Printer + MFP availability evaporates

Global Supply Chain Issues cause empty shelves for color printing

June 15, 2022

Here is an easy one to get started – What is an MFP?

MFP is the acronym for a multifunction printer; it’s an all-in-one device with multiple uses: printing, copying, scanning, and faxing most commonly, and, increasingly, many more things besides. With an MFP, you no longer need a device for each job, as it does it all for you.

Most of our customers use Color MFP devices as the main printer, copier and scanner in their offices.  From the now ubiquitous HP 479 (in many executive offices) to the Xerox 505/S and the workhorse HP 578dn offices run on their Multi-Function Printers.

The HP 479 (pictured below) and its larger and smaller cousins are now globally out of stock.

The HP 479 is a stalwart of business offices and home users alike. Unfortunately, they are out of stock.

Shortages of microprocessor chips, global shipping issues, lack of critical manufacturing chemicals and overall disruption from Covid have all been blamed.

This lack of printers started as a slow down in delivery from the fall of 2021 has morphed into a “can’t get a HP printer anywhere” serious business issue.  Adding into the fray, prices on available units have doubled.

We offer mainly HP and Xerox.  Our team acquire printers from large distribution centers.  Firm dates on products are not available and the channel cannot even add additional purchase orders.  Current supply lines are as bad as I can recall.  

Our purchasing team has leveraged the 30 years of good will and relationships that Viener4Gates has to continue the supply chain at a trickle. But that only covers the customers that absolutely need to have a device.

If you are in the market for a color MFP, it will be tough sledding for a while.  I have heard from that it will be mid-2023 before the supply catches up to the demand.  Meanwhile, expect prices to continue to rise as the color MFP continues to be the hardest item to locate in the general small business IT market.