All under one roof

April 20, 2016

To enable its work in providing affordable homes for people in the south east of Wales, Monmouthshire Housing Association is benefitting from the use of Toshiba TEC’s highly efficient and environmentally friendly multifunction products (MFP).

Since it was established in 2008, Monmouthshire Housing Association’s primary objective has been to provide and manage affordable homes across this historic Welsh county for people who need them. Headquartered in Pontypool, it ensures that 3,600 homes and 290 leasehold properties meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard and, in addition, takes care of a large number of garages and other land around and within its estates. By 2019 its vision is to be the top performing social enterprise in Wales.

Work in progress

Managing such a vast and diverse estate requires an effective administration function. While efficient document workflows are vital, so too is the need to carry out this type of work in the most cost effective ways possible – especially since Monmouthshire Housing Association is a not-for-profit organisation that ploughs all available financial resources back in to its housing stock.

With this in mind, Mark Gauntlett, the organisation’s Information Services Manager, had become increasingly concerned with the level of inefficiency and wastage associated with its print and document management operation. He comments, ‘With 150 staff printing and scanning to multiple file paths, ascertaining who was doing what was almost impossible and although I knew that there was a problem, I had no way of efficiently monitoring or controlling our print costs. We also do some printing on behalf of partner organisations and I wanted to be able to charge them accurately for their usage.’

In order to solve the problem, Gauntlett called in Antony McCarthy, Document Solutions Expert at Toshiba TEC, to explain the issue and hear what could be done to address it. McCarthy says, ‘During our conversation it was clear that corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable operating practices are very important to the organisation. With some of the most energy efficient MFPs on the market, I felt that the best way to highlight their advantages would be to invite him to Toshiba TEC’s Cardiff showroom, so that he could get hands-on and also speak to our Pre-sales Technical Consultant, Jason Sitch.’

Open door policy

As part of his presentation Sitch used an e-STUDIO5055CSE to demonstrate the breadth of features found in many of Toshiba TEC’s MFPs. Importantly, given the requirements outlined by Gauntlett, the device also featured the PaperCut print management solution, which facilitates the tracking of printing, copying and scanning activities by user, device or department.

Sitch explains, ‘PaperCut collects data via a print server and allows administrators to monitor usage patterns and costs, and take appropriate action when necessary. The ability to implement quotas and restrict where certain types of printing can take place has been proven to facilitate significant cost savings. With one simple interface, PaperCut’s control features are easy to use and form the basis of an advanced administration system.’

Cut to the chase

Having assessed the various options, Gauntlett opted for four e-STUDIO4555CSE MFPs and one e-STUDIO2550CSE. The former is a quiet and user-friendly colour A3 MFP with class leading print quality and advanced security features, while the latter is a more compact device that has exceptional scalability and affordability.

PaperCut was successfully installed on all five MFPs and users can now send an item to be printed, which joins a print queue. They then use their coded door fob to access their documents via any chosen networked device, thereby keeping information and data secure. Users also have the ability to delete a specific print command if necessary and the MFP will also cancel any jobs that haven’t been actioned after a certain period of time.

Colour control has also been implemented with mono and duplex set as default options – saving both money and paper as a result. Internal accounts are now set up within PaperCut to allow users to charge their printing to other areas and organisations associated with Monmouthshire Housing Association. Automatic toner ordering and meter readings are also activated within the machine to further reduce burden and ensure the smooth running of the MFPs.

Green machines

The e-STUDIO MFPs all comply with Toshiba TEC’s strict environmental policy by incorporating innovative features such as a toner recycling system, which ensures absolutely no toner goes to waste, resulting in a considerable reduction in consumed resources. Additionally, as part of its pioneering Carbon Zero Scheme, the company guarantees that all carbon emissions produced during the manufacture of each MFP are entirely offset.

Monmouthshire Housing Association’s Mark Gauntlett concludes, ‘Optimising our print and document management infrastructure has made a positive difference to our overall operation in terms of streamlining our workflows and minimising waste. It has also given us a vital way to control and monitor our print based resources so that we can achieve ongoing savings. I gave Toshiba TEC a tough brief but not only has it met all of my requirements, in many cases it has exceeded them and we are set to save at least £24,000 over the term of the contract as a result.’