Wakefield Council perfects its print strategy by cost saving


Wakefield Council is the local authority of the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire. It provides a full range of local government services including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, planning applications and waste management. Wakefield Council has around 4,000 employees who administer for the needs of approximately 500,000 local residents.

The Challenge

Wakefield Council, like most local authorities, has seen its funding from government reduce significantly since 2010, and, as such, takes every effort to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible, while delivering the best value for its residents. As part of this commitment to efficiency, the council realised that by updating its multifunctional printers (MFPs) it could generate considerable savings and improve the overall user experience.

Wakefield Council relies heavily on its MFPs for its daily operations, printing approximately 2million pages per month. The council had been working with an incumbent print supplier for the last six years, which managed 250 print devices, made up of nine different models, across its 85 sites.

While the incumbent had equipped the print devices with print management software, the software lacked the functionality and was not intuitive enough to enable the council to enact real change in its staff’s printing habits and maximise efficiencies.

In addition, the council maintains 13 libraries, whose print systems urgently needed modernising to provide a more accessible service to the public. The council was keen to build new functionality into the libraries’ print solutions to make it easier for visitors to pay for prints. This would reduce the burden of management for staff, while opening up new revenue streams.

Jeremy Garforth, Information Management Officer at Wakefield Council, explained: “With our existing solution, we were struggling to retrieve simple analytics regarding print activity, so creating monthly print reports was a time-consuming and complex process. One of our key objectives was to reduce the volume of colour printing across the council’s services, though without easy access to the print analytics for each department and staff member, this was very challenging for the IT team.”

Key Achievements

  • Kyocera delivers a 20% reduction in printing costs for Wakefield Council and opens up new revenue stream.
  • Kyocera’s managed print solution gives Wakefield Council much better visibility over its printing activity.
  • New intuitive, user-friendly, and highly reliable MFPs drive user experience improvements.

The Solution

As a registered supplier with the Crown Commercial Services framework, Kyocera received an invitation to tender and were subsequently awarded a contract five-year contract to overhaul Wakefield Council’s MFPs.

Wakefield Council selected Kyocera on the basis of the quality of its proposed solution and the potential efficiencies that it would generate. Kyocera rolled out a tightly integrated solution, rationalising the fleet down to 210 devices from 250 and streamlining the number of Models.

Kyocera introduced a bespoke print solution to Wakefield’s libraries, