Like a famous bespectacled man once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for businesses to learn that lesson the hard way, especially when it comes to their printing equipment. Take multifunction printers, for instance. Businesses the world over rely on these devices for their printing, scanning, faxing, and copying needs, yet in many cases, little attention is paid to their maintenance and upkeep.

Without preventative maintenance on a regular basis, even the most high-tech printers have the potential to break down and bring the office to a standstill. The following touches on the importance of preventative maintenance for your multifunction printers and how business process outsourcing plays a role in delivering that value proposition.

Multifunction Printers Remain A Fixture in the Modern Office

For all the talk surrounding the “paperless office,” paper is still very much alive and well. And until the office of the future becomes genuinely paper-free, copying and printing documents remains an absolute necessity. So, it’s no wonder that multifunction printers still play an important role in office work.

Setting aside the challenges of converting to a completely paperless office environment, there are plenty of other reasons why paper documents—and the multifunction printers that produce them—are sticking around for the foreseeable future. Consider the following:

  • While digital systems are steadily improving in reliability, paper is a tried and tested technology whose bugs were worked out over decades of use.
  • Paper is affordable, whereas tablets and other devices used to read digital documents are far more expensive and thus take longer to deliver a positive return on investment.
  • Unlike PDFs and other digital documents, paper copies are simply easier to read and more intuitive to mark up. Reading documents on a screen can induce eye strain over prolonged periods, while tablet styluses are more cumbersome to use than a traditional pen or marker.
  • Paper copies still offer more robust security than documents stored in the cloud or on digital storage systems.

Considering the above advantages of paper copies, the value of having a multifunction printer in the office is nearly impossible to overstate.

Your Workflows Can’t Afford to Wait

Just like the other machines in your office, multifunction printers suffer wear and tear with age and regular use. But it’s not just high-volume usage that can push a multifunction printer to its breaking point. Failure to observe proper printing practices can also speed up a printer’s eventual demise. These factors can result in components failing earlier than expected, leading to unexpected downtime and expensive repairs.

Also, bear in mind what happens while your printer is down. Unless you have a backup printer at the ready or you’re willing to outsource your printing elsewhere, a printer failure means your office’s printing and copying simply stops. Office productivity suffers along with your company’s bottom line, not to mention how unhappy your clients will be over an unexpected shutdown. Surprise repairs are expensive enough, but an unscheduled halt in your office workflow proves more costly.

Preventative maintenance ensures that the above scenario is far less likely to happen. Think of maintaining your multifunction printer regularly as insurance against unexpected breakdowns. Preventative maintenance also ensures that your printer operates at its peak in terms of overall performance and efficiency.

Business process outsourcing through Managed Print Services (MPS) offers one of the best ways to ensure your printer and other office devices receive regularly scheduled maintenance. A third-party MPS provider, for example, can easily handle your printer’s maintenance needs while providing remote 24/7 support for unexpected issues. MPS providers can also conduct regular software and firmware updates and security patches to keep your machines up-to-date and less vulnerable to cyber threats.

How to Take Care of Your Multifunction Printers

Know when to shut it down and warm it up. Unless your office works at all hours of the day and night, your printer doesn’t have to run 24/7. Shutting it down over the weekend saves on wear and tear. Most printers also feature energy-saving standby modes for this very reason. When you need to turn it back on, give it time to fully go through its warm-up and calibration procedures.

Keep it clean. A clean printer needs less downtime for maintenance. Clean the glass regularly using a microfiber cloth and a high-quality glass cleaner. Avoid spraying the glass directly and watch for any sharp objects that could scratch the glass. Don’t forget to clear dust from paper trays and other parts of the printer where dust buildup is likely.

Stick to high-quality products. It’s tempting to save a few bucks by using lower-quality paper or generic-brand toner cartridges, but the resulting compromises often outweigh any benefits realized over the long run. For instance, low-quality paper generates more paper debris, resulting in more frequent maintenance needed throughout the printer’s service life.

Practice proper paper loading. Paper jams aren’t just annoying and time-consuming, but they can also lead to more serious maintenance issues if left unaddressed. Instead of just shoving a pack of paper into the loading tray, take the time to load the tray properly. Make sure the paper itself is dry and free of debris. Dirty trays can also cause jams, so make sure those are clean, too. Refrain from overloading or sloppily loading the tray.

Know when to call the pros. When faced with a multifunction printer that flashes error codes or stops working entirely, it’s time to turn to the experts. If you partner with a Managed Print Services provider, you can have trained professionals repair or even swap out your printer for a newer model.

Your Sacramento business can’t afford to wait when a printer malfunction happens. Investing in preventative maintenance keeps your business moving while ensuring your devices keep up the pace. Get in touch with Buckmaster Office Solutions today and learn how our MPS partnership can help your multifunction printer stay in excellent condition.