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Safety Guide transforms with Skywell and intuitive Sharp managed print

With over 60 employees working from three Greater Manchester offices, The Safety Guide Foundation provides educational marketing materials on hard hitting issues like bullying and knife crime to schools and colleges nationwide. Overseeing the design and print of one million booklets per year is time consuming, and staff needed a managed print solution they could rely on, removing additional pressures. The organisation was looking to align its Ashton-under-Lyne office with its own environmental policies, so investigated a water solution that could help meet environmental needs.

The challenge

How to modernise, innovate, and streamline

A big problem for Safety Guide was with print. Because the organisation outsources all of their booklets, they wanted to consolidate costs by bringing all other print needs such as invoices, presentation letters, photo packs and posters in-house. Safety Guide Director Matthew Ralphs says: “Our shop-bought desktop printer was really struggling to support what we needed, the growing volumes, and required print quality. We wanted to send high-quality collateral to customers, it was getting harder to put off upgrading our device!”

A second issue for the company was wasted time. Safety Guide’s onsite IT Technician was finding that he was increasingly taken away from rectifying internal IT issues, focussing more on managing their dated printer, ordering and refilling ink, restocking it with paper, and removing jams. Matthew says: “As a small business we need to be running constantly, downtime really impacts us, if our IT guy isn’t fixing IT issues, that’s downtime for staff, it has a negative knock-on effect.”

Lastly, Safety Guide bolsters the CSR activity of schools and businesses, so Matthew wanted to show that the organisation took its own CSR policies seriously. He says: “We have a green ethos here at Safety Guide. Our materials speak about a variety of topics, including environmental sustainability. We were finding that our impact on the environment was rising because of an increase in plastic waste from bottles and single use cups, so we wanted a solution that would stop that. I think any business in the world today that can’t evidence how they’re tackling this is setting themselves up to fail long-term. Besides, we had so many empty plastic water barrels blocking walkways from our previous water cooler - potential health and safety hazards everywhere!”

The solution

Best-in-class Sharp technology

Sharp’s first solution was to innovate the print process. It was proposed that two Sharp MX-2630’s would be installed at Safety Guide’s Ashton and Hyde offices. With new scanning functionality, the need to print would be reduced, cutting overheads by eliminating waste paper. Staff would also be able to collaborate like never before with the move to a more digital machine, letting them scan directly to a folder or email.

Furthermore, a vastly upgraded print quality and fast 26 ppm full colour output would let Safety Guide bring its more advanced poster, information pack and photo pack print runs in-house, saving on the outsourcing bill.

By getting Safety Guide enrolled onto Sharp’s comprehensive managed print services, Sharp aimed to take the responsibility of device management out of the hands of internal IT staff. This would allow them to focus on the betterment of the business by keeping IT systems up and running. Additionally, proactive preventative maintenance measures, which would see the machines periodically serviced, and intuitive OneStop automatic toner software would both help to reduce harmful downtime.

The final solution was to introduce the innovative Skywell® 5TE Atmospheric Water Generator. By creating water directly from the surrounding air, Skywell eliminates the need for plastic drum refills, stopping them from clogging up the office.

Additionally, Skywell’s extensive six-stage filtration system would stop staff from turning to waste-producing plastic water bottles by providing ultra-clean drinking water. By also equipping staff with reusable branded bottles, Sharp would ensure that single use plastics were no longer in use, greatly reducing plastic waste, and environmental impact.

The result

An innovative, smarter office

Now that Safety Guide’s print quality and functionality have been upgraded they can send high quality, professionally produced marketing materials to prospective schools and businesses. Matthew says: “The upgrade from what we were using before is incredible, I now can’t remember how we made it through before! We no longer need to outsource our posters, letterheads, certificates, information or photo packs. We print all of them in-house on stock with a luxury look and feel, the collateral we’re producing now is so much more impressive.”

Furthermore, Sharp’s managed print service is ensuring that staff can focus on their own duties. Matthew says: “Life is just so much easier now. We rarely have to even think about the machine, Sharp take care of absolutely everything.” Sharp’s OneStop toner software dispatches refill cartridges when levels hit a prior-agreed threshold, and periodic preventative maintenance checks keep the machine operational, reducing downtime. Matthew continues: “since having the upgraded devices we’ve also seen a huge growth in business, we now have over 60 members of staff, and the copiers never struggle to keep up, they never falter.”

Additionally, Safety Guide can now evidence their commitment to the CSR initiatives they offer to customers with Skywell, which has all but eliminated single use plastics. “Matthew says: “I really love the way it produces water, it’s mind-blowing really that this technology even exists! We no longer have large, heavy plastic water drums lying around the office.”

Lastly, the ultra-clean fresh water produced by Skywell also means staff don’t need to buy bottles of water. Matthew continues: “they were going to buy water from the shop around the corner every day, now the novelty of Skywell is driving them to use it, which is saving them money in the long term. Staff are even keeping more hydrated than they normally would by keeping tabs on what they’re drinking using Skywell’s hydration profiles, improving health and wellbeing.”


Marketing Executive