Managed Print Case Study: O’Neill Foley Chartered Accountants.
Founded in 1952, O’Neill Foley is one of the largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants in the South East. Its services include audit, accounting, tax, internal audit, corporate governance, payroll, business recovery, wealth management and corporate finance.
Typically, the accountancy business is heavily paper-based with large swathes of material being printed every day and O’Neill Foley is no different.
The company has 40 staff and five partners that are spread out over different floors in open plan offices. One of O’Neill Foley’s main issues was that its printers and copiers were getting old and clunky. Access was also a problem as employees had to move from floor to floor to get certain documents printed, scanned or copied. Additionally a device capable of handling volume was also becoming a problem.
According to Amy Maclean, systems manager for O’Neill Foley the accountancy firm had a printer on each floor and two photocopiers in addition to a couple of laser jets, all different models and under diverse service contracts. With printing carried out throughout three floors the older machines were causing difficulty with only some of them capable of pushing through any sort of volume. “It was getting to the stage where, with four open plan offices, people had to go up and down floors to photocopy and scan and really the machines we had weren’t capable of dealing with it.”
Maclean said the firm wanted devices that “did everything” printing, scanning and copying but could also cope with volume. “Also, we wanted to standardise it so everyone was getting the same training and using the same machines. We got caught in the past where there was a certain amount of knowledge confined to one person in a section.” According to Maclean, this was due to the company also being a training firm. Graduates would commence a three and a half year training contract and when they moved on at the end of their tenure the knowledge, that included understanding of the printers and copiers, was gone. “So that was part of the reasoning behind our consideration of MPS.”
While the accountancy firm was weighing up its options, its IT partner HCS recommended talking to OKI about MPS. Subsequently, OKI visited the premises and assessed the print volumes, examined the devices, document types, end-user needs and issued O’Neill Foley a proposal to introduce managed print services. The accountancy firm decided to go with OKI’s proposal and a date was set for the installation.
OKI then began the installation and training process. “OKI replaced each machine device by device,” said Amy Maclean. “It was very staggered, so everyone had the means to print while it was going on. And after one machine was installed an engineer would begin the training on it while another engineer proceeded with putting the next device in place. It was done very smoothly – in a day.”
According to Amy Maclean prior to the transition to MPS, O’Neill Foley had three photocopiers only one of which was a multifunction device, three network printers and three laser jet machines. Now, the company has three multifunction devices and one large printer for volume work while the three laser jets were replaced with OKI models. “We had six machines whereas now we have four and they’re all under one contract.”
Maclean is fulsome in her praise for how the new devices at her firm have improved her work life and that of her colleagues. “I don’t have to keep track of supplies for each machine and that saves me a lot of time. With the three MFP devices you don’t have to be on the same floor to print to a machine. Also if there’s a problem with one device the staff can print, copy or scan on the other”.
“Also beneficial is the fact that I know I can contact OKI at anytime. For instance I felt we needed extra training because after the first six months people were more familiar with the machines and wanted to find out how to do more on them. OKI send someone in right away.”
Among the other benefits Maclean mentions is the remote monitoring by OKI of consumables usage and Service issues through advanced PrintFleet software. This means that no one in O’Neill Foley needs to manage service issues, or order items such as toner because the software detects when it’s needed and automatically reorders from OKI. “That’s a great help. I don’t have to place an order, I’m in an open plan office and there are three others above me and I wouldn’t know unless someone in the other room rang and told me the toner was low and someone had to order it. It could be gone by the time I found out about it. But now it’s monitored and we don’t run out.”
Another welcome change for O’Neill Foley has been the ability to now print, copy and scan in colour – something the firm didn’t have before. “We recently got some work which required the completion of all documentation and reports in colour. Also, down the line, we’ll be looking at printing our business cards and letter heads in-house on the colour printers.”
A more physical change is the fact that O’Neill Foley’s employees no longer have to travel to different floors to print, scan or photocopy documents. Even a simple adjustment such as this is hugely beneficial in time and efficiency savings.
Underlining OKI’s on-going management commitment to the customer Maclean said OKI’s scheduled reviews and meetings during the contract period – all part of the MPS process have been very helpful. “We brought up the issue of extra training and it was no problem. If a machine can’t be fixed on site it’s just instantly replaced. It’s this sort of attention to detail that makes MPS definitely the right way to go. Also, having reviewed the figures we would estimate that the implementation of the OKI managed print solution has resulted in a cost saving to us of approximately 15 per cent over the last year. Under the terms of the contract, all consumable costs are fixed and all service and remote management costs are included. Therefore, we would expect this cost saving to continue year on year for the remaining two years of the current contract.”
In addition, Maclean mentioned that there are significant ‘soft cost’ savings in terms of productivity gains that are difficult to quantify such as staff time saved in printer management, consumables ordering and so on. Time saved is redeployed to core company activities.
“MPS is a great idea,” said Maclean. “And was the right thing to do and we’re happy with who we went with we get a great service from OKI and HCS and we’ll continue to work with them.”