"MFP Wars" Hi Speed A3 MFP's vs A4 MFP's

 

Thank goodness I've kept the old blog site alive.  In recent months there's been quite a bit of chatter about A4 MFP's  Most of those talk tracks center around A4's MFP's have less service calls than A3's MFP's, along with the lower cost of A4 MFP's vs A3 MFP's.  It's also true that probably 80-85% of all clients do not have the need to print, copy or scan 11x17. 

However what most don't chat about is the cost per page of A4 MFP's compared to A3 MFP's.  Typically an A4 MFP will have a higher per page cost than your same speed A3 MFP. Depending on how many pages are produced on the MFP, one can make an argument that A3 MFP's will cost less in the long for the total cost of operation. 

Thus a client that prints/copies 5,000  black pages per month and has a cost per page of .006 would have a monthly cost of $30.00 for the 5,000 pages and let's say $120 a month for the A3 MFP lease.  Thus a total of $150 per month.

Running the same volume on the A4 MFP has a cost of .018 per page (black).  The cost to print/copy those 5,000 pages would be $90. The monthly lease for the A4 MFP would be around $60 per month.  Total cost of $150 per month.

Based on the above scenario (just one I pulled out of my head) the cost is the same for both devices.  Depending on where your cost per page falls and where your monthly volume is would dictate which device saves money. 

The break point with the above scenario would be to lead with A4 under 5,000 pages per month and A3 for more than 5,000 per month. Again it's just one scenario with A4 vs A3.

Many years ago I stated that A4 could take over A3 placements if and only if the manufacturers wanted it to happen. I'm talking about all manufacturers of printers and copiers. The problem is that the manufacturers don't want it to happen right away.  The manufacturer who would win The War for A4 is the manufacturer that would develop an A4 MFP with the cost per page model of the A3 MFPs.

I'll admit that my world is pretty small here in the New Jersey market place. However, it is one of the most saturated markets in the US.  Mega dealers, regional dealers, dealers and every direct branch under the sun will surely test your worthiness.  But at least here in NJ I have yet to run across A4 MFP's coupled with the cost per page of A3 MFP's.

Right, back to the original plan. Below is a blog I posted on the old MFP Solutions Blog site in 2008!

"MFP Wars" Hi Speed A3 Devices vs A4 Devices (2008)



In the MFP (copier) business A3 devices are capable of reproducing Ledger Size documents (11x17) and A4 devices are confined to reproducing Letter and Legal Size documents.
In recent years HP led the charge with A4 devices with the HP4345 45 ppm), complete with duplexing, stapling, fax, print, scan and stapling. HP is using an AIO (All In One Cartridge) that combines toner, drum, cleaning blade, toner waste, magnetic roller and cleaning blade. Samsung during the last year launched the 6345N(45 ppm), another A4 device that also has all of the features of the HP4345 plus a few more. The Samsung 6345N uses a separate drum cartridge and a toner unit (houses magnetic roller, toner and hopper).
Six months ago Xerox launched the Work Centre 4150 (Xerox claims a monthly up to 200,000 pages a month), the Xerox 4150 is OEM'd by Samsung and is almost identical to the Samsung 6345N. Just three months ago Muratec launched their version the MFX 4550 (also the Samsung 6345N). Toshiba has recognized the need for hi-speed A4 devices also, and I expect them to launch a similar product in 2008. Samsung already has plans for a 55ppm A4 device to launch in 2008!
So whats the big deal with these devices?
Industry reports indicate that upwards of 90% of users do need need to print A3 (Ledger), plus these devices can support average monthly volumes of up to 10,000 pages a month or more! Typically all of these devices have a higher per page cost than traditional A3 devices, the cost per page can be almost be half the cost of A4 devices.

Back in the 80's when Minolta launched the 350Z, it was a unique system in that it could scan 11x17, but could only copy letter and legal. The selling advantage was that you could reduce your 11x17 documents down to a more manageable paper size. Why can't this be done today?

