When the time comes to purchase a new printer for your business, you may find yourself asking if a multifunctional printer is what you need. Capable of performing the duties of multiple devices, including a scanner, copier and a fax machine, an MFP may seem like an ideal solution. Before making your final decision, however, you must consider certain factors to help guarantee that you buy the right equipment to meet your needs.

Necessary Functionality

The most important question to answer when making the decision between a single or multifunctional printer is what your immediate and future needs are. If you regularly send and receive faxes, make copies, and scan documents, then a multifunction device can meet those needs without the need to purchase additional equipment. When your office already has a separate fax machine, copier or scanner, then you must decide if you want to consolidate the devices. If not, a standard printer will suffice. One thing to remember is that not all MFPs offer the same features. For example, some offer print, copy and scan capabilities but don’t include a built-in fax machine.


Equipment such as a printer, a copier and a fax machine often overcrowd small offices. Consolidating these devices into one multifunctional machine can offer significant space savings when office space is at a premium. For example, a multifunction printer often takes the same amount of desk space as a single-function printer while also offering copy, scan and fax capabilities. In addition, the larger, high-volume machines typically require about the same amount of office real estate as their single-function counterparts while adding functionality.


MFPs often come with a higher price tag than their single-function counterparts, but the price may be less than the costs associated with buying multiple devices. In addition, you should consider ongoing maintenance costs when making your decision. For example, when you need printing and scanning capabilities you may find the upfront cost of an inkjet all-in-one printer to be less, but if you do a lot of printing, then the cost of replacing the ink cartridges can add up quickly. In this case, you may be better off purchasing a desktop laser printer and a separate scanner. Alternatively, you may want to consider a multifunction laser printer.

Other Considerations

One important factor you need to consider when choosing an MFP is that when a technical problem occurs, you may find yourself unable to perform any of the device’s functions. If you rely on your ability to send and receive fax messages, then you may want to consider a separate device to avoid downtime in the event your printer hardware fails. In addition, running out of your multifunction printer’s ink or toner also leaves you unable to copy and print received fax messages.