Over the years, Parkers have had a variety of different printer models and manufacturers, these were acquired on an as and when required basis with the purchasing focal point being on the product cost rather than running costs. Replacement toner cartridges were sourced by internal staff which meant valuable time was spent ordering consumables and overcoming printer problems. This time could have been better spent working more strategically on the business IT infrastructure.
The larger A3 devices had been supplied for many years on a managed print basis, initially by Newman then later by another company when Parkers were given “an offer they couldn’t refuse” but once that contract expired Parkers reverted back to Newman. The return was to ensure a better quality of service and ongoing support, which reduced the pressure on the internal IT team.
A short while after re-engaging with Newman and refreshing the A3 printer fleet, the aging A4 printers started to cause problems and put pressure on the internal IT team. They were becoming costly to run on consumables, and without an efficient, proactive service contract in place many of the sites were experiencing high down time, poor reliability and quality issues.
Ian Mitchell, Information System Manager of Parker Building Supplies confirms “The remedy was to streamline the fleet over time with Sharp dedicated printers and multifunctional devices using the same print management strategy to manage volumes more effectively. We don’t then have lots of different types of consumables wasting valuable storage space either. As a result of bringing in the higher quality machines our print and scanning speeds have increased, the print quality is first class. The machines are very user friendly so the staff have found the change easy to adapt to, as well as saving them time at the copier.”
“We had previously moved from Newman to an alternate supplier who at the time offered us an incredibly competitive deal which we couldn’t turn down, at a similar time we also purchased a batch of lower cost A4 printers. It was fine while we were in warranty, however once we weren’t we started to experience long wait periods for support and a reactive service as they didn’t have the engineers nearby, which was putting additional strain on our resources”. Ian continues “Don’t do anything on the cheap! since being back with Newman for the last 4 years we have a printer fleet which is perfectly maintained, the headache has been taken away from us and we are experiencing superb service. What’s important for us is we just make one call and it is all taken care of for us well within our KPI’s and as a result we have greater productivity”
Every Parkers site relied heavily on email to communicate both internally and externally with colleagues, clients and suppliers. All these communications came through a broadband leased line to an Exchange server based in the Head Office in Uckfield which was feeling rather tired. Although the broadband speed wasn’t too much of an issue, there was an awful lot of reliance on the one server, potentially creating a single point of failure.
Technology moves on quickly and the IT team at Parkers saw the need to invest in robust IT solutions going forward. Newman advised Parkers of all the various options available to best suit their ongoing business requirements, which was in the end to upgrade the systems to Microsoft Office 365 cloud based solutions. Newman were on hand to assist the Parkers in house IT team to implement the new system successfully on a branch by branch basis over a number of weeks.
At the same time, plans were in place to move the Head Office to larger premises in Polegate which required meticulous planning and a seamless move process. “We are always looking to grow the business, we see Newman as an ongoing part of our team, to make changes to establish another relationship takes time and a whole new structure. We are in a proactive situation where everything is in hand, well serviced and well maintained. Newman are a team player which enables us to run the business.”
Ian adds “The full migration was completed on the 5th of the month, we moved offices on that Friday 9th and all the staff were up and running at their new desks on Monday 11th! It was no mean feat, Newman were on hand to pack up the copiers but were also at the new office to set up all the pc’s as well. This was a life saver as our in house IT Team could not have managed it all singlehandedly, this made the whole move as seamless as possible. There have been inevitable teething problems with 365 as we are using a hybrid solution but it is pretty intuitive to use and familiar to our users, going forward we will be using the consultancy to greater expand our use of document sharing via share-point.”
“Without a shadow of a doubt, any prospective customers Newman may have, we would be happy to speak to them and show them round our offices.” Ian commented.