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Clicks Group moves to printing as a service to reduce costs and cut wastage

Retailer Clicks Group chose Nashua to provide a ‘printing as a service’ solution, with all management outsourced. This has saved money, reduced wastage, and improved visibility of printing.

The challenges

The solution

In retail, Clicks Group is a South African success story. Through its brands Clicks, Musica and The Body Shop, the group has over 600 stores. The group also owns United Pharmaceutical Distributors (UPD), the country’s leading full-range national pharmaceutical wholesaler.

To overcome these problems, Clicks reviewed the market and then put out a request for proposal (RFP) to four vendors. It chose a solution from Nashua, which now outputs more than 1.2 million pages per month. Nashua manages the entire environment, including paper and toner.

Until recently, Clicks had a mixed fleet of printing devices that had been bought outright or leased, but the fleet was becoming costly and difficult to manage. “There was no structured roadmap for refresh, so the majority of devices were end of life – leases had expired, but we were still paying the same monthly payments,” says Kevin Krige, Head of IT Infrastructure at Clicks Group. “There were high failure rates due to the age of the devices, it was difficult to maintain them and the cost per page was expensive.” The group had no central view of what its different departments and individuals were printing, and no way to allocate print costs. It also had high wastage, with many pages being left on printers rather than being collected by users.

“We were specific that we wanted printing as a service, rather than the traditional model of a CapEx investment and having to manage a fleet ourselves – that’s not our core business,” says Krige. “I wanted to take it the next level so I just pay for the ability to print, and that is managed by key metrics – I don’t care about what devices sit in my environment; I measure Nashua on the ability of my end-users to print documents.” According to Krige, he chose Nashua for two key reasons: competitive price, and an ability to meet his requirements. He comments, “Nashua was the organisation that best understood our objectives for printing as a service, and came up with an innovative solution to meet them – whereas the other vendors in the RFP stuck to a traditional model.” Clicks has retained some of its existing printers, as well as purchasing new Nashua devices. It implemented the solution in two phases: first in its head office, and then at its distribution centres and regional offices, with a total of nine sites now included. It plans to extend the scope next to its UPD business and potentially to its retail stores.

Uptime increased According to Krige, a large part of Clicks’ business is paper driven, so uptime is vital. For example, in the distribution centres the ability to pick or despatch comes to a standstill if a printer stops working. “The new solution’s ability to print is phenomenal,” says Krige. “We used to have a lot of downtime and printers going offline and causing disruption – now, we haven’t seen a single violation of the tight SLAs we negotiated.” An onsite Nashua technician responds to any issues within 30 minutes, and fixes problems within an hour.

Krige comments, “Nashua’s support has been fantastic, and their pro-active management of paper and toner means the printers are always there, ready to work.” Visibility and reduced wastage The solution includes PaperCut software, which has enabled Clicks to implement ‘follow me’ printing, where users swipe a card to collect jobs. Krige comments, “With PaperCut, we have a far better level of service from fewer devices, with redundancy built into the environment and wastage has been substantially reduced. In fact, we have saved nearly 28,000 prints since we went live, just 10 months ago.”

“Printing has gone from a headache to a non-event – it’s taken for granted that it just works.” Kevin Krige, Head of IT Infrastructure, Clicks Group

“Nashua was the organisation that best understood our objectives for printing as a service, and came up with an innovative solution to meet them – whereas other vendors stuck to a traditional model.” Kevin Krige, Head of IT Infrastructure, Clicks Group

Clicks uses PaperCut to create detailed reports for its department heads, which enables them to drill down to an individual user level. This means they can see exactly what is being printed and manage their teams as required to control expenditure.

“Print is now a utility-based service like switching on the lights – when you want to print, you hit the button and you print,” concludes Krige. “Nashua had the ability to quickly implement what they promised, and printing has gone from a headache to a non-event – it’s taken for granted that it just works.”

Cost savings from utility model “We have by far exceeded the financial savings we had in mind, and have reduced costs by 29%,” says Krige. “We have achieved cost savings from three components: a lower cost business model, reduced wastage due to follow me printing, and improved visibility which has increased awareness and made our users more responsible.


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Replace ageing print fleet Move to full ‘printing as a service’ model, with all management outsourced Reduce costs and improve uptime


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Fleet of mono and colour printers and MFPs Fully managed by Nashua, including an onsite technician


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Nashua management means printing has become a true utility-type service Costs reduced by 29% Print wastage reduced by 28,000 prints in just 10 months Uptime increased, ensuring productivity is maintained and printer failures don’t cause delays in distribution centres Visibility of print improved with detailed reports

Customer Summary

Customer name: Clicks Group Customer URL: Industry: Retail Number of Employees: 7,873

 Product List  MP301 black and white MFP  MP2852 black and white MFP  MP3352 black and white MFP  MPC300 colour MFP  MPC3001 colour MFP  SPC430 colour printer  SPC821 colour printer  PaperCut software

For further information on any aspect of becoming a customer reference for Nashua, please contact Nashua’s Communications and Training Manager, Jessica Midlane –

For more information please visit /NashuaLTD @nashuasolutions

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