Ditcham Park School – Large Scale MPS Project

Redshank has worked as a consultant partner for BursarNet on a number of projects. The brief for this school was to deliver a ‘best value’ solution, which involved listening to their pain points and providing an innovative proposal which resolved issues around the school’s physical layout and helped to keep the capital investment to a minimum.

We were very late to the party, so we needed to demonstrate real value where perhaps the other companies involved in the process had not been able to do so.

Tell me about your previous set up. What were the main problems facing you when you were looking to make a change?

Our previous setup was an unmanaged mixture of inkjet and toner devices. Some of the toner printers were small mono devices locally connected and some were larger devices in central locations for staff and pupils. However, none of these devices were monitored and allowed staff and pupils unrestricted printing with no quota.

We had 3 larger MFP’s which were located around the school which were coming to the end of their lease. These were stand-alone devices with local address books and local quotas setup on each one. These did allow a basic amount of control over printing but were very limited and with very little reporting capabilities.

None of our devices had any form of ‘follow me printing’. So if a user sent a job to a printer and it was busy or out of action they would have to go back and resend the job to another device.

We also had no ability for mobile printing on our previous setup. This was a big problem as this coming September pupils will be issued Chromebooks and would need the ability to print.

The main problems we faced were:

– Lots of print/paper was wasted as jobs would be sent to a printer and never collected.

– Very little to no reporting or means to limit how much was being printed across the school or how much this was costing.

– No flexibility for print jobs if a device broke down.

– No mobile printing which was key as pupils would need to be able to print from a Chromebook.

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How did you approach the project? Who did you look at, and what were the offers you had on the table?

I was asked by the Bursar in October to do a full report on our current printing situation. I pulled together all the information I could to produce a report encompassing 4 years’ worth of previous data to work out a good estimate on how much we were spending each year on printing. This was only an estimate as I had no definitive way of calculating this. It was based on how much we had spent and used over 4 years for ink, toner and paper.

During this process I contacted 4 different print solution suppliers this included at the time the current supplier of our MFP’s. All 4 companies came back with the same solution which was to remove all our current devices and consolidate them into multiple centrally located, managed MFP’s with a follow me print solution.

The difficulty we had with this was that because of the unique layout of our site there weren’t many locations where we could have these devices that would suit everyone. We needed to retain a set of smaller printers for staff who were more isolated.

All the suppliers were keen to remove all of our current devices and replace them with their own. Which caused the cost of a new solution to be more expensive than our current adhoc setup. This was a big problem as justifying a new solution that would cost more than our current would be difficult.

By the end of the process we had settled on one supplier who would provide a set of MFP’s and we would remove all our current printers. We had accepted the fact that this was the best we could do while keeping costs down and that some staff wouldn’t be best pleased.

Why did you choose Redshank to partner with you on this project?

At the end of the stressful process we happened to be working with Bursarnet at the time who introduced us to Barrie from Redshank. We were reluctant at this stage to talk anymore about printers! However, we invited them in to give us their opinion and I’m glad we did. It was refreshing to hear a different idea.

They looked at our situation and came up with a nice hybrid setup. We could get a managed follow me print solution with a new set of MFP’s while retaining some of our current devices. This helped keep costs down, keep staff happy while still being able to monitor and report on all printing across the school.

What were the biggest hurdles?

What has been the biggest impact of the move?

What are the future objectives, either of this project, or for the next stages?

For us it was relaying this to staff in a way that they wouldn’t think we were taking anything away from them but actually making their lives easier. Initially staff were hesitant as they had become so used to the convenience of having a printer in their rooms.
So far convenience and ease of use has been the biggest impact. The fact that staff can retrieve their print jobs from any of the MFP’s by just tapping their ID badge. Also a lot of staff love that they can also photocopy on any of the new devices. Whereas before this was only possible on the 3 larger devices.
In the future we would like to expand this solution to cover more parts of the school. As our older retained devices fail, they will be removed and, in some cases replaced with a managed device. Hopefully by this stage staff will be in the habit of using the new print solution.

Huhtamaki – Large Scale MPS Project

Redshank had been a transactional supplier of a wide range of IT and print peripherals to Huhtamaki for a number of years, and was invited into discuss their managed print set up and provide some recommendations for a fleet upgrade. The customer’s previous experience with a large supplier had seen a decline in service and an increase in costs, so they were wary of hollow promises and complex contracts.

We worked closely with the team to ensure these issues were fully explored and overcome in our proposal, and that we retained full accountability for the duration of the agreement.

Tell me about your previous set up. What were the main problems facing you when you were looking to make a change?

Our previous set up was with a larger service provider. The support service was inefficient; once the contract had been defined the service declined. This may have been due to the continuous change of account managers which left us unable to build a business relationship and not enough quarterly meetings despite numerous requests made, resulting in overpriced annual costs due to a combination of old machines, old toners and printing technology.

How did you approach the project? Who did you look at, and what were the offers you had on the table?

First of all, we reviewed our current printing requirement which resulted in us being able to consolidate printers. Some areas of the business working environment had changed, so this allowed us to reduce the number of printers and focus on productivity over quantity.

We were able to update printers in areas of the business, which would result in a more productive printing environment. Also, with the introduction of PageWide technology, we were able to implement security features as well as reducing waste, which was really important! All other offers were to ‘rip and replace’ existing equipment, which we didn’t feel was the ‘smart’ solution.

Why did you choose Redshank to partner with you on this project?

We have always had an excellent business relationship with our account manager for purchasing IT peripherals. He introduced us to Redshank’s managed print team – after our first introductory meeting, the whole approach to the project was handled with professionalism, as well as efficiently and most importantly with a cost reduction! The latest hardware models are more efficient to the business, as well as the flexibility of the account – overall, a much-improved setup.

What has been the biggest impact of the move?

Costs have come down instantly, there has been less waste in terms of toners and paper due to higher yield on toners and PIN printing, and consequently, printing volumes have also dropped.

What were the biggest hurdles?

User training is always a challenge. They were used to old machines so new ones were quite a step up. Implementation took a few days and was quite busy (and stressful), but this was to be expected.

Apart from that there were not many issues after the roll out; a few teething issues and hardware faults, but they were quickly addressed by Dave (Redshank’s IT Director).

What are the future objectives, either of this project, or for the next stages?

We recognise that we need to keep the whole MPS structure smooth; we simply cannot allow it to go back to how it was with the old supplier. The quarterly review meetings must keep happening as otherwise issues get brushed under the carpet. Right now, we are trying to optimise the service (labels on toners, device reporting) to ensure maximum value is gained from the contract.

Westbrook Hay School- Small Scale MPS Project

Westbrook Hay Prep School is an independent school in Hertfordshire, and was introduced to Redshank by our partnership with BursarNet. The school’s story was a familiar one to us; a lack of control over printing and costs, meaning that the school had no reasonable way of knowing whether they were getting best overall value for money.

They needed a partner who listened to their issues and offered an efficient, cost-effective and workable solution which solved their problems.

Tell me about your previous set up. What were the main problems facing you when you were looking to make a change?

We were considering a change for a number of reasons. One of the main ones was that our existing supplier disappeared off the face of the earth. The school had absolutely no handle on print – the volumes, the sort of work that was being printed, and the costs were all unknowns.

Running out of toner in the past was a real problem, and it caused us real problems, as this should never be allowed to happen. All this was unacceptable to us, so we knew we needed to address this with some urgency.

How did you approach the project? Who did you look at, and what were the offers you had on the table?

As with all large investment projects, we went out for the time-honoured 3 quotes. Redshank was recommended by BursarNet, a trusted partner who had helped the school in previous projects and had a proven track record of helping the school to reduce unnecessary expanse and whose network of suppliers had delivered value to the school.

Why did you choose Redshank to partner with you on this project?

Redshank’s approach, and the proposed solution was both quick and efficient. We felt that Redshank listened to what we wanted. As the relationship developed, Redshank became trusted advisors to the school. They really solved our problem – they listened to the issues we had, and presented a workable solution.

What has been the biggest impact of the move?

We didn’t have high expectations or unreasonable demands of the solution. IT Manager Andrew Bryson said, “I just wanted it to work – the Apple solution”. Redshank understood this brief very well, and were very helpful, very quick and very efficient.

What are the future objectives, either of this project, or for the next stages?

Next up for us is to identify the best ID card readers for our staff. We intend to use these for for one touch printing and accounting. Ideally, we can link these to our door security entry and other NFC applications in the school. Though this is in the early stages, we are excited to progress this.

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