Business Environment Challenges
The Public Works Department, Publishing Services branch of a large city in Southern California provides all city departments with full graphics services including design, offset press, high-volume copying, and product finishing. It is also responsible for the citywide photocopier program and for managing more than 560 multifunction printers (MFPs) for departmental needs.
When the city’s contract with its existing MFP supplier was up for bid, the supplier had already been working with the Publishing Services branch for more than 10 years. A study conducted by the city found that although it was paying a flat rate for each MFP, the devices were only operating at capacity approximately 80 to 90 percent of the time. Additionally, a decision by the mayor to bring production printing services in-house whenever possible, made it necessary for the city’s inplant print shop to look for a more efficient color, light print production device that would be able to handle the volume of printing booklets, brochures, flyers, and other materials requested by the various city departments.
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The device that was in use at the time was unable to handle the sheer volume of color printing that was necessary to keep the various city departments running optimally.
Business Technology Solutions
Out of five major MFP manufacturers, the Sharp local office in San Diego was able to not only provide the best price, but won high marks in service and experience as well.
Once the bid was accepted, Sharp only had seven weeks to deliver, install, network, and train on more than 560 MFPs in every department in the city and its print shop. Because critical city services such as the Police and Fire/Rescue Departments could not be without printing technology, the Sharp and city teams worked overtime to get all of the equipment installed and working.
“We received excellent support from the local Sharp office,” said a City Department of Public Works Supervising Management Analyst. “Sharp completed the deployment on schedule, under budget, and with minimal disruption to city operations.”
Additionally, in order to meet the volume of printing requests by the city’s Print Shop, the city installed a Sharp Pro Series MX-7040N Color Document System, a high performance 70 ppm color printer capable of a wide variety of configurations, from basic high-speed copying and printing to professional folding and booklet making.
Today, most of the city’s professional printing is done in-house, using the Sharp Pro Series Color Document System as well as the city’s monochrome printer and several high-capacity Sharp MFPs.
As a result of careful planning and appropriate placement of the rightsize Sharp MFPs in each office, the city has been able to have fewer machines with better results, ultimately saving 50 percent ($1 million per year) off the previous manufacturer’s total cost. The analyst says that the key to maintaining this savings is by constantly reviewing the usage patterns.
For example, if a department has too many color copiers, a decision can be made to swap out two or three smaller color copiers with one high-capacity black and white MFP. “You have to look at your data every month and make sure you understand your pricing structure,” says the analyst.
“Sharp has been great about working with us to replace copiers as needed in order to stay well under budget. The company has really proven itself and demonstrated a very high level of service.”