Organizations today pick between two kinds of equipment when using distributed scanning solutions: standalone network scanners, and multifunction devices (MFDs, as known as "copiers") with scanning capabilities. MFDs offer a high level of usability because they also have copy and print functions. In the past, MFDs were mainly used for copying and printing, but now more and more businesses are using the scanning function on their MFDs to increase productivity. MFDs are typically used for ad-hoc scanning. In most cases, they are operated in low-volume settings, and are normally used for scan to e-mail, scan to folder, or scan to network fax purposes. Scanners, on the other hand, are singularly focused on the scanning process and cater to the needs of a variety of applications. So the question is, standalone scanner or MFD?
- Many scanner models can work with a wide range of document types. Including multiple paper thicknesses and very small documents, such as business cards.
- Scanner hardware and software are often optimized for scan quality to capture difficult documents, automatically adjust for skew or page orientation, and remove blank pages from the file.
- Scanners usually experience lower incidence of downtime than MFDs, and their usage does not conflict with those using the machine for copying and printing, which could result in workflow interruptions, especially during large jobs.
- MFDs offer a convenient one-stop-shop for all your printing, copying and scanning needs.
- Having an MFD allows you to limit the number of devices covered by your service contract.
- Employees only have to learn how to operate one device when companies opt for an MFD.