This makes it easy for an interior designer to locate what she needs in the field with a click while shopping for just the right furniture or upholstery to complete a project.
No matter the situation, with the power to scan and digitize all documents, blueprints, designs and other materials in one place, the MFP can be a total lifesaver.
2. Research Labs
Research in the private sector is a major engine that drives innovation for both business and academia. For research to be done efficiently, knowledge and information need to be easy to find. Often, researchers find themselves depending on older data, papers, and findings in order to achieve their objectives. Because of this, they need to be able to access information that resides in other labs’ databases and libraries. On the same token, they will want to make their data available for other labs to be able to utilize and access as needed.
By having an MFP onsite, researchers can share work, data, reference material, and other information, quickly and easily. Digitizing information from earlier publications and papers that still provide relevant data can often be a life-saver for researchers trying to find that “nugget” of data that can help them complete their time-critical projects. Best of all, the information can be accessed using any device that can connect to the internet, whether it’s a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The MFP also makes this dynamic easy for any lab, regardless of the size or working budget. What’s more, many models can integrate directly with cloud storage apps and services such as Dropbox and Google Drive. This enables researchers to scan documents on the fly and upload them straight to the cloud without even needing a computer or other device to complete the upload. That can be a considerable advantage for researchers working in the field, who need to upload and/or access documents/data quickly while enabling others working remotely to have easy (yet secure) access.
3. Human Resources
Look at virtually any large or small company, and you’ll find that their HR departments are often loaded with paper files and usually short on staff. HR departments need to maintain large amounts of information about their employees, managers, and contractors, both past and present.
More and more HR departments are discovering vast new levels of efficiency and data security, while practically eliminating the need to maintain large paper files. Not to mention being able to do it in a way that’s far safer and more secure than keeping everything in some file room. Thanks to the MFP, it’s entirely possible for any size HR department, regardless of their operating budget.
Now it's easier than ever to scan all documents right into secure cloud storage, that's remotely backed-up. MFP's can help HR teams streamline document processes, while electronically organizing and archiving all original paper documents. Not only does this virtually eliminate data risk, but it also enables proper and secure staff/management access to any employee information needed, with the click of a mouse or a tap on a screen. Dramatically streamlining their work processes, while allowing them to use their time more efficiently than wading through massive file rooms to find and retrieve the information they need.
4. Digital Marketing Companies
These firms rely on being able to deliver a solid pitch and crisp multi-media to produce for their clients. After all, what is a DM agency if they can't provide quality content to support your online marketing strategy?
We've already covered various vital functions and applications of the MFP in terms of its scanning and cloud storage capabilities. With DM's, they're able to leverage what they can do when it comes to printing and image reproduction. It's no accident that the latest generation of MFP devices is on the cutting edge of printing and imaging technology. Many can deliver crisp colors and superb quality that’s practically three-dimensional.
In simple terms, the MFP provides a multitude of services for digital marketers, while saving them time and money. Especially since they're able to produce quality printed materials for proposals, press kits, trade show packets, and other needs quickly and cost-effectively. Best of all, without having to go through a specialty printing house.
5. Event Planners
Event planners are always on the go. They have to meet clients, caterers, and suppliers while visiting venues and outdoor locations. No matter where the planner needs to go, having the ability to instantly pull up photos and layouts from any past project or idea can save the day.
That said, there's nothing worse (in this modern day and age) than having to lug around and go through album after album so clients and vendors can view past events.
Enter, the MFP…
The multi-function printer gives the event planner total control and access to previous contracts, photos, mood boards, and even supplier details. With the click of a mouse or a screen tap, information can be accessed and downloaded on demand, via virtually any device.
Thanks to the high-quality scanning capabilities, film-based photos from older events can now be showcased on any sized screen or via cloud-based albums. These can be used to inspire potential clients on how to plan/model their own events, and much more.
To sum it up, the MFP can quickly become the best friend of any business or profession. Regardless of the industry you're in, you will be able to print, scan, copy, and upload the data you need — best of all, with ease, high-quality, and total control. Teams can efficiently work in the field with complete access to whatever documents, images, and other materials they need.