Digital marketing company SmartFocus chooses business inkjet


SmartFocus is a digital marketing company that helps clients deliver insight-based brand interactions that boost engagement and the value of each customer.

Its core service – the SmartFocus Message Cloud – brings customers into contact with brands, delivering sixty billion personalised interactions and seven million email campaigns annually.

SmartFocus operates primarily from three offices in London, Paris and Barcelona to deliver tailored marketing solutions for each of its clients. Despite being a technology-based company, SmartFocus, like many other firms, still has a number of paper-based business processes, so it’s crucial for the firm to have the right printing and scanning solutions in place.

As the company expanded, SmartFocus realised that the printing technology it had in place was not supporting its operations sufficiently and old, poorly-performing devices were beginning to impact the business in terms of productivity and output. It was clear that the firm needed a new printer set-up and so the company turned to iDoc Services, an Epson partner, in 2017, to help find the solution to its problem.

A muddle of models

The SmartFocus headquarters in London is an extremely busy and fast-paced environment. With a wide variety of devices (six different models from three different manufacturers) used throughout the office, the fleet of printers was inconsistent and far from user-friendly – which was starting to impact on productivity levels within the company.

Some devices had a cost-per-page service agreement, which included the supply of toners, whilst for others supplies had to be purchased on an ad-hoc basis, with no service provision. This made the management of the printer system complex, time-consuming and difficult to financially forecast.

Given the array of models it used, SmartFocus lacked insights into its device usage, which meant the company was unable to predict and plan its admin costs successfully.

In addition, the company had limited copying and scanning capabilities, which meant business operations could be halted and a process bottleneck could occur. This caused significant issues for SmartFocus, as copying and scanning – for documents such as invoices – is intrinsic to the office’s day-to-day activities. When it came to invoicing clients, scanning downtime led to payment delays – which had a negative impact on the business from a financial perspective.

The security of SmartFocus’ documents was also becoming an issue – all printouts are delivered in an open area and, as a company that deals with significant amounts of data, insecure printing was posing a big threat to its operations. These “orphan print jobs”, which often held confidential data, could lie on an output tray for extended periods of time – and were at risk of being picked up by the wrong person.  

Reducing costs and increasing productivity

Keen to standardise the equipment throughout the office, and improve the efficiency of its printer set-up, SmartFocus examined its options. One of its main requirements was reducing costs, while increasing the overall performance of its printing system. The company turned to iDoc Services, an independent supplier of hardware and software solutions, for assistance with its new printing strategy.

“SmartFocus needed an efficient and cost-effective printing set-up, and Epson stood out as the best option to meet their specific needs, when compared to the other products within our portfolio. The company needed more control over its costs and efficiencies, and as Epson devices allow the user to control and set print policies, the firm now saves money by controlling printing options – and does not waste money on documents that needed to be re-printed,” commented Mark Moore, iDoc Services’ MD.

Just two models were selected from the Epson WorkForce Pro range – the WorkForce-C869 and WorkForce-R5190, to standardise equipment in use, making use and administration of the device fleet that much easier. Not only was it preferable for SmartFocus to use a single printer supplier, but both models put forward use inkjet print technology – which consumes up to 96 per cent less energy, produces up to 92 per cent less CO2 and up to 99 per cent less waste than laser technology, representing significant cost and energy savings for the company.

“As well as cutting costs, we were very keen to go down the environmentally-friendly route with our choice of printers – and Epson’s WorkForce Pro range offered exactly that,” commented Stuart Craig, Head of Procurement at SmartFocus.

Safe, secure printing

Implementing the new printer set-up has helped SmartFocus cut not only print volumes, but significantly save on printing costs. The WorkForce Pro range has enabled consistency throughout the office, resulting in a substantially improved ease of use – for all employees throughout the organisation – and fewer productivity barriers.

SmartFocus also implemented Epson’s secure printing, scanning and copying software solution, Epson Print Admin. This allows organisations to strengthen document security with device user authentication, which allows businesses to take control of their printing and scanning costs. Essentially, this means that no print job is released until the user has proven their authentication at the device, ensuring that all printing is conducted securely. This also reduces the opportunity for the number of instances where print jobs are sent and then forgotten and re-printed – which minimises waste and environmental impact.

Epson printers also offer a fast First Page Out Time of less than seven seconds from sleep mode – resulting in minimal delays once the user has authenticated at the device, using their access card.

Ensuring that people are invoiced and paid on time is imperative to the cashflow and success of any business, to keep both clients and staff happy – and the implementation of Epson devices has helped overcome this problem, as the WorkForce-C869 offers efficient scanning. Standardising models and increasing print habit visibility has also helped bring costs down, as SmartFocus is now not having to source a range of imaging supplies for a number of products.

“Fundamentally, we buy less paper because we’re in control of the print queue; we’re in control of the users and in control of the equipment. There has been an improvement in the delivery from the collections team, so the invoicing now goes out absolutely on time, every time,” added Stuart.

A brighter future

SmartFocus was so pleased with the success of its new Epson printers that the company rolled out the same solution in its Paris and Barcelona offices, too. This allows for consistency not only throughout the London office, but across the whole group.

In order to maintain control over, and visibility of, each office’s admin requirements, PaperCut MF has now been deployed, replacing Epson Print Admin. Using PaperCut, SmartFocus easily manages multiple printing workloads across several devices in different locations – whilst retaining document security over every print-out, scan and fax.

SmartFocus benefits from the software’s low running costs and high reliability – as well as the reduce in waste and environmental impact that using the solution brings.

iDoc Services is also continuing to recommend Epson printers, based on their energy efficiencies and cost saving benefits, as well as their overall performance. The partnership between Epson and iDoc Services will continue to enable companies to benefit from a cheaper, more energy-efficient, tailored printing set up.