When are manufacturers going to step up to the plate and delivering real savings to customers. How about designing an A4 system that has a per page cost that is equivalent to A3 devices, and also giving customers that ability to scan 11x17 if needed.

It seems like Samsung and HP are driving A4 devices, while the likes of Xerox and Muratec are relabeling. Can or will Ricoh, Canon, Toshiba, KonicaMinolta or Kyocera design an A4 device for the ages that will copy, print, scan and fax with the traditional cost of A3 devices.

Love to hear from others on this.

This is from 2008!  It's eleven years later and for the most part the cost per page model for A4 devices has not changed.  Why is that? 

Maybe it's more what Ray Stasieczko spoke about at ITEX 2019. The manufacturers are thrilled with the levels of profit that they won't change for fear of losing profit and not paying dividends to their shareholders.  The more I think about the model and the number of manufacturers one can only think that maybe all of the manufacturers are colluding with each other to keep  the current A4 cost per page model higher than A3's. Naw, that would never happen right?

-=Good Selling=-

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Comments (5)

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Art, another piece of the equation is that monthly units placed are 45% to 74% mono A4 in the segment 3 and segment 4 speed range. Online retail is $170 to $600 where used A3’s are three times that amount. The real question here is what these placements are doing to the service department revenue and eventually to staffing.

 I've always sold A4 machines where they are a fit.  There are very few A4 devices that offer a low CPC.  Some carry CPCs that are very high.  A bigger issue in many placements is that the Automatic Document Feeders on most A4 machines are not robust enough to meet the copy scan and fax demand.  Many are complete garbage.  In fact I've seen the quality of the Domument Feeders on A4 units go backwards in the last couple of years as if the document feeder is an afterthought or it is where the manufacturer is looking to save money.

PS:  I rarely go below $0.01 on an A3 B/W machine unless its high volume.  Most A4 machines I'm between $0.0149 and $0.02 B/W.

Art, one of the problems is dealers servicing a machine for $30.00 a month. however, the reality is the industry has allowed the sales engine to destroy the service model. selling full service on A3 for .006 or less in volumes of 5k a month. Dealers were chasing sales revenue as they sacrificed service profits. As volumes continue declining so will margins. Dealers will begin realizing that all the A3 service they gave away is too costly to manage and the shift will begin. The A4 manufactures will lower hardware cost and the millions of end-users under that 5k will be presented alternatives. When the dealers begin losing massive amounts of customers their A3 program will be challenged. Disruptions are  never about what the legacy way does, disruptions are about what the innovators do different, and more beneficial for the legacy ways customers. One thing is for sure the silliness in doing service for .005 on low volume output with absolutely no hope of growing has to stop. 

fisher posted:

 I've always sold A4 machines where they are a fit.  There are very few A4 devices that offer a low CPC.  Some carry CPCs that are very high.  A bigger issue in many placements is that the Automatic Document Feeders on most A4 machines are not robust enough to meet the copy scan and fax demand.  Many are complete garbage.  In fact I've seen the quality of the Domument Feeders on A4 units go backwards in the last couple of years as if the document feeder is an afterthought or it is where the manufacturer is looking to save money.

PS:  I rarely go below $0.01 on an A3 B/W machine unless its high volume.  Most A4 machines I'm between $0.0149 and $0.02 B/W.

Amen @fisher doc feeders are inept on most A4's

Hi Ray

I agree with the silliness of the low cost per page for A3.  However most dealers have escalators that can raise the price as much as 10-15% per year whether it's A4 or A3.

AS far as the $30 per month, almost no one will send out and invoice for $30 It's either billed quarterly  or annually.

One thing the A4 manufacturers won't due is too sacrifice the consumables. I also believe that dealers will always find a way to make their profit, whether it's Daas, flat rate, or seat based. I appreciate comment! Also whether it's A4 or A3

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