Category: Copiers/Printers, Print Management

It used to be that offices had copiers, fax machines, and printers. Copiers made copies. Fax machines sent faxes. Printers printed. Digital technology has changed all that. “Copiers” are no longer solely copiers, but machines that can do it all: copy, print, scan, fax, email, send to archive, and much more.

So what’s A3?

A3 is an international paper size that may be better known as 11” x 17” in the United States. From the beginning, most copiers have been able to feed 11” x 17” paper. The digital machines that have grown out of the “copier” industry still tend to support this paper size. But do most people care?

A recent Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends survey of office users reveals that of all the reasons why people use a black and white shared A3 multifunction printer (MFP), 11” x 17” paper capability is a top factor for just 5.6%.

In fact, 11” x 17” paper only represents 5% of all office paper sold in the United States; most of that is used in production environments. In the average general office environment, only about 3% of all pages printed are on 11” x 17” paper.

Why are A3 machines so popular?

The popularity of A3 machines is not a function of their support for 11” x 17” printing. Rather, it’s because they are designed to be sold and serviced by professional resellers. These individuals work to ensure the device is running at all times, and that its features are connected to the rest of your IT infrastructure.

Unlike buying an A4/8.5” x 11”-capable printer from Amazon or a big box store, these resellers want to get to know you. They are exceptionally good at keeping that relationship alive by providing exceptional service over the long term.

But that’s not all. When the right class A3 MFP is matched to your actual total printing volume—and provided under a service plan that includes hardware, supplies, and service, it provides a better overall running cost than a less expensive A4 laser printer. While A4 laser printers are inexpensive these days, their cost per page is not so affordable.

There is certainly a need for A4 laser printers. But when it comes to serving a concentrated group of office workers whose jobs include a lot of printing, an A3 MFP—serviced by a professional dealer—tends to be the better bargain.

Most offices are best served with a mix of A4 laser devices, and A3 MFPs to serve large print volumes and other functions (e.g., scan, fax, email). Contact Docutrend to find the right balance of machines to best suit your print volumes and digital workflows.