Manukau City Council had 78 photocopiers and 300 printers in its premises, from more than 10 different suppliers, when it decided last year to rationalise on Ricoh multifunction units.
Some larger printers and copiers were networked, but two floors of its main building were not networked at all, with small printers attached individually to PCs.
Some equipment has been purchased while other copiers and printers were leased. No accurate reporting was in place on the real costs of printing.
There were a number of different service-level agreements and clear benefit in rationalising as far as possible on a single large-volume agreement with Ricoh.
Evaluation of rationalisation proposals by the council showed standardising on the Ricoh hardware would bring a reduction in the annual requirement for capital funding and a reduction of 25% in annual running costs, insofar as they could be judged. Two large and ageing copiers in a central “printing room” handled more than 50% of the council’s printing needs.
The contract with Ricoh runs for five years, with an optional two-year extension, and is based on a fixed cost per document, including replacement of the machines; so if one machine prints more than its allotted total, the date of its replacement by more powerful hardware will be automatically brought forward.
This gives more control over costs, including the cost of consumables, says corporate services manager Andy Thomson. Under the old system, consumables such as cartridges were being replaced in an uncontrolled way.
The arrangement is an ongoing partnership between the council and Ricoh, with the latter “taking on board the council’s values and culture”, and “working with council in providing it with appropriate equipment and services”.
The multi-use equipment would improve productivity by combining the functionality of a printer with photocopier functions such as double-siding, sorting, stapling and collating at a lower cost per print and at a faster print rate per page than existing printers.
Users can password-protect the documents they send over the network or keep to individual printers for some applications.