Operating principally in the UK and Western Europe, Freedom Group has three main divisions under its previous brand EnServe – Electricity, Water and Analytics. A leading provider of infrastructure services, EnServe employs around 1,500 people across 30 offices in the UK. Managing a vast fleet of various machines, all of different makes and models, the group needed to consolidate this drain on finances and staff time. Sharp implemented its managed print service, and installed a right-sized fleet of multifunction machines, reducing breakdowns, saving money, and increasing productivity.
Complex environment and lack of control
The first challenge for the group was its complex print environment. Spread over more than 30 sites, and with over 500 various printers across the business, the devices were becoming difficult to manage. IT resources were stretched due to a high number of print related helpdesk calls.
Furthermore, many of the printers were basic desktop devices, which offered limited speed and functionality, ultimately leading to inefficient printing. New machines were constantly being added to the network, and expensive consumables such as toner cartridges and drums were purchased locally and expensed. It was apparent that overhauling the print environment would save money and simplify support.
Service and device upgrades
Sharp’s first solution was to tackle the large number of devices used by the organisation. Liaising closely with Freedom Group’s in-house IT team, Sharp proposed that the 500 assorted printers be replaced with a uniform and right-sized fleet of just 40 highly productive workgroup multifunction devices.
The devices would offer more functionality, providing the means to print, copy, scan and share documents in black and white and colour. Documents could also be easily scanned to email, and high quality colour jobs can be printed at speed and stapled ready for distribution.
‘Follow Me’ print would then enable confidential documents to be sent to a single print queue, authenticated, and released by the user upon collection, adding a layer of security to the process.
Lastly, Sharp’s comprehensive managed print service would provide day-to-day support, relieving pressure from the group’s IT department. Using its fleet management software, Sharp would also monitor the individual devices in real-time, remotely diagnosing issues and providing targeted field support. Automatic toner ordering would also ensure maximum fleet uptime.
Costs reduced, productivity improved
Sharp’s solution has transformed the organisations print infrastructure. Removing desktop printers has released space, improving the work environment. Now that employees have access to a right-sized fleet of multifunction devices, they work more efficiently and productively. The upgrade in functionality has helped to streamline mundane administrative tasks by letting staff scan directly to email.
Historically, staff expensed print-related costs locally, now a single transparent Sharp invoice covers all print expenditure. Because unnecessary devices have been removed and more efficient devices have been placed, savings of over £500,000 have been made thus far.
Lastly, with Sharp monitoring machine performance, automatically replenishing toner and providing targeted field-based service support, the new infrastructure is proving extremely reliable. The number of print-related helpdesk calls has fallen dramatically, and with Sharp providing first-line support for the print environment, IT staff have more resource for strategic IT projects.
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