What’s Happenin’ with AXSA Solutions and HP’s PageWide

By Andy Slawetsky – AXSA Solutions is located outside Orlando Florida and is one of the many companies recently acquired by Visual Edge Technologies. I had heard they were having a lot of success with their wide format products so I decided to call their president, Bob Christensen to find out What’s Happenin’ down there in Florida.

Bob and his wife Sue bought AXSA four years ago. Before that, Bob had spent a decent amount of his career in the IKON and Alco Standard world.

AXSA has been a Xerox dealer for 23 years. They also carry Samsung and with it, HP. Bob saw the opportunity in wide format and they had worked with several brands until finally landing on HP, which is now their wide format focus.

Bob tells me that AXSA is one of the first of only 50 HP authorized dealers to carry the XL PageWide products and they’re the largest for the state of Florida. AXSA is also waiting for the HP PageWide A3 products to become available. PageWide is HP’s ultra fast inkjet technology and dealers like AXSA are already taking advantage of the disruptive technology in wide format.

According to Bob, a big reason for their success with the PageWide wide-format devices is their cost for color printing. It’s the same as black. “We’ve done a real nice job of converting people that just wanted black and white. He went on to say, “By the time we’re done with them and cost of page being the same for color and black and white…why wouldn’t you communicate in color? There’s no cost disadvantage. There’s only advantage.”

Bob points to the technology that allows him to offer what he clearly feels is a superior product in the market. “…there are about 1,000 moving parts in laser compared to 100 in ink, with no heat, no ozone filtering needed, all for the same money or less.”

I attended the HP worldwide launch of their PageWide wide format printers in 2014 and I remember being blown away by the speed of these devices. Check out my video from that event below.

So where is AXSA placing these wide format printers? Architects, engineering firms and construction customers love them, as would be expected. They’ve also done a good job penetrating the retail market, working with a major grocery chain on short-term signage. They do mock-ups for newspaper ads. The older model the customer had took eight hours to print out the samples. Now they get it done in 30 minutes and the page cost is two thirds lower than it used to be.

“We’ve dominated the repro market down here,” Bob told me. “We put in HP PageWide 8000 XL’s and they completely blow away what they’re used to and we give them color for the cost of black and white. They’re paying by the square foot. It’s good for me. It’s good for the customer. We cover it all. It’s completely disrupted wide format in our market.”

HP’s PageWide technology offers a distinct advantage over previous technology that customers have become used to buying. We knew the wide format printers and A3 MFPs would be disruptive to some degree, but to hear it from a dealer out there selling it every day tells the full story. The products offer drastic productivity advantages with major cost savings when compared to many wide format printers at most customer locations. And once customers actually see it and realize the potential savings, it’s a win-win for everybody.

~Andy Slawetsky

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