Housing association cuts costs and time with managed print services

Hightown Housing Association Limited is a charitable housing association operating across the South East of England, principally in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

This association provides a wide range of housing and support services for people who need support and care, or who cannot afford to buy or rent a home at market value. This includes a wide range of people – families, single individuals, people with special needs and those facing homelessness.

Hightown currently manages over 6,000 homes and employs over 1,000 staff. The housing association has an annual turnover of £82 million and a development programme that will deliver around 1,000 new affordable homes over the next two years. Hightown also operates over 70 care and supported housing services.

Hightown’s mission statement is to build new homes and provide excellent housing and support, as everyone should have a home and the support they need.

FINDING THE KEY TO SUCCESS

With such a large operation, it is vital that Hightown has a reliable and robust IT department. Previously, Hightown relied on a fleet of various colour laser printers to meet their ever-expanding list of printing needs. Their printer fleet gradually expanded over time, but as they were purchasing the printers outright and no as a managed print service, this made managing the machines incredibly challenging. The cost of toner was adding up and time spent servicing them internally was increasing. It became apparent that the department operations could and had to be improved.

It was decided that the best fit for Hightown would be a managed print solution to save them both time and money. They began to look at the different options available to them, but technologies that were pitched to them by various suppliers and manufacturers were all similar, with none providing a real comprehensive resolution. 

After an exhaustive search, Hightown finally came across an all-inclusive option with Epson’s revolutionary 4-in-1 business inkjet printer, the WorkForce Pro WF-R5690DTWF. This was available exclusively through an Epson approved managed print service provider – in this case through XMA via Crown Commercial Services Framework. This breakthrough business printer provides predictable printing costs, with minimal user intervention to boost productivity.  It also features Epson’s Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS) to deliver super-high-yield printing that can increase the efficiency of a locally distributed print fleet.

Tony Scibetta, Hightown’s IT Infrastructure Support Team Leader, knew immediately they had found something ground-breaking: “Epson brought something new to the table that really made us see benefits that we wouldn’t have considered before.”  Once Tony saw what Epson had to offer, the answer was easy: “The fact that we could get all the benefits of these devices on a framework agreement made the jump to Epson a simple decision to make.”

THE ROLLOUT

This solution was so compelling that Hightown decided to roll out a substantial 92 Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R5690DTWF printers across approximately 90 sites. Tony wanted to capitalise on finding the answer to not only their problems, but the same problems likely facing their whole industry: “We loved the fact that one bag of ink could do up to 75,000 pages, the potential savings that will be made in electricity cost and the environmental benefits that the inkjet would provide over tonerlaser. This is definitely a product that could be in all housing associations across the land.”

IT PAYS TO MAKE THE SWITCH

Since the roll out of the new Epson fleet, Hightown began to immediately enjoy lower running costs of the printers with super-high-yield printing and 80 percent less power usage than their previous colour laser printers.  Tony explains one of the key benefits that Hightown is experiencing: “With such high capacity ink bags, the users in our many offices will never have to change the ink over the duration of the devices lease, allowing for more space in the office and not having to store big boxes of toner”.

Along with environmental benefits and saving money, Hightown is also able to get back valuable time that was previously spent performing self-maintenance on their printers. Now, the Hightown satellite offices can call the support line directly if any intervention is required and the central IT department can focus their attention on efforts supporting their original mission.

Switching from laser to business inkjet printers have overall minimised Hightown’s impact on the environment as well as saving their budget and time. Epson WorkForce Pro RIPS printers are the ultimate organisational solution and now Hightown can comfortably rely on the connectivity, flexibility and support of their new fleet. 

*As tested by BLI, over two months to February 2017, against a selection of competing machines, as commission by Epson. For more information visit www.epson.co.uk/inkjetsaving