Managed Document Services (MDS) is a radical new approach to sharing printers and copiers which takes a holistic view of an organisation’s document needs and processes. The key to MDS is thinking documents not pages. Documents can, and often should, remain in digital form and MDS encompasses networked software solutions which enable documents to be input, output and exchanged without being printed.
Most organisations have more devices than they need, indeed some have more than they realise, while many have no idea how many pages they actually print. MDS programmes reduce waste, increase efficiency and improve productivity. The financial benefit is obvious, but the carbon emissions reduction can be just as significant.
When FTSE100 insurance company RSA decided to review its estate of over 3,000 devices serving 8,000 people over 22 sites in the UK, CIO James De Wattville described the company’s sprawling estate as “It’s a zoo and it needs sorting out.” Estate management was split across IT and Facilities and RSA was consuming 43 million sheets of paper, the equivalent of 10,000 trees, and 4,100 printer toner cartridges a year.
Following a comprehensive audit of existing facilities and in-depth consultation with power users KYOCERA designed a solution that would ensure that each RSA employee has convenient access to their required printing, copying, faxing and scanning facilities. This alone significantly improved reliability, as devices were no longer being under or over-used.
The comprehensive management information provided gives RSA with absolute visibility and control over its consumables costs, enabling accurate budgeting and financial management of the fleet. Commenting on the level of management information now available, James de Watteville says: “The information we now have allows us full visibility of the expenditure associated with the network, and allows us to budget accurately for future spend taking into account any changes in print volume or in the configuration of the system.”
One of the key areas for improvement was document security. This was addressed with a pull-printing system using RSA’s existing door access cards to create a proximity system requiring users to ‘swipe’ their pass card at the relevant device in order to initiate their print job. This increased document security, eliminated uncollected printouts and as a direct result reduced paper waste. Paper consumption was also significantly reduced by the decision to set all the new devices to print double-sided as standard. KYOCERA’s unique ECOSYS technology also ensured that toner costs for the new fleet were minimised with the elimination of costly cartridges.
When undertaking a project of this magnitude, there is an important human factor to consider. “The overall reaction has been very positive.” James de Watteville concurs: “This wasn’t just an IT project, it was a whole business project, and as such every stakeholder needed to be kept informed. Running a communications programme alongside the deployment undoubtedly contributed to the overall success of the initiative.”
From the corporate responsibility viewpoint, Paul Pritchard, RSA’s Head of Corporate Responsibility is pleased with the opportunity provided to inform staff about the green elements of the project: “We wanted staff to understand that the environmental and business benefits of this project went hand-in-hand, and that focusing on sustainability brings its own efficiency gains to the organisation.”
The results of the RSA MDS project within a year were dramatic, with major reductions in print volumes, energy and paper consumption. KYOCERA’s holistic approach makes MDS a unique and vital strategy for every organisation that wants to look at its entire potential for cost reduction.