BIG POWER NOW COMES IN A SMALLER SIZE

do more with A4
If you have been researching information about new copiers, printers or MFPs you will know there are two main options; A3 or A4. These terms refer to the paper sizes the machine is designed to handle and also generally the larger machines are also recommended for higher volumes and have offered a wider range of options.

The new IT406ci range from ITQ are the first MFPs to combine the high volume capacities and advanced paper handling options of larger devices with the easy installation, smaller footprint and flexibility of a compact MFP

When looking into new printers or MFPs, which one is right for your office depends mainly on the paper sizes you will be printing, copying and scanning. However there are a few other things to be aware of before making a decision.

Paper Sizes A3 VS A4

Many offices use only A4 sized paper. However some offices use the larger A3 size for engineering documents, making booklets, menus, and design layouts. A3 size paper is the same size as two A4 sized pages put together. This makes booklet making easy by simply folding the paper in half.

Also because of the large size it is useful for enlarging engineering diagrams to a readable size. A3 is also great for printing large spreadsheets on. It’s much easier to read a spreadsheet printed on A3 sized paper than reducing the font to fit on A4 sized paper.

The Size Difference Between A3 and A4 machines

Since an A4 machine is designed to work with smaller paper sizes it has smaller internal components. This allows for a more compact design which obviously results in a machine that takes up less space than the larger A3 machine.

On the other hand, an A3 machine is designed to work with the larger sized paper and generally in the past has had larger more durable internal components.

Available Options on A3 and A4 machines

In the past the smaller and lighter A4 machines generally had only light duty options available. For example, if the machine has a stapler option it may be limited to stapling only 20 pages at a time and probably no large capacity tray, folder, 4-hole punch, or finisher available.

This meant that if you required equipment with any of these options then you would likely have needed a full size A3 machine to handle these tasks, even if you only require A4 paper size.

Cost difference between A3 and A4 machines

In the past larger more robustly designed A3 machines will have cost more than the A4 machines not only because of their larger frames but also higher yielding internal components cost more.

Before the IT406ci range the monthly printing/copying volume was the key to determining which machine is most cost effective for your office. Up to 1000-4000 pages a month an A4 machine will usually be the most cost effective. Above that monthly volume an A3 machine was the only option because of its durability. Now the new IT406ci range has the durability and options available for higher volumes when only A4 is required.

 ITQ High Volume A4 Range

Three new colour multifunctional copier/printers have been launched; the IT306ci (32ppm), IT356ci (35ppm) and TASKalfa 406ci (42ppm).

These machines provide the speed, durability and options for a new segment of the copier/printer market, they are all A4 paper size but offer the same features as ITQ’s A3 machines

“Customers want the high speed, high paper capacity and all the options of full size office MFPS but without the cost of A3 which they rarely if ever use.” says Graham Varndell MD at ITQ.

Contact ITQ

UNIform – From big paper to big data

The change of focus from paper to data should not start with reducing the paper but on how the data can be collected and used across multiple applications.  Collecting data without paper will follow naturally and make the data intelligent in that it connects to your applications and databases. This type of approach to business process is crucial and the adoption of this focus on data will make moving from paper to data a much easier transition. Remember, the easy spaper_to_datatarting point is to consider how to collect the data, the next step is how to use the data and the final process how to manage the process, not a thought about paper.

ITQ were approached by Wellington College (one of the world’s top coeducational boarding schools) with a scenario that fitted this thought process perfectly. Wellington College wanted to manage better and reduce the forms used in the school’s admission process. Previously the process involved the College sending out a pack (by courier) of 28 forms that had be completed by the parents, data was repeated on many of the forms. ITQ’s answer was UNIform a web based data and forms solution designed in partnership with the College.

Parents can now sign in to UNIform’s web portal and complete all the forms, automatically replicating data where required. Wellington College parents are located all over the world and the presentation and user experience of the admissions portal was crucial to the reputation of the College.

Data is now collected easier, the parents only enter data once and can come and go to the site as often as they need as they collect the potential students details. There are no bulky packages to send and return but the paper did not figure in the solution, it was all about the data.

But what makes UNIform unique is its flexibility in that it can be tailored to individual requirement in terms of presentation, collecting data and output options. The flexibility means UNIform can be completely customised for any business or organisation, not just educational; to create workflows, to manage data, to segment and route data to the appropriate administrator for processing. Processed data can then be analysed and exported to an existing document management system, database or electronic folder structure.

This bold example of forward thinking shows how you can move from paper to data, removing data entry, improving the customer experience and creating the ‘paper light’ office.

For more information visit our web site or,

Download a brochure UNIform

What does your Font Cost?

Inside A.S. Watson Fortress And Watsons Stores As Temasek Diversifies From China Banks With Hutchison Whampoa's Retail Arm

One of the most common fonts used in business is Times New Roman, but is it the most cost effective?

A bit of history first.

Times New Roman was designed in 1932. The Times newspaper introduced it in response to a criticism about its newspaper being printed badly and typographically behind the times. In response, The Times commissioned a typeface design company to improve the newspaper’s “economy of space” and “legibility”. The resulting design, Times New Roman, is based on the Plantin typeface redesign of 1913, the original design of which goes back to the 16th century Garamond typeface. Times New Roman is appropriate for reading plain texts such as contracts as it has a firm authoritative ‘look and feel’

The alternative, therefore, is Garamond. The design that is currently in use was originally designed in the mid sixteenth century. This member of the Roman type family has survived the centuries because of its remarkable readability. As one of the oldest typefaces, Garamond conveys a sense of solid tradition, yet is still soft and attractive thanks to its elegantly rounded serifs and its diagonally emphasised strokes.

Whilst what font you use may be a matter of individual taste or company policy have you ever considered the relevant cost of using a particular font? I would guess not.

A recent study in the US carried out by a 14-year-old student details how the U.S. government could save about $234 million a year by simply switching the type of font that is used on printed documents.

In his study, young Suvir Mirchandani, found that Garamond is a more efficient font than Times New Roman for printing. This is because Garamond uses thinner strokes for its letters, meaning less ink or toner is used on each character.

He found that the saving by switching fonts would amount to 29%. Based on his research and randomly choosing an HP cartridge (an HP301XL) with an average page cost of 5p (based on HP pricing and yield), changing font you could save almost 1.5p per page or over £7 for every ream of paper you use.

This research may have been done by a young man with too much time on his hands but it is certainly worth bearing in mind.

If you would like to see how ITQ could make substantial savings on your printing/copying download our white paper.

The Paper Light Office

white paper boxA paper free office is a desirable, yet elusive aspiration for many businesses. With a third of firms actually using more paper than ever before, could a paper light environment be a more viable alternative for your business.

The concept of the ‘paperless office’ emerged back in the mid-70s, but today – some four decades later – paper-intensive working practices and behaviours are still commonplace and office printing has been rising over the past 40 years.

Worldwide, people are printing a staggering 3 trillion pages every year.

And what of the printed output? The amount of data stored on paper is vast in most offices but is often unobtainable, filing staff leave, documents are misfiled or used and not replaced. This ‘big data’ contained in those documents has now to all intents and purposes disappeared.

But digitising everything is probably not the answer either. Download our white paper ‘Creating the Paper Light Office’ here to help plan your route to paper light