CASE STUDY: MANAGED PRINT SOLUTIONS
The company had 15 printers spread across the 3 locations. Within those locations the printers were located in disparate places – including reception and the workshops. What had been happening was that equipment such as toners for printers would only be ordered when it ran out. So time was being spent by staff manually ordering toners on an ad-hoc basis. With shortages not being anticipated or planned for, the result was periods of time during which the printers were unusable. Printer downtime seemed unavoidable.
When replacement toners and cartridges eventually arrived, they were not labelled with the name of any particular person or any particular printer. This resulted in the newly-arrived equipment often being shelved or taken by the wrong person for a new or anticipated need of their own. This was also being compounded by the misappropriated cartridges or toners sometimes being incompatible for the printers they were being used for. The company was dealing with two challenges – the high printing costs and the hampered productivity – both visible to the company’s IT provider Business IT Solutions (BITS).
BITS proposed to Padraig McCluskey, General Manager, that Michael Lyng Motors use OKI’s Managed Print Services. BITS laid out compellingly the productivity improvements and cost savings that were possible and Lyng Motors agreed to the proposal.
Michael Lyng Motors are now reaping the benefits of OKI’s Managed Print Services in three different ways: productivity, costs and maintenance. Productivity: Now, when a printer’s amount of toner goes below 30% of its capacity, an order for a replacement is generated automatically without an iota of human intervention. That 30% has been carefully calculated to ensure that the replacement typically arrives onsite before the toner is exhausted. OKI have also provided buffer stock; this provides extra assurance that printers can remain useable while orders are being processed.
We have lowered our printing costs, improved our productivity, and virtually eliminated printer downtime. Our only regret is that we did not start using OKI’s Managed Print Services earlier. We look forward to a long-term relationship with them as we continue to grow our business.
Padraig McCluskey, General Manager, Michael Lyng Motors.
A vital component to achieving this is ensuring that the automatically ordered parts go to the correct printer upon arrival. That is achieved by each printer having its own IP address – its own unique address on the internet. When the replacement part arrives onsite it arrives with a label unique to the IP address; the parcel containing the part is physically labelled with the name of the printer it is destined for – as well as the name of the person who is the typical user of that printer.
The automatic monitoring of performance is not restricted to toner levels. There is also automated monitoring of printer usage over time – the amount of pages being printed. This allows replacement parts to be ordered automatically when required. This usage tracking gives the company the confidence to know that the need for any required services will be detected automatically. It also ensures printer performance is not degraded by equipment being used past its end-of-life date.
Another advantage of this usage monitoring is that it identifies which printer are being used the most. This allows the most heavily-used printers to be literally swapped with other printers that have been used less – thereby evening out printer lifetimes. The Managed Print Services even allow Lyng Motors to distinguish between colour and black & white printing – thereby allowing the company to shift from colour to black & white when there is no need for the (more demanding) colour printing.
This automation saves a lot of time and confusion. The smooth operation of the printers has lowered stress but, more importantly, it has freed up lots of time that Michael Lyng Motors employees can now dedicate to more productive work. Costs: The business now also has increased certainty around costs – and this predictable levelling out of costs helps both cash flow and projections – vital for any business. In addition to this increased predictability, there has also been a welcome, overall reduction in the print cost per page – this reduction being achieved in part through the use of higher spec printers that are more durable and which use less toner.
Even when there is a problem with a printer there is now a more effective maintenance system in place. The user of the printer simply goes to the OKI website, opens a “case” about whatever problem they’re experiencing, and gets feedback on that problem direct from OKI. Sometimes they can gather enough information to fix the problem themselves. If they do need help from OKI it is often possible for OKI to solve the problem remotely. If the problem cannot be solved remotely an OKI technician promptly makes an onsite visit and any problematic parts are then repaired or replaced.
With the rollout of OKI’s Managed Print Services rolled at Michael Lyng Motors, benefits to the bottom line and to productivity are already being felt.