Lower TCO and Improve Workflow with A4

Posted On June 28, 2012 By Scott Guercio


No, I am not recommending you purchase a compact sport sedan from Audi in the title above. Although, from what I have seen in the TV ads, the Audi A4 does look like fun. I am actually suggesting that businesses can lower their Total Cost of Ownership related to document workflow, with a particular breed of multifunctional device (MFD) referred to as “A4.” This newer category of MFD gets its name from the European standard paper size called A4, which is most similar to the US standard of 8.5 x 11, otherwise known as Letter. So basically, A4 style machines are intended for use in organizations whose primary workflow involves Letter size paper. Yet, most of the devices can handle up to 8.5 x 14 – Legal size, as well.

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Industry statistics would tell you that only a very small percentage of companies need or use 11 x 17 paper, even though most business grade machines are manufactured to accommodate that size. Enter the A4 MFD. By producing machines that only handle up to legal size paper, manufacturers can offer devices at a lower cost, simply because they cost less to make. Critical components such as imaging drums and transfer belts can be produced less expensively when they are made to be a more compact size. However, businesses don’t want cheaper machines, if it means that they will have to sacrifice the features and functions that enable their office’s productive workflow. Therefore, manufactures are currently focusing on making lower cost A4 hardware devices that still incorporate the feature set of larger, more expensive, 11 x 17 capable machines. This allows end users to utilize the same workflow, through a common device interface, from all machines in their organization.

However, the cost of the hardware is just one piece of the multi-functional device TCO puzzle. The ongoing cost of service and supplies must also be considered. Historically, smaller devices meant smaller, all in one, supply cartridges with lower page yields. This created a higher cost per page, and as a result, a higher service plan. With some current A4 models, this is still the case. Yet, there are also a number of A4 devices today that operate just as cost effectively as their 11 x 17 capable counterparts. A4 machines that offer the rich feature sets, speed and the low operating cost of typical business class 11 x 17 MFDs can truly lower TCO while improving workflow of critical documents.

Here, at Advance – The Document Specialists, we represent the Ricoh/Savin line of A4 MFDs. These devices incorporate the same touch screen user interface as the Ricoh/Savin 11 x 17 capable machines, allowing our end users a consistent experience across all of their Advance equipment. We are able to consolidate stand alone printers and fax machines into workgroup multi-functional A4 machines that operate at the same low cost per page as the primary output devices. This allows for the convenience of a single source service provider with consolidated billing. It also allows our customers to spend more time focusing on revenue generating activities, instead of maintaining the office printers.

We are particularly excited about the recent release of Ricoh/Savin’s MP C305 A4 machine. This model is a speedy, business class, full color, true desktop, multifunctional device. It is based on a very successful b/w model and incorporates the latest features and functions of their product line up. To see a demonstration of this machine, or any other Ricoh/Savin A4 device, give us a call or stop by our showroom.