As an office manager, the business print acronyms can be confusing. It can make dealing with print vendors complicated when you have to decipher what everything stands for. This is the list of acronyms MFD, MDP, MPS, AND MDS. They all seem similar to each other, don’t they? What do these terms really mean? 

In this blog, we will be defining the most important print acronyms and discussing the differences between each one.

  • MFD: Multifunction device – This is an office machine that incorporates the functionality of multiple devices in one and generally provides centralized document management/ distribution/production in an office setting. It is the most popular device for medium to large offices. The device incorporates printing, copying, scanning, and faxing. You no longer need four devices to get the job done. Having all the functions in one device saves on printing costs and such as toner and paper.
  • MFP: Multifunction printer- This works at consolidating a printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine. It is usually a choice for a start-up or small business, it has a low purchase price and has fewer options and is small enough to fit on a desk.
  • What is the difference between MFD and MFP? MFD and MFP are very similar and are used interchangeably by many people. While the differences between the two may not seem that noticeable, an MFD is usually larger in size and will have more features and options than an MFP. Both are multifunction devices that can print, copy, scan, and fax. MFD includes extras such as high document management, advanced scanning functionality, advanced solution capability, high-speed print, and quality printing options. The MFD is better suited to larger organizations that have wider and more complex print requirements.
  • MPS: Managed print services – This is defined as a fully integrated program that helps organizations streamline their printing fleet. It involves document management experts who analyze your printing usage and needs to rapidly identify opportunities for optimization. To implement MPS, your provider usually starts with a site audit to assess your current print operations and identify inefficiencies. MPS aims to save money and deliver business print solutions and improve productivity. It will also increase document security and has an impact on the environment. It will include consultation help to create policies around print production and print security.
  • MDS: Managed document services – These are services provided by external parties to optimize and manage an organization’s document infrastructure and workflow for both printed and electronic documents. MDS is closely related to managed print services (MPS) and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. It looks at ways to improve and optimize your entire document environment from infrastructure and workflows to security, archiving, and storage. They will assess how paperwork is handled, how many sets of hands are on a process, how transparent are the workflows, and would a change management program reduce the number of paper-driven processes?
  • What is the difference between MPS and MDS? Both have similar goals, reduce cost, improve processes, increase security and minimize environmental impact. The difference would lie mainly in their scope. MPS focuses specifically on just your print operations – printers, multifunction devices, networks, and printing processes. MDS, on the other hand, goes a step further and covers a wider scope that includes the whole document environment (including printing).

We hope after reading this you can be a bit more confident the next time you meet with your print provider, or when you discuss printing requirements with your boss and work colleagues.

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