A4 Print Strategy: Size Can Be Deceiving

June 17th, 2016 by Trent Smith

For many years now, Multi-Function Printers (MFP’s) have been an integral part of doing business. For many companies, printing represents one of the largest expenses month in and month out; yet up until recently, it seemed it was an area that received little attention.

Printing has long been viewed as a necessary part of business, but only in the last few years have organizations taken a long hard look at this line-item. Why now? MFP’s can integrate seamlessly into many backend software systems. They represent the bridge that helps take manual, time-intensive, paper-based processes and assists with automation, freeing up employee time, and ultimately resulting in cost savings. They have gone from a boring, necessary part of business, to an integral tool in your business. If used properly, your MFP’s will represent one of the largest expenses in your company, but be one of the most heavily utilized and worthwhile investments you make. A4 print strategies should be front and center in these conversations.

It Is Safe to Say That A4 MFPs Have Not Kept Up with the Technology Curve over the Years

Many A4 devices, up until the last few years, have lacked the finishing and speed requirements expected by most businesses and organizations. Fast forward to 2016. A4 MFP’s clearly represent the single largest growth area for the printing industry. While A3 MFP sales remain stagnant at best, A4 MFP sales continue to gain ground. Many companies are looking to do “more with less”. They want a machine that will do everything their $15,000 A3 MFP will do, but in a much smaller footprint, and at a much reduced price tag.

So, 24% of all printers (even with single function desktop printers included) are 11x17 capable; yet, only 2.35% of print jobs on average are 11x17. This is an alarming statistic when you consider that the average cost of ownership on an A3 MFP is up to 40% higher than a similarly-featured A4 MFP. If you look at your print environment, and your balance leans heavily towards A3 MFP’s, it would be well worth your while to develop an all-encompassing print strategy that looks at your balance of single function desktop printers vs. A4 MFPs vs. A3 MFPs. Van Ausdall & Farrar, Inc. offers such a technology roadmap that assists organizations with developing a print strategy that will enhance capabilities, increase employee productivity, and control costs for organizations, both large and small alike.

Ask Yourself, Does Your Organization Need 11x17 in Every Department?

Could you standardize on a few models throughout your company, with the bulk of your devices being A4 MFP’s? I would encourage you to look at the total cost of ownership, not just the cost-per-page when considering whether to purchase/lease A3 or A4 print devices. Many decision makers are swayed to A3 because of the extremely low cost per page, but when factoring in the device cost, end up spending far more than they would if they decided on an A4 device with a slightly higher cost-per-page.

A great example of this shift in technology and strategy is the Canon ImageRUNNER Advance C250/C350if model. This is an A4 MFP that offers speeds in full color up to 35 pages per minute, has staple finishing, up to 4 drawers, scanning, faxing, and has a full sized display that will run virtually any 3rd party application a large A3 device will run. This is a 35ppm full color device, with a host of functionality options, at a fraction of the price of an A3 device with the same speed and accessories.

In the end, I trust that you see the value in considering an A4 print strategy. It is an under-utilized strategy that will save your organization money without giving up efficiency and functionality. Contact Van Ausdall & Farrar today to assist you in developing this strategy. If done properly, day-to-day operations will not miss a beat. Size can be deceiving, and in this case, that is definitely true. The A4 devices in today’s market pack a real punch, and deserve to be recognized.

Posted in: Insights from VAF Blog