The Importance Of Efficient Printing Operations

2012-08-01 15:15:03

Published on 2012-08-01 15:15:03

Printing is an important technology for businesses around the world as, despite the increasing amount of digitised data, physical print-outs are still a necessity.

Cloud computing means that companies can save money on ink cartridges by storing documents on a stable server, rather than printing them out and being faced with potentially expensive costs.

The current economic downturn has also made organisations even stricter when it comes to their budgets, prompting many businesses to review their operations, picking out areas where savings can be made.

To ensure that the best possible cost reductions are being made, a number of firms have called in specialist experts to improve the efficiency of their operations.

Tulip Ltd is one company that has made such a move, selecting Ricoh's Managed Print Services to decrease its IT costs.

Illustrating the wide-spanning importance of printing technology, the business is a producer of pig meat, offering a selection of pork, bacon, sausage and cooked meats to the retail and food service sectors of the UK.

It employs roughly 7,000 people at 18 manufacturing sites throughout Britain and managing forms is a pivotal part of its operations.

Prior to seeking help from Ricoh, the organisation suffered from inefficient print facilities, as nearly every one of Tulip's locations operated its own independent operation by purchasing equipment and maintaining it in order to manage and order consumables.

As a result, the company used 18 different suppliers, with printers ranging from new to ten years old, while little to no information was released regarding the needs of users and the amount of money spent on printing.

By using Richoh's expertise, Tulip was able to reduce the number of devices it used for print management and support by 50 per cent, with nearly 500 existing pieces of hardware being replaced by 246 Ricoh items.

Included among these are a combination of colour and mono printers, faxes, scanners, copiers and multifunction products.

Tony Brown, group IS&T director at Tulip, said: "There were many different contracts and agreements and many different suppliers for consumables. One of the difficulties in getting accurate information was each location would cost printing in a different way.

"What we found in one of our offices exemplifies the problem – seven different printers from six different manufactures sitting on one table."

Tulip is also capitalising on Ricoh's @Remote software application, which reports on print activity throughout the entire organisation, monitoring power consumption and allowing green reports to be produced.

The company is in the process of using the technology to establish sustainability targets for each of its locations, reducing its carbon footprint further.

Additionally, as well as boosting the operations of public businesses, managed print services plans have also made a difference to the UK government, which recently chose Xerox as its managed print and e-communications services provider.

Xerox is part of the Government Procurement Service's Wider Public Sector Print Service Framework agreement.

Its predicted value is £6.5 million this year and will operate for three years, aiming to deliver cost efficiencies in print services among public sector departments, including police forces and the NHS.

Xerox will liaise with many departments in a bid to rationalise and improve communication channels to deliver cost savings of 19 per cent throughout the wider public sector.

Julie Hesselgrove, group president for communication and marketing services Xerox Europe, said: "Being chosen as an official supplier for the Government Procurement Service once again is testament to Xerox's long commitment to supporting the provision of improved services to the public sector.

"This agreement demonstrates how Xerox can help significantly reduce costs while improving efficiencies for GPS."

The move comes after Xerox signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cabinet Office in 2010 to deliver savings to the government in the Efficiency Reform Group's deficit-reduction programme.

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