We live in a world driven by instant gratification – the first thing to immediately satisfy our needs and serve a purpose, even just for a moment, is generally desired over the next best option. Think about the last time you bought a cup of coffee or a snack from one of your favorite local businesses. You bought it, enjoyed it once, realized you were done with it, then repeated the cycle on another day. This cycle continues repeatedly until you become aware of it or decide to change your practices.

The same thing happens with technology. Many of the devices we use regularly only serve a single purpose and can hurt productivity and negatively impact results more than they help. As BestMacs continues our mission to help small businesses become more efficient and save money through technology improvements, we promised a deep dive into single-use devices.  Our opinion:  eliminate them!


Single-use Devices Reduce Scalability

As mentioned earlier, single-use devices can only do so much. An average day in the office can be slowed down if you’re needing to use separate devices like desktop scanners or printers to get your work done. In addition to the slowdown, it is also impractical to buy single-use devices for every employee to use. These issues independently can make it incredibly challenging to continue with current work and onboard more work to be completed.

Multi-function devices pack a punch, offering scanning, faxing, copying, and printing capabilities that are better not only from a cost standpoint but also for maintenance and streamlining processes. The fewer devices you have, the less of a chance there is of them breaking and causing downtime and interruptions. 


The Financial Toll of Single-Use Devices

In a world run by money, it is extremely important to eliminate unnecessary costs to make your business more efficient. Single-use devices cost money in multiple ways. Opting for single-use devices means there will be more machines to purchase, maintain, and replace. In addition to up-front costs for multiple machines, be sure to factor in labor costs for each as well. When these devices are down, employees may find themselves with some downtime that isn’t used productively to the business. Multi-function devices can help save you money and boost productivity all at once.


Single-use Devices are Inefficient

Nothing’s more frustrating than a 5-minute task turning into a 15-minute task due to inefficient processes. For single-use devices, extra processing is required to get or transfer data from one device to another device or a larger system. To help with this issue, there are a couple (though less desirable) routes to take: pay someone to transfer the data or do it yourself and waste time waiting on the transfer instead of getting stuff done. Single-use devices essentially make you jump through hoops just to keep up.


Decreased Collaboration

What’s the workplace like without collaboration? One thought comes to my mind: chaos. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to bounce ideas off another person or pick someone’s brain to help develop a current idea. Having help in completing work makes it that much easier to finish the work on time, find new tasks to complete, and repeat the cycle. The same idea pertains to the devices we use.

Single-use devices are like separate silos that don’t talk to each other – they are very static in nature and make it hard to share information and collaborate. This decrease in sharing leads to static data and may even cause a diversion back to paper, which we’ve already discussed is awful. By opting for single-use devices, you’re automatically opting for harder, more inefficient days ahead. By switching to multi-function devices, you’ll save yourself time, money, and sanity. 

If you’ve missed out on previous installments of this series, you can catch up on them:  Goodbye, Paper-9 Reasons to Transition From Paper to Digital, Save Time, Money, and Reputation – Remote Support for Mac-Powered Businesses, and Static vs. Dynamic Data – Which is Better and Why? Next week, we’ll finish up the series by dissecting restricted access – the good, the bad, and the ugly!