Articles & Case Studies

Bristol Water taps into Annodata to cut its print expenditure

Posted: Friday 15th April 2016

Founded in 1846, Bristol Water supplies 257 million litres of drinking water every day to over 1 million customers in and around Bristol in England's southwest. The Bristol Water strives to meet the water needs of its residential and business customers, aiming to help them to make the most efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective use of water.

The company depends heavily on its printers and its 500 staff generate a significant number of prints and reports on a daily basis. However, with an active programme of work to improve efficiencies within the business, Bristol Water turned to Annodata to see how it could reduce its print outputs and save money in the process.

The challenge

Bristol Water started a consolidation exercise, which would see it centralise two office locations into one. The consolidation offered the opportunity to assess all of the assets within the organisation and see where efficiencies and savings could be made, and it soon became clear that Bristol Water's printer estate was ripe for consolidation.

The estate consisted of around 110 desktop printers and a handful of contracted Canon multi-functional devices (MFDs) which ultimately was reduced by about 90%.

Commenting on the estate as it was previously, Nick Rutherford, Business Improvement Programme Manager at Bristol Water, said: "It was clear that the device to staff ratio was too high - all the more so because many of our employees spend a lot of time out in the field. An external third party looked after the MFDs, but it was down to our internal 3rd party IT vendor to maintain and procure the desktop devices. This was taking more of their time than it should have done, which ultimately would have been better spent elsewhere. Man hours aside, maintaining such a high number of desktop printers wasn't a great use of resources and we were spending a lot on consumables, toners and the devices themselves. We were keen to see what could be done to streamline the estate down and cut our print expenditure."

The Annodata solution

Bristol Water called on Annodata to audit the estate and find out where the greatest efficiencies could be made. Having assessed Bristol Water's printer set-up, Annodata's extensive and highly skilled Professional Services team devised and ultimately implemented a solution that would see it make significant changes. Annodata almost completely eradicated desktop printers, rationalising the number down to just three and replacing them with 11 Canon MFDs.

This shift was made possible by the introduction of Canon's print management software uniFLOW. The software allows Annodata to remotely monitor print usage to look at which devices were experiencing the greatest amounts of traffic and ensure that, in spite of the lower number of devices, staff all have easy access to printers.

uniFLOW includes a PIN-release function, meaning that staff must input their personal printing codes in order to print documents, with unclaimed documents being removed from job queues. A further benefit of the software is that it allows print settings, such as black & white or double-sided to be managed centrally and by default, giving Bristol Water greater control.

Annodata backs up the solution with a rock-solid service-level agreement. Should a device ever break down, one of Annodata's engineers will be on site within a minimum of four hours, ensuring service continuity.

The Annodata benefit

Since overhauling its print estate with Annodata, Bristol Water has enjoyed significant cost savings and has seen a considerable drop in the number of pages it prints annually. Talking about the benefits, Nick said:

"Two years ago we were running at an annual Opex cost of around £90,000 to maintain and run our printer estate, which has been reduced down to around £25,000 today. Moreover, we've gone from around 2.5 million page impressions a year down to a forecast of 1.7 million. By any measure, these are excellent results. Follow-me printing with uniFLOW has made us a much cleaner and greener business as there aren't any wasted print jobs, and our colour print jobs have reduced significantly because we've been able to default to black and white.

"The service provided by Annodata has been incredibly strong and, indeed, Annodata's strong presence in the southwest was one of the reasons we chose them as our print supplier. We have regular meetings with the team to review print usage, look at how well the print estate is supporting the business and see if there is any room for improvement," he concluded.




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