In your work world, you may not pay much attention to the multifunction printers (MFPs) that share the office space. And that’s as it should be – but don’t underestimate those devices as agents of change in your organisation. They’ve come a long way and now play a vital role in the important initiatives that small and midsize businesses are undertaking, including:
- Customer experience
- Digital workflows
So it’s worth taking another look at the latest generation of intelligent MFPs to see how you can use them in your broader business strategy. Your printer isn’t just a printer anymore – it’s a powerful tool that can help you unlock real business value.
It’s About Information, Not Hardware
Why should you care about print devices? Because the real story isn’t just about the hardware. That’s just part of it.
It’s about knowledge workers, customers, agents, branch offices, compliance, security, sustainability and even digital transformation.
That’s no exaggeration. The lowly multifunction device is a point on the journey to digital business. It’s a proud participant in the Internet of Things. Thanks to intelligent devices, documents and information tasks move consistently and flawlessly through the workflow steps, making your business more efficient.
The quality, performance and intelligence of print devices have a direct impact on customer experience, costs, security and productivity.
UX: Making Employees Happy and Productive
Today’s intelligent print devices put user experience (UX) front and center. If you’re thinking that sounds like a nice-to-have, think again. Improved UX brings significant business benefits, including increased productivity, smoother workflows, happier employees and reduced costs.
How often does a bad print or scan experience impact productivity somewhere in your business every day? That’s a constant drain on productivity.
The new user experience standard for office devices includes capabilities that:
- Ensure all users get the capabilities they need with feature access control
- Reduce user interactions and guide users if they have a problem
- Improve overall reliability through application defaults, so jobs print as desired
- Let each user manage their jobs and create the experience that works for them
- Seamlessly import existing contacts into a device for faster document sharing
Intelligent devices become “workplace assistants” that help employees, instead of slowing them down. With newfound time and more support from their office technology, knowledge workers can focus on high-value projects and on customers.
Improve User Experience and Productivity
People depend on printers every day, and improved user experience at the MFP saves hours of accumulated employee time.
Next-generation devices raise the bar on productivity by letting you:
- Use installation wizards that guide non-technical users through setup
- Preview scans and faxes right at the user interface
- Quickly make scanned documents searchable with built-in OCR capability
- Access cloud services – Dropbox™ / Google Drive™ / OneDrive®
- Work from all your devices with the latest mobile technologies
- Easily personalize the user interface for each us
Make Smart Apps Part of the Team
With the release of every new generation of intelligent multifunction printers, the devices become less like copiers and more like the powerful computers they actually are.
Take apps, for instance. We use them all the time on phones and tablets. Now innovation brings more apps into the world of MFP devices, documents and workflow.
An app-centric, solutions-enabled device environment contributes to building your digital workplace.
Apps make it easier to use devices as part of digital workflows to cloud and other platforms and applications. Users can expand device functionality simply by adding capabilities from an ever-expanding app gallery, or build your own apps.
Next-generation device vendors have introduced apps to MFPs in ways that reflect how we like to work for convenience, and how we need to work to be successful. Now apps can be embedded in or downloaded to devices for purposes as diverse as:
- Productivity apps to share patient information
- Scan apps for simplified scanning to email
- Converting paper documents to image, PDF, searchable PDF, Word or Excel files
- Even apps to manage your apps
CX: Making Customers Happy and Loyal
Next-generation print devices don’t just deliver improved user experience. With documents and processes affecting customer touchpoints, they also deliver enhanced customer experience (CX).
Intelligent multifunction devices contribute to a positive experience:
- Customers have their forms and other information accepted at point of service or contact
- They can get a printed document delivered at point of need
- Document quality is professional, consistent and appealing
Existing paper-based processes can be easily converted to digital and back, for faster, more efficient service. So a contract could be generated and populated online, printed out for a client’s signature and the customer’s copy, and then scanned back into the system. These digital workflows allow faster processing and improved customer service.
Print devices have stepped up a gear, and now play an integral role in your business strategy. Small and midsize businesses are realising that MFPs represent a vital component of information flow – which is the lifeblood of organizations in the knowledge economy. That’s why smart small and medium sized businesses are now assessing new print devices with a more critical eye, to see if they’re best-in-breed, harnessing the power of new technology.
Companies like yours are looking for technology that will complement and integrate with their current setup to take full advantage of today’s digital workplace and ensure they’re ready for the challenges of tomorrow.
Info via Xerox, 2017