Controlling your print fleet
Herron Todd White (HTW) began operations in 1968 and today is Australia's largest Independent Property Advisory group with 54 offices throughout Australia.
With over 50 staff members in its office on the Queensland Gold Coast, HTW provides professional services for all classes of property including commercial, industrial, retail, residential and rural and has worked with print provider BBC Digital for over 20 years.
With the circular layout of HTW's office, the staff were spread quite far apart. For their convenience, HTW had over nine multifunction devices (MFD) and desktop printers so staff didn't need to travel too far to collect their print jobs.
However, this wasn't the most cost effective approach and despite all the MFDs being from the one vendor, HTW still experienced difficulties managing the consumables with each MFD requiring four separate toner cartridges.
At any given time, just for our MFDs, we needed at least 16 different toners on hand to ensure we never ran out. Ordering, monitoring and replacing toner is relatively straight forward, but when you are trying to keep track of so many different devices, each taking multiple toners, it becomes a mammoth task. - Chris Gotthold, IT Manager, HTW.
When HTW moved offices, the company knew it was the right time to review its print fleet.
Although we were happy with the service received from BBC Digital, we wanted to see what other providers were offering. Also, the age of our devices, the level of maintenance required and even the noise generated from our old print fleet wouldn't have been suitable for our new workspace.
In January 2010 HTW put its print environment out to tender and received a number of quotes. Chris decided to re-sign with BBC Digital for the quality of the offering and the honest approach of its sales team.
BBC Digital didn't provide the cheapest quote, but it was realistic and not full of hidden costs. We also had an issue with everyone printing to the same device and BBC Digital was the only provider to offer software to prevent this from happening.
With the new office layout it was possible to reduce the number of devices without inconveniencing HTW's office staff. BBC Digital recommended consolidating the MFDs down to three Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE models and included uniFLOW to help reduce the amount of paper wasted, improve productivity, monitor print usage and tighten the security around the print environment.
With its previous print fleet including both colour and black-and-white MFDs, BBC Digital needed to ensure that HTW's costs wouldn't increase by moving to an all colour print fleet.
The most effective way to do this was through implementing uniFLOW. Through uniFLOW, HTW was able to default all print jobs to black-and-white, no matter what printer was selected. Also, by implementing uniFLOW's statistics feature, HTW is able to view who is printing what and staff that are printing excessive amounts of colour, unnecessarily are easily identified.
With uniFLOW Secure/Follow Me print, HTW was able to eliminate accidental or unwanted print jobs through its print release function. This feature means staff must key in their three digital security pin before their print job is released. Any print jobs that are not released with 10 hours are automatically deleted.
A decrease in paper wastage wasn't the only benefit of follow-me print. In its previous office, HTW had an issue with one or two machines being over utilised. This would often cause a backlog of print jobs, forcing staff to wait longer for their documents.
Our staff productivity has increased. In the past, staff would have their computer set-up to send documents to a particular printer, so if someone had sent a large document to the same device earlier, then they would have to wait for the document to finish before their document would appear. Now with uniFLOW if staff get to the printer and it is busy, they simply walk to the next device, enter their three digit pin code and receive their job instantly.
Now with all three imageRUNNER ADVANCE MFDs located together, staff no longer favour one printer over another and the follow-me solution means print queues are no longer an issue.
Recent research into the office printing environment from Galaxy Research revealed that Australian office workers wait an average of 30 minutes a day for their print outs. Based on this research, HTW's new system could be saving them up to 25 hours a day in wasted time at the printer.
"One of the most important factors in measuring the success of our print implementation is staff satisfaction and with the new imageRUNNER ADVANCE devices and uniFLOW software staff are happy with the quality of the print jobs and the reduction in time wasted at printer," said Chris.
By streamlining and consolidating our print environment, the amount of time spent internally maintaining our MFDs and consumables has decreased. We no longer have to keep an excessive amount of toner in stock and simply order more when our stock drops below four toner cartridges.
Despite moving to an all colour print fleet, HTW has managed to ensure staff keep printing in black-andwhite over colour, with 87 percent of HTW's print jobs still in black-and-white.
Also, by introducing uniFLOW's statistics and reporting features HTW is able to accurately track its print output and usage, which has helped it take control over the cost of its print environment.