Customer: City of Kingston
The City of Kingston sits on Melbourne’s beautiful bayside, covering an area of 90 km2 between Moorabbin and Carrum, and serving over 150,000 residents with services that range from childcare, libraries and homecare to roads, waste collection and recycling, to arts, parks and tourism.
The council operates from its main office in Cheltenham, along with satellite offices and depots throughout the city. As a local government, the City of Kingston is driven by ensuring value for ratepayers’ money. The procurement function is therefore a crucial part of the organisation, selecting the right suppliers and managing the contracts to deliver services with maximum efficiency.
Printing is one of those services – it is essential to be able to print internal documents and information for citizens and offer print services to the public. However, the council realised that there was scope to improve the value for money of its print services. There was also a belief that the printing operation could potentially be more environmentally friendly, in line with the council’s ‘green’ ethics.
Responsibility for the review and rationalisation of the printing service fell to Danielle Watts, Procurement Coordinator for the council.
The first thing that Danielle realised was that there was no strategic oversight of the printing service. The council had a mix of purchased printers and managed service devices, from a range of different suppliers; much of the technology was out of date, with little in the way of print management functionality. Some were managed by IT, but others had been bought by local offices without IT involvement; toner usage and purchase were ad hoc rather than planned and whilst some printers were shared, in other instances, individual users had personal printers on their desks.
Wanting to rationalise to a single provider offering a managed service, the council went through a tendering process. The first thing that struck the evaluation panel when they reviewed the responses was just how far printer technology had come since the council’s last review, and the level of sophistication available, especially around environmental management of a print service.
The council were particularly impressed with Toshiba’s response; “They clearly understood our requirements”, Danielle says. “They had worked with many other councils and knew a lot about records management and council administration systems. They understood that we wanted to reduce our impact on the environment and were able to provide advice on how to do so. They knew exactly what was important to us.”
Toshiba provided the City of Kingston with a state-of-the-art managed print service that met all the council’s objectives.
“We‘ve not only saved ratepayers’ money”, says Danielle “but we have been able to consolidate all our printers into a single contract that is so much easier to manage. We simply pay a monthly amount, which is made up of our lease plus a pay-per-click copy charge, with no charge for scanning. The system reports our usage back to Toshiba and automatically re-orders toner as we need it.”
Toner has been a significant part of the savings, as the council now only buys what it uses. “Before this contract”, explains Danielle, “we had to hold stock of toners, and we had people going out and buying for individual printers. Toner has a limited life but now ordering is automatic.”
"Toshiba sends out the toner as it is needed – there’s no wastage", says Danielle.
The council has some specialist printing needs, such as the large format plan printers for engineering drawings, and where Toshiba does not have a printer in its own portfolio, it will supply the best fit device from another manufacturer, under the same single contract.
The IT department loves the solution because all the printers are on the network, with none plugged into individual PCs, meaning they have full visibility of all devices. One of the reasons some users gave for wanting their own printer was the fact that they had sensitive and secure documents – but the Toshiba solution addresses those concerns with its security capabilities, with print jobs not released until the user explicitly requests it, removing the risk of secure documents falling into the wrong hands. “One of the biggest benefits for IT”, says Danielle, “is that because we now have a managed service, paid for from operational expense, IT don’t need to worry about the timing and budgets for replacement equipment. We can simply refresh within the contract.”
The council is particularly impressed with the ways in which the Toshiba equipment helps the council meet its desire to be environmentally responsible. “The Toshiba system gives us the option to enforce double-sided printing, significantly reducing our previous paper usage, and has an option to easily cancel a print job before it starts. The reporting shows us what we have saved with these measures, in terms of the number of trees and amount of water. On top of that, Toshiba devices have a high percentage of recycled or recyclable components.”
The City of Kingston is delighted with its partnership with Toshiba. “The three factors that really made a difference”, confirms Danielle, “are their understanding of local government and the challenges we face; the fact that they are very responsive if we need help and proactive in telling us about new technology and capabilities. As well as sharing of our environmental concerns and the advice they give in helping us to address them.”
“Choosing Toshiba’s managed print service has made a big difference to our budgets and our contract management.” Danielle concludes.