5 Things Copiers & MFDs Do That Nobody Uses, Not According To Science

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Seeing as I’m in the business of helping office equipment dealers to assess office copiers, printers and business workflows, I’ve got a first hand perspective on what people use them for and just as importantly what they don’t use them for!  The power and capability of the modern multifunctional device is astounding from the ability to automate business workflows, scan documents to the cloud and other digital repositories and to house secure release and HID card authentication.  The feature set and ability to use MFDs to simplify workflows gets bigger and more effective every year.

Of course not all of that functionality gets used very much.  Some things get used less every year.  Here is my list of 5 things copiers & MFDs do that nobody actually uses.

 Ahhhhh, the good ol' days!

Ahhhhh, the good ol' days!

Fax Card:  When is the last time you sent or received a fax? Exactly.  So why do we keep selling MFDs with fax cards?  I know I’m going to get some comments that fax is still a powerful option and that customers really do need them, particularly if they are in healthcare or legal verticals. I know fax still finds it’s uses, I’m just saying that for most people now the fax card is used rarely if at all.  Hey, if you really like the history and power of the fax machine, why not check out this book by Jonathan Coopersmith, “Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine.”

 Tap and Pay has become the new way to make buying things easier.

Tap and Pay has become the new way to make buying things easier.

NFC Reader:  Years ago I was super excited by the introduction of NFC (Near Field Communication) options in MFDs.  One of the first to implement them was HP.  If you use Google Pay or “Tap & Pay” you are using NFC.  NFC for copiers exists to allow for authentication for users without the addition of a card or biometric reader. In some cases it’s also used for mobile printing.  I just wonder when people are actually going to start making more use of NFC because like Bluetooth years ago it’s off to a slow adoption.  Look at Bluetooth today.  Unlike the fax card, I think in 3 or 4 years NFC will get used a lot more.

 Who staples in the middle of a page?!

Who staples in the middle of a page?!

Stapler:  I’ve been to customer locations where they have a hand-held stapler sitting right next to a copier with an internal stapler.  I asked “Why don’t you use the one in the device?” and they look at me like I’m crazy.  I don’t know why!  Is it too hard to use? Is it a problem of education?  I don’t know.  If you do, send me a message because I haven’t been able to get a good answer from anybody on this one yet!

 Is this an eye test?

Is this an eye test?

A3 Tray:  I know, I know, I’m going to get in trouble for this one because A3 is the backbone of our industry.  Or is it?  Most A3 paper production is less than 5% of total document production.  I’ve seen empty A3 trays during assessments and when I ask why customers sometimes say they have never used it.  A4 is the king of the paper trays and total volumes, yet most of the MFDs we try to sell a customer are A3.  I’m not saying don’t sell them, I’m just saying sometimes an A4 in the mix might suit workflow better.

 Why this picture? Because it's way cuter than double sided printing!

Why this picture? Because it's way cuter than double sided printing!

Duplex: Every single device being produced in 2018 is capable of duplex and it wins the prize for the least used feature that could save customers the most amount of money. Most companies use the duplex feature for less than 5% of their total volume output.  Considering each sheet of paper costs 7/10ths of a cent per page, that is a huge amount of savings potential.  When conducting assessments it’s one of the first areas we attack to generate savings.

So there you have it, 5 things copiers & mfds have that nobody uses.  Now it’s your turn! What other features have you seen that aren’t getting used? Which features above do you disagree with? Your voice is important so join the conversation!  Just don’t send me a fax.  That’s where I have to draw the line. ;)
 

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