What is this German-based VW dealer doing with the money it saves through running eco-friendly Epson inkjet printers?
By investing in environmental education, it’s helping the next generation achieve even more.
1. Please introduce yourself and your business.
My name is Jan Vögler, and I’m Managing Director of The Autohaus Vögler GmbH.
The business is situated in Bad König in southern Hesse, and I run it in partnership with my wife, Daniela. We’re the second generation of this family firm; Autohaus Vögler was founded in 1987 as an Audi and VW workshop with an attached show room.
We added the Skoda brand to our portfolio in 1998, so we have around 20 years’ experience there, too. We also have a thriving Classic Car arm, specializing in ‘old- timer’ VW cars.
We’re in a good location on the busy federal road B45 – plenty of local business and passing traffic, and still growing very rapidly. I’m proud to say that over the years we’ve gone from strength to strength, and we’re now one of the leading dealerships in the region.
Our company slogan is ‘Success and Passion’. Part of that success has come from our own commitment, but we couldn’t have come this far without the hard work and loyalty of our staff.
Currently, we have around 35 employees, who look after our customers and their cars. That’s where the passion comes in! We offer a complete package, from repair and maintenance, through to body-shop, consulting and sales. And whether it’s choosing a new vehicle, or a simple service, we know we can depend on our people to do their very best for the customer.
2. What Epson technology do you use and what purpose does it serve in your company?
Today, we have a Workforce Pro C869RD3TWFC as the central print station at the main reception. We also have ten WorkForce Pro C5290DW workstation printers, and 16 WorkForce Pro C5790DWF workstation and workgroup printers throughout the dealership.
Most of the time, the office printers take care of day-to-day items – letters, copies, bills, and so on. We also use them to print photos of cars and, occasionally, to produce elaborate presentations; something to mark a particular occasion.
You have to understand that buying a car is still a very emotional moment for many customers. It’s a big investment, and we want to recognize the trust that our customers put in us. So we try to make the moment special with a photo and an information folder when we hand over the keys.
How else do we use our printers? Actually, the ‘special moment’ starts right at the beginning of the sales process. Top quality documents are very important, because our vehicles should always be displayed in a way that reflects their value.
On the sales floor, or in the offices, we produce reports and information folders. For the showroom itself, the WorkForce Pro produces information showing the characteristics of each vehicle – details of performance, trim, accessories, that sort of detail.
We also print coloured symbols and charts showing the fuel consumption of each car – rather like the energy consumption classes of household appliances. Consistent colours make it easy for customers to compare vehicles.
In the workshops, our inkjet printers are used to produce reports, or pictures of accident damage. As you might imagine, the workshops aren’t as clean as the offices! But still, our printers just keep on working – we don’t have any reliability problems. In fact, we’ve come to expect our Epson WorkForce Pro printers to cope with all conditions – and a variety of media.
I’ll give you an example. Each year, our customers need to swap from summer to winter tyres, or the other way around, according to the season. We make life easy for them by offering a ‘tyre hotel’ where they can store their tyres. And our Epson inkjets make it easy for us by printing the pre-made labels. The unique, high quality labels make it easy to identify each customers’ tyres, because even after months of storage, the prints don’t fade.
The long and the short of it is, our customers rely on us, and we rely on Epson. The printers do just about anything, and always what we expect them to do. They save us money and are good for the environment – what more could we ask?
3. Can you describe the decision process behind choosing your products?
When we took on the running of Autohaus Vögler, a printing infrastructure of Kyocera laser printers, which had originally been recommended by the VW Group, was already in place.
Over time, we added more printers – different types, from different brands, to do different jobs. In the end it was a mess. Too many printers, too many makes, and far too many different types of cartridge and toner to support. It was complex, impractical, and above all costly. A printer out of action, because we didn’t have the right type of cartridge in stock, meant delay and extra work for colleagues. Time, inconvenience and expense all added up.
4. What made you choose Epson technology from your previous technical set-up?
In the late summer of 2018, I attended a meeting of the PEN dealer network, a local forum for dealers in various industries. That’s where I met Benjamin Lau, managing director of Willgerodt Bürotechnik GmbH, and explained my printer headaches.
With support and guidance from this specialist IT reseller, it didn’t take long to remove the collection of many different types of printer at Autohaus Vögler. It soon became clear that the complexity we’d struggled with for so long had given way to a well-structured, well-planned business inkjet landscape.
5. How was the integration process?
Since the first day, we have been very satisfied with the installation. The printers are reliable and very easy to use, and we’ve experienced no problems. Even the billing process is straightforward. At Autohaus Vögler, we print around 160,000 pages per year on the devices. Using the Epson Print Performance Tool for invoicing, it’s very easy for the reseller to keep track of our business. The software reads out the ink levels of the printers and sends them to our IT partner Willgerodt. If necessary, the respective printer users are simply sent the replacement cartridges. It’s a lot easier to change an ink cartridge than it is to change a toner cartridge. We were all shown how to change the ink – it’s child’s play, and the training only took minutes. No printer is ever out of action due to lack of ink, and it’s no longer necessary for a car dealership to be a printer cartridge warehouse.
The reliable Epson WorkForce Pro ink printers also free our IT partner from unnecessary effort. According to Benjamin Lau, "The Epson inkjets are reliable and easy to handle. That's why I only provide the dealership with qualified visits today, where we talk about equipment and future projects instead of changing cartridges."
6. What benefits have you seen in terms of time, energy, cost savings and productivity?
Well, the fact that the printers just keep going, day after day, says a lot about their dependability. But as well as their performance – and here, I’d include the high quality of prints and photos – there are other areas where the Epson WorkForce Pros shine.
Their low power consumption is impressive; the printers don’t generate nearly as much waste as the previous laser printer set-up; and their excellent overall eco-balance is increasingly important to us as a business, and to the environment generally.
For example, Willgerodt GmbH used the Epson CO2 calculator to calculate that switching from laser to ink has saved our company more than €1,800, and reduced CO2 emissions by more than 4.5 tonnes over the lifetime of these printers.
Our employees are also very happy with the new printers. As I said before, the devices are easy to use, but it’s not just that. With inkjet, all previous problems are gone – there’s no uncertainty about harmful emissions. That really matters when the printers are alongside office workstations, or at the reception where’s there a lot of customer traffic.
7. Would you recommend other businesses to choose Epson for their Business Inkjet printers?
At Autohaus Vögler, we care for our customers, our employees, and the wider environment. These days, every business has a responsibility to reduce its eco-footprint – to act responsibly and sustainably.
Epson business inkjet printers make it easy for us to cut down our energy consumption, reduce waste and remove harmful pollutants from the atmosphere. At the same time, they give us the quality we need, ease of use and dependability.
We are very happy that we are now working with Epson WorkForce Pro inkjet printers. We like our new ‘colleagues’, and we wouldn’t be without them again.
8. Do you have anything else to add?
I talked earlier about how our Epson WorkForce Pro printers have saved us money through lower energy consumption. This saving is well-documented by Epson, and can be achieved by anyone switching to WorkForce Pro. Well, that money’s going to a good cause. My family – my wife and I have two children – we’ve already decided what to do with it. Together with other participating companies, we finance environmental education at a nearby school. So in April 2020, we will invest the money we’ve saved in a school project.