Customers are always a little surprised when we replace a large A3 copier with a less expensive and smaller A4 copier.  Of course, copiers are now called MFPs which stands for multi-functional products.  Why the surprise?  For years copiers have always been about the same size which is big.  So what changed.

Large copiers do 11 x 17.  Today, only about 6% of businesses in America need 11 x 17.  So why buy large copiers for a higher price that can do that.  Also, today people copy/print less and don’t need stapling as much as they use to as long as the printer/MFP has the ability to Shift Sort.  Large copiers also had those large finishers which were attached to the side of the copier.

At first, copier manufacturers didn’t like the idea of customers downsizing to smaller less expensive MFPs.  It was like car buyers downsizing from a large SUV to a more compact 4 cylinder car to get better gas mileage. There wasn’t as much profit in the sale.

Same thing happened here with office equipment.  Initially, the A4 copiers were a little weak and entry level.  However, that was years ago.  Now that the market for A4 is here to stay and growing, copier manufacturers had no choice but to make better A4 MFPs for competitive reasons.  One reason we carry three lines of copiers/MFPs is so we can pick and choose between the three lines once we know the customer/prospect’s applications.  Some manufacturers excel at A4 and some excel at A3.

So which do you need.  If your print volume is high you probably need the larger A3 MFP.  If you do a lot of stapling you probably should stick with A3.  If you need ledger size prints, then you definitely should get A3.  However, if the need is infrequent, you can always go to a print shop for that and get the smaller A4.

Sharp Copiers