A woman standing by a large, white office printer, flicking through a printed booklet. A blurry plant is visible in the background.

Do businesses still need A3 printing?

Large headquarters, either in the business centre of the city or in the outskirts, will gradually become more symbolic than functional, and be more of a cultural and distinctive base of the company than a place that welcomes workers. But high-quality technological resources are still necessary so work can be carried out efficiently and securely.

The last years have brought with it home working and flexibility, and with them a consideration of spaces and the way we use them. In fact, according to a report by Savanta1, 70% of medium to large businesses were already planning to reduce their physical office footprint by the end of 2020.

The hybrid working shifts now means that employees have the choice to work from home, in the office or co-working spaces closer to home. Thus, it is expected that companies will reduce their office space and instead invest in smaller, satellite office spaces strategically located closer to where employees live.

As a result, large headquarters, either in the business centre of the city or in the outskirts, will gradually become more symbolic than functional, and be more of a cultural and distinctive base of the company than a place that welcomes workers. But of course, all this must have the necessary and quality technological resources so that the task can be carried out efficiently and securely. 

Print better to be more efficient

Traditionally, everything from posters and labels, to a multitude of documents including invoices, payroll documents, presentations, and lists have been printed daily by businesses using large multifunction printing and copier equipment, capable of different formats. Today, many of these machines are underused, with the teams that used them working from multiple locations, and opting for digital or more convenient solutions to meet their needs.

The format of meetings has also changed. Now many are done through video call (a format inherited from the pandemic that seems to have taken root). Others have been giving way to a mixed format where some workers may be in the office, while others connect virtually. But in all these cases, the use of documentation, still much of it on paper, is still fundamental.

Staff still need to manage and share printed documents that continue to be an important aid to make decisions, either in the office or at home, as support to follow meetings and share information or as a basis for discussion.

On the other hand, scanning, which was already a key function in offices, now becomes essential to share all printed information so that it is available both in the office and at home, and to make document sharing secure between colleagues, or with partners and suppliers.

And in this same sense, let us not forget sustainability, which pushes the world and companies toward more energy-efficient solutions and, also, with less paper.

But that doesn’t mean the printing is no longer required. Instead, it shows that the way we print is changing, and offices need to realize and understand what they need in order to streamline solutions. Everything points to a clear trend: companies must rationalize their equipment, recycle and replace those they no longer use or do not get the most out of, and at the same time provide employees with the necessary tools to carry out their work safely and efficiently. 

Does your company need A3 copier machines? Professional inkjet or smaller laser could be a better solution 

What is certain is that large, centralized areas may not be the most efficient for the new normal. Most companies that have been using bulky A3 copier machines actually print little in this format, although perhaps at the time it was the most economical option for the whole office to use and, even today, it is normal that the cost per page of this equipment remains small.  Be that as it may, the volume of printing has fallen a lot in offices (not necessarily in the company per se, with its smaller delocalized teams) and the investment in this A3 equipment has to be rethought to really meet the needs of the company.

It's time to rethink the technology and print on current fleet sizes and see if they still meet the demand of workgroups. Equally as important is to consider that smaller, modern devices can be much more energy efficient.

In any case, there will always be sectors where this size is essential - even the most common, such as architecture or design studios, for example. But even for them, who also adapt to these new ways of working, perhaps it is time to rethink these bulky A3 machines and instead invest in a Brother multifunction laser printer. And those who print small quantities in A3 can always count on Brother ink printers, of different capacities and formats, as a very efficient and economical solution.

Better small and efficient than big and powerful... almost always. The key is to rethink and optimize. Brother fleet of business printers with scanning, copying and printing offers an economical, efficient and more sustainable solution that caters to the entire offices needs in one machine.

1 Source: Savanta, Business Tracker – Wave 1 (October 2020) – 1,001 UK businesses

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