Office Systems : Case Study
See how Principal's total printing system moved a growing company from an uneconomical, uncoordinated and frustrating print service to a cohesive, cost-effective and well-supported one.
Green Fingers on the Pulse
Hillier Nurseries have been in the shrubs and trees trade for 146 years. Then some bright spark mentions 'multifunctional devices,' 'print solutions' and 'remote IT support'... Rather than let the grass grow under its feet, Hillier decided not to rest on its laurels, but instead grasp the nettle. (Okay, enough punning already.)
Hillier's IT Manager Ian Nightingale explains...
"It's a very unusual mixture, combining technology with nature. So our process here has to be measured. We are, however, innovative in how we use the technology, and we are not afraid of change."
So what's the story?
Root and Branch
By 2008, Ian Nightingale realised that Hillier, which had more than 14 UK sites, needed to centralise its printing activities.
"Our printing facilities across the group were complex, varied, and uneconomical." Nightingale remembers. "Someone needed to step in and say, 'Let's have a plan, here.'"
Calling a Spade a Spade
Ian Nightingale hunted for a company offering total print solutions: "I had tired of people just supplying boxes." He discovered Principal and a meeting was arranged. Ian Nightingale was impressed. "I was given all the information so I could make a direct comparison. Whenever I expressed concerns, I was shown the reality. Principal didn't just provide the machine and run away and hide. It is their upfront honesty that comes across. I don't want sales waffle."
Users at Hillier learnt to log onto a Konica Minolta C451 MFD, creating accountability over printing and environmental costs. Staff could 'print to mailbox,' reducing wastage, as unprinted jobs are deleted after a certain time. The device self-reports when consumables ran low - and Principal provided replacement consumables in time, as part of the service agreement.
"It did the talking for us," Ian Nightingale enthuses, "after initial end-user reluctance to log on. It took a bit, but now we all do it as second nature."
Hillier intends to acquire more of the MFDs "because that means we have Principal's excellent service backing it up," Ian Nightingale continues.
"Now we have joined-up operations. It's cost effective and we're offering a service. And if IT services run smoothly with no downtime, I stay employed!"