It’s interesting to watch the reaction of people hearing about the new A4 type of copiers.  To give you a quick update;  they are a lot less expensive and have a much smaller footprint.  We are so use to associating size with reliability so I understand the skepticism when a prospect is told that this smallish copier is the same thing without the ability to do 11 x 17.

I remember back in the 70’s when Americans went through this reaction with cars.  Eventually people realized those little Toyotas and Hondas were just as good as the larger American cars and cost a lot less.  Detroit went through a painful lesson until they decided to join in and start building good small cars even if they had to import them.

I can assure you the copier manufacturers resisted the arrival of cheaper A4 copiers.  A4 copiers don’t have the mark up that traditional A3 copiers enjoy.  However, the trend is here to stay because of this focus on frugality in todays business.  So now all of the Japanese copier manufacturers are releasing good A4 MFPs.

The next line of resistance came from the sales reps because of the lower commissions.  Again, the success of A4s is making copier buyers more informed and more likely to know of this alternative.  In summary, these little things are fast and can do everything the larger copiers do except 11 x 17 and stapling.  Some A4s offer shift sort or a mini stapler as an alternative.  However, a lot of people can live without stapling as long as the A4 sorts and only 6% of businesses need 11 x 17 (ledger).

I enjoyed watching the reaction of a prospect who heard about these A4s for the first time.  She couldn’t get over the fact that it was half the price of the other quotes she had in hand and the maintenance/toner agreement was in league with the larger A3s.
People need to realize that these aren’t the same as the little MFPs we buy at stores and then take home.  Those usually have expensive toner and flakey scanners.  A4s designed for business have lower supply costs and exceptional scanners (document feeds).