How Does a Multifunction Printer Work?

Printers, scanners, and copiers have been vital to workspaces for a number of years. As the way that we do business continues to evolve—along with the rate at which we move—the functions of each have had to adapt in order to meet the needs of various companies. 

What are some of the advantages of multifunction printers, you ask? A multifunction printer(MFP), for example, serves as an office printer that companies rely upon to streamline a variety of operations into one, easy-to-use system. So, what tasks can multifunction printers perform? And how does this duplex printing device work? This blog will dive into everything you need to regarding:



Multifunction Printers Defined

Multifunction printers—commonly abbreviated as MFPs—are far more than just printers. 

These devices perform essential, everyday office duties such as making copies, sending emails, scanning, and faxing. Beyond that, many MFPs are equipped with capabilities like stapling, hole punching, and even folding documents, making packet and booklet-building multiple times faster.  

Aside from their task-efficient nature, multifunction printers have countless benefits that can help to solve issues of space, productivity, and waste. 

Benefits of a Multifunction Printer

The benefits of multifunction printers go a long way for office efficiency as a whole. Here’s how MFPs help streamline and optimize workflows: 


  • Save on space: A copy machine, printers, scanners, and fax machines all require their own space—and cable plug-ins. By condensing each of these separate machines into one, it helps to eliminate office clutter, frees up outlets and power strips, and maximizes functional space. Keeping a clean office space isn’t just about maintaining a sleek, professional look. Tidy work environments can also help to boost focus and productivity for staff members, too. 

  • Reduced spending: Instead of having multiple devices, price tags, and maintenance bills, optimize costs by investing in a printer that does the job of several different machines. The power-saving mode available on many MFPs is also helping to cut spending on electricity. Did you know that the average office worker prints 10,000 pages per year? Reduce waste and paper costs with double-sided printing automation available in eco mode. 

  • Increased productivity: When your employees don’t have to spend as much time organizing documents and running from device to device to complete different tasks, they can invest their time elsewhere. MFPs work to remove tediousness from the equation so that staff members can direct their attention toward other important business operations. 


How MFPs Work 

So, how does a multifunction printer work exactly? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Each MFP has its own interface, speed capabilities, and unique attributes. However, we can paint and detail a few generalities. 


Wi-Fi Connectivity

Most multifunction printers on the market today are wireless. As a wireless printer, staff members are able to print from any connected device that’s within range. Whether it’s from Google Cloud, an email account, or a USB, multifunction printers can receive a print job from any location as long as it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network. 


Inkjets versus Laser

Multifunction printers work either as an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Although both inkjet and laser printers will be able to carry out the printing, scanning, copying, and faxing tasks standard to MFPs, the two are not interchangeable. 


Here’s how each type may alter the overall function of the MFP.


Inkjet multifunction printers:


  • Are a more cost-effective alternative for offices with lower printing needs
  • Tend to be compact in size and, therefore, more portable
  • Provide high-quality color printing for images and graphics


Laser multifunction printers


  • Are advantageous for their speed and long-term cost efficiency
  • Are best for offices that don’t frequently print images or detailed graphics
  • Receive praise for their durability despite high-volume printing


Both types of multifunction printers have practical uses within the workplace. However, it’s best to start by assessing your printing needs in order to determine what is the best multifunction printer for a small business or within your office equipment. 


Device Memory

Just like internal hard drives for computers, multifunction printers have their own memory for processing and storing information. 

This helps MFPs to organize tasks and manage them quickly and efficiently. MFPs with higher memory and storage are ideal for businesses with high-volume printing. At-home offices with fewer users, on the other hand, won’t have the same demands when it comes to MFP memory and may not need to invest in a device with as large of a storage capacity. 


Finding the Right Multifunction Printer for Your Needs

With so many options to choose from, how do you know which multifunction printer is right for you and your business needs? Before you start shopping, consider evaluating your current printing usage and how it may or may not change in the foreseeable future. Once you’re clear on how you’ll be using your multifunction printer, you can proceed with your search. 

Here’s what you’ll want to consider in order to find an MFP that’s best suited to your demands.


  • What your anticipated print volume is
  • How important print speed is to you and your company
  • Whether you’ll need color printing or black and white only
  • If you’d prefer to buy or lease 
  • What size MFP makes sense for your workspace 


Optimize Your Office With MRC

Now that you have a better understanding of multifunction printers and how they work, consider the following questions: Is your workplace running as efficiently as it could be? Which office technologies could best support the way you do business? 

If you think a multifunction printer might be the key to improved efficiency and organization in your work environment, you can count on MRC to pair you with one that’s right for you. Aside from offering industry-leading print solutions, MRC also specializes in document management, production printing, and Xerox IT services. 

If you are wondering how to choose a multifunction printer, see how MRC can help you optimize your office today