I’ve been working in the photocopier industry for over 30 years – almost as long as the photocopier has existed – and the MFD is the closest thing my industry has come to a revolution since its inception in the 1960s.
The MFD – or multi-functional device – is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a device that has many functions. I realise that perhaps doesn’t explain it fully – but it includes a photocopier, a printer, a scanner and a fax machine, all in one single device.
These days, photocopiers themselves are things of the past. Every business, large and small, wants something that combines a number of functions, and takes up the minimum amount of space.
MFDs can be bought for as little as £50 these days, and probably cheaper if you get them on eBay! Of course, if you’re running a business, you’ll want an MFD that can cope with the workload that you estimate you’ll be running through it.
For example, if you’re a small business doing fewer than 200 copies or prints per month, you will probably be OK with a small inkjet MFD. You could even get away with getting a cheap one online every year and just replacing it regularly.
For larger businesses, renting or leasing has proved to be the way forward with the larger MFDs. Whereas previously the tendency was to own them and have someone in-house to repair them, as well as any other IT problems, the most recent trend is not to own them at all, but to contract them in. This means that business owners can sign up for a maintenance contract, and even upgrade them within the contract after a few years.
Most MFDs will last at least ten years, and who knows what other functions are going to be added into multi-functional devices within that timeframe?
About the author: Steve Reynolds is an industry thought leader in MFDs, photocopier rental, copier lease and print management, and created his own business, Dynamic Workflow Solutions, to meet the growing demands of local businesses in the Windsor area.