Ask not what you can do for your printer... ask what your printer can do for you

Find out how today's multifunction devices can help businesses improve the way they work by cutting costs, reducing environmental impacts and enabling new digital and mobile ways of working.

In the last century, and in many offices today, work is something you do on paper. Forms, memos and reports have been the life blood of business life. Even the physical environment evolved to match the paper-based economy. Just think about filing cabinets, letter boxes, pigeonholes, in trays, folders and, yes, the traditional office printer.

In fact, the printer has been the basic output device of the economy ever since the first high-speed computer printer was developed in the 1950s. You might say that we've been working for the printer ever since. It told us what to do with order forms, task lists, memos and documents of every kind.

Time for change

Things are changing. For a start, people don't always work 'at work'. Similarly, digital has become the default option for lots of business processes. For example, who writes cheques when you can make payments online? Similarly, email has replaced the office memo. Cloud storage, such as Dropbox, is increasingly replacing the filing cabinet. Even the humble notebook has its digital nemesis in apps like Evernote.

Of course, we still need to print things. In fact, global paper consumption has doubled since 1980 despite the personal computer revolution. Today, the average Briton uses nearly four and a half 40-foot trees a year for paper, according to The Economist. So while printing is sometimes necessary, another pressure for change is the need to cut our environmental impact.

Your printer is ready

Today's multifunction devices (MFDs), like Samsung CLX-4195FW, can help to transform the way we work to match these changing requirements. For example:

  • Cut costs. Simple things like double-sided printing and the ability to print two pages side by side can cut paper consumption by 75 percent. New output management technology, such as Samsung's Confidential Print and Secure Release, can prevent unauthorised printing, unauthorised use of colour or simply solve that age-old problem of people printing something but forgetting to pick it up. All this adds up to less expenditure and less waste to harm the environment.
  • Scrap your filing cabinets. A multifunction device isn't just for output. With an automatic document feeder, it's a digital on-ramp too. You can scan in documents and save them to your file server or cloud storage as a PDF file or email them straight through to the right person. An MFD can turn a post room into a digital scanning office or digitise the contents of your filing cabinets, saving space.
  • Enable digital workflows. With tools like Samsung's Easy Document Creator, you can use an MFD to initiate digital workflows that turn scanned paper documents into business processes with a single touch. This can make whole offices much more efficient. And because MFDs are connected to the network, often with Wi-Fi, you can put them almost anywhere, which can further increase productivity.
  • Support mobile working. Samsung MFDs support direct wireless printing, which means that you can print or scan direct from a smartphone or tablet without having to connect to a wireless access point first. You can scan in a document, sign it on your phone and then email a copy for filing and send another copy back to the MFD to fax it to someone else - without even touching a computer.

While the goal of a completely paperless office may always be out of reach, the less-paper office is a reality today. Moving from a paper-centric to a digital-centric approach using smart multifunction devices is a critical step to achieving it. Today, our printers work for us, we don't work for them.