One of the country’s largest business-to-business distributors of electrical installation supplies, with more than 420 branches nationwide, Rexel UK has migrated to a managed print services model and standardised on
printing solutions from a single vendor in order to achieve cost savings and operational effiiencies.
With a constant need for printers to output receipts, invoices, reports and a range of administrative material, Rexel, over time, accumulated a flet of around 2,500 print devices from multiple vendors, including a number of OKI mono LED printers.
This situation became increasingly difficult for Rexel to control:
- individual printers were reaching end-of-life;
- finding consumables was increasingly diffiult;
- Rexel had a multitude of service agreements and warranties to manage;
- it had only limited insight into how much it was printing and spending on print; and
- it had a plethora of separate contracts from different vendors, with a wide range of payment models in place, from capital expenditure with a service charge to a full capex approach.
This state of affairs was clearly untenable, so when Rexel implemented a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system across all of its UK operations, Jason King, chief technology offier at Rexel Northern Europe, took the opportunity to review the organisation’s printing infrastructure.
“ERP is all about delivering effiient operations across the business and, being a major focus area for us, it was critical that printing was part of that equation. We realised we needed to implement a standard printing structure and function – and rationalise everything under one print vendor,” he explained.
“OKI was the obvious choice. Its devices have always proved reliable and robust and of all the print vendors we have worked with, it has always been the fastest to react to and resolve any issues or problems we might have. OKI also has an extensive and broad portfolio of printing devices, which will be critical to us as we continue to develop and expand.”
Rexel took the decision to standardise on solutions from OKI and set up a central service contract with OKI partner and managed service provider Apogee.
Rexel UK’s 2,400 printing devices are now covered by a bespoke managed print services contract, with pro-active monitoring and a fied cost per page. The new unifid flet comprises a mixture of mono and colour LED printers, plus 190 new colour multifunctional devices (MFDs).
“As a result of putting the new printing model in place, we have been able to rationalise our printing flet over a total of 420 locations nationwide,” said King. “We can now see who is printing what and when, and we have been able to much more easily ensure we have the right print device at the right location.”
He added: “We are talking about a more than 25% saving in running costs on what we believe we could have achieved with any other available option, due to consolidating all of our existing contracts into one and implementing a new, more functionally rich set of printers. By giving us much better awareness of what we print across the organisation, Apogee’s managed service and a unifid OKI flet has also enabled us to enhance the level of control we can achieve and reduce wastage and duplication in the system. Customer waiting times for documents have been reduced and incidences where they receive multiple copies all but eliminated.”
Service and repair
As part of the MPS, Apogee provides a comprehensive service and repair capability and provides management information reports to Rexel on a quarterly basis, as well as hosting regular reviews of service levels and consumables fulfiment.
To this end, Apogee has set up a data collection machine on the Rexel network, so that when any printing device has just 20% toner left, the system automatically issues an alert to the reseller’s head offie in Maidstone to order a replacement cartridge.
“One of the key benefits is that it has allowed us to stop storing piles and piles of consumables in different locations,” explained King. “Our teams now appreciate that new toner does arrive on time, every time, so there is no need to store extra consumables on site. Equally, individual sites no longer have to raise purchase orders to buy consumables or potentially waste large volumes if the machine breaks down.”
Strict service level agreements (SLAs) give Rexel peace of mind that its service requirements will always be met. For example, if there are specifi issues or repeated failures with a device, under the terms of the contract Apogee simply swaps it out for one that works.
Today, Rexel UK focuses on the industrial MRO (Maintenance Repair and Operations), safety and electrical sectors. These highly competitive markets are seeing growing customer demand for improved productivity through innovative services, products and partnering.
Delivering that innovation is critical to the success of Rexel’s business, but innovation can only happen effectively in a wellmanaged environment where costs are kept under tight control and operational effiiencies supported. This is exactly what Rexel’s new managed print services contract is able to deliver.