Data-driven decision making is driving growth and innovation in every industry. But as companies jump on this trend en masse, many are discovering a hidden weakness in their operations: their office equipment.
Data-driven management only works when you can get data to the right people at the right time in the right format. Often, that data is digital and can be shared and analyzed easily. Sometimes the data is on paper and needs to be converted to a digital input for decision-making.
Confusion over the differences between scanners and multifunction printers (MFPs) — also known as multifunction devices or peripherals — often lies at the heart of companies' tech and data-sharing challenges. Here's what you need to know to choose the right equipment for your business.
At first glance, the average MFP and scanner look quite similar. Each has a slot for feeding paper into the machine and an array of controls to choose how you want to process documents. Both create duplicates of the documents you insert.
The critical difference lies in the type of duplicates each device produces.
A multifunction printer, or MFP, is a piece of office equipment that scans, copies, prints, emails, and faxes documents. If this sounds a lot like a copier to you, you’re not alone — many MFPs are referred to as copiers because of the primary function they’re used for. The main difference between MFPs and copiers is that MFPs are designed with a variety of tasks in mind.
Scanners translate your hard-copy document into a standardized, user-friendly digital format. These digital files can then:
Scanners tend to create better-quality images than printers and — since files can be scanned directly to a printer — are an excellent complement to MFPs.
Scanners are ideal for:
Scanners from Kodak Alaris equipped with Smart Touch Technology ensure that users get the best quality scans every time. They also save users time and money by giving them the ability to save files in preferred formats straight to their end destinations right away.
Many businesses assume that they need a multifunctional device that is a scanner, copier, and printer all in one. What most don't know is that these devices are actually less efficient than a good quality scanner with the right software.
For example, a scanner from Kodak Alaris with Smart Touch Technology can scan a standard document in 17 seconds. The resulting file is 0.7 MB in size.
MFPs with scanner and copier functions can take up to four times as long, and the resulting file can be up to four times as large.
That makes companies using MFPs at least 75% less efficient than businesses using scanners only!
MFPs are also prone to paper jams and lack the innovative, specialized features of scanners, such as optical character recognition, for versatility.