If you already have an MFD, do you need a scanner as well? We weigh up the evidence:
There’s a good reason why MFD’s or Multi-Functional Devices are so popular: they offer scanning facilities as well as printing and copying in one simple cost and space saving device. An estimated 51-67% of an organisation’s incoming documents are still in paper form. So businesses need a way to digitize these documents and integrate them into their existing applications and workflows. Scanning devices and software provide the solution for this and an MFD that gives you this functionality as well as the usual printing and copying presents an appealing solution. So why would you need a scanner as well as an MFD? The answer is that you may not – but it all depends on what kind of scanning you need to do, who is going to do it and where it’s going to be done. Let us explain…
Benefits of an MFD
As mentioned, MFD’s save space and can be a more cost-effective solution to buying and maintaining separate devices for copying, scanning and printing. This can also boost efficiencies, allowing people to perform multiple operations at the same time from the same device. Additional functions like stapling, hole-punching or duplexing also make MFD’s really useful solutions to have in your business. Investing in scanning software to bolt onto your MFD, can also help you to turn your scanned documents in to searchable and editable files that can be sent or saved to multiple locations to be easily filed and retrieved.
Challenges of using an MFD for Scanning
Some MFD’s may not have photographic quality scanning integrated, and this is fine for some businesses and not for others. Choosing an MFD with good quality scanning like a [provide example] will negate the challenge of having reduced quality scans with an MFD, but it’s not all about quality. If you do large volumes of scanning (or even printing), finding a window of time to do that on a busy machine which is shared by many people is likely to prove difficult. There’s nothing worse than the down time of waiting for other people’s large jobs to finish whilst you only have a couple of bits to do. It can also be a real drag having to get up and walk over to a shared MFD every time you want to scan something, when actually having a desktop scanner would be much more productive and efficient. If you tend to scan sensitive documents including people personal details or invoices, it might also prove more secure to be away from a communal MFD.
Using a Stand-Alone Scanner
Increasingly businesses are finding that it makes a lot of sense to have a stand-alone scanner for individuals or departments that scan regularly. Not only is it a more productive use of time than using a shared MFD in another location, the functionality available is often more efficient and accurate. Take for example the Kodak Alaris range of scanners; these machines offer:
- High speed scanning so you can move through projects fast
- Scanning of front and back simultaneously to cut scanning time in half
- Clean, crisp images that automatically de-skew, de-speckle, crop and even remove punch hole marks
- Smaller file sizes for optimal sharing and saving
- Scanning in colour and black and white at virtually the same speed
- File saving in a range of formats
- Integrations to easily move data to any number of databases and systems
- Integrated flat bed or detachable accessories for oversized or fragile documents
- Smart Touch Technology to program “just push one button” tasks
- Word search capability for simple indexing
MFD / Scanner Synergy for Optimised Usage
The reality is that both office solutions can help you to work more efficiently but a combined approach can help users to get more from both. By freeing up your MFD, scanning jobs faster, and utilising scan to print functions directly from the stand-alone scanner, users can stop running back and forth to the MFD and enjoy a more productive way of working using two devices. And with prices starting from just £*** for a stand alone scanner, its more affordable than you may think.
Contact us to find out more, or to understand how scanners can be integrated with your existing MFD set-up.