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Smart Focus & Epson: Making the switch

Digital marketing company SmartFocus has transformed its printing operations by switching to Epson inkjet devices

Operating from three main offices in London, Paris and Barcelona, SmartFocus helps clients deliver brand interactions that boost engagement and the value of each customer. Its core service, the SmartFocus Message Cloud, delivers sixty billion personalised interactions and seven million email campaigns annually.

SmartFocus is a technology based company. Yet, like many firms, it still has a number of paper-based processes and so relies on having the right printing and scanning solutions in place. In 2017, when it became apparent that the equipment in its London office was no longer able to cope with the demands placed upon it, the company contacted Epson partner iDoc Services.

No insight
For such a busy and fast-paced environment, SmartFocus had a very inefficient printer set-up that was time-consuming and difficult to manage. It had a variety of devices – six models from three manufacturers. Some had a cost-per-page service agreement that included the supply of toners; others didn’t and required ad hoc toner purchases. Overall, there was no insight into device usage, which meant the company was unable to predict and plan its costs.

Limited copying and scanning capabilities created bottlenecks in business processes and, in the case of invoicing, could lead to payment delays. Furthermore, all printouts were delivered in an open area. Orphan print jobs, which often held confidential data, could lie on an output tray for extended periods posing a risk to document security.

Reducing costs
Working with iDoc Services, SmartFocus developed a new printing strategy designed to reduce costs and improve the overall performance of its printing system.

It standardised on two models from the Epson WorkForce Pro range – the WorkForce-C869 and WorkForce-R5190. This has made the new fleet easier to use and manage and, because the devices use inkjet technology, which consumes up to 96% less energy and generates up to 99% less waste than laser technology, it has enabled SmartFocus to cut costs and carbon emissions.

For Stuart Craig, Head of Procurement at SmartFocus, the devices’ environmental benefits were a strong selling point. “As well as cutting costs, we were very keen to go down the environmentally-friendly route – and Epson’s WorkForce Pro range offered exactly that,” he said.

Epson inkjet printer
Epson inkjet printer

Safe, secure printing
SmartFocus also implemented Epson’s secure printing, scanning and copying software solution, Epson Print Admin. This enables organisations to take control of their printing and scanning costs and strengthen document security with device user authentication. Because no print job is released until the user has authenticated themselves at a device using their access card, all printing is conducted securely. This also reduces the number of instances where print jobs are sent and then forgotten and re-printed, minimising waste and environmental impact.

Epson printers have a fast First Page Out Time of less than seven seconds from sleep mode, resulting in minimal delays once the user has authenticated at the device.

Efficient scanning on the WorkForce-C869 has overcome the bottlenecks SmartFocus used to experience in its invoicing processes, helping to ensure people are invoiced and paid on time, with clear benefits for company cashflow and staff and client relationships.

Standardising on just a couple of models has increased print habit visibility and helped bring down costs, as SmartFocus no longer has to source imaging supplies for different products.

“Fundamentally, we buy less paper because we’re in control of the print queue, in control of the users and in control of the equipment. There has been an improvement in the delivery of scans from the collections team, so the invoicing now goes out absolutely on time, every time,” explained Craig.

A better future
SmartFocus is so pleased with its Epson printers that it has rolled out the same solution in its Paris and Barcelona offices, providing consistency across the group.

In order to gain visibility of, and maintain control over, each office’s admin requirements, SmartFocus has now replaced Epson Print Admin with PaperCut MF. This enables it more easily to manage multiple printing workloads across several devices in different locations, whilst retaining document security over every print-out, scan and fax.

SmartFocus benefits from the software’s low running costs and high reliability, as well as the reduction in waste and environmental impact that the solution brings.

iDoc Services is continuing to recommend Epson inkjet printers, giving more businesses the opportunity to experience a more economical, energy efficient and productive form of printing than they might be used to with laser devices.

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2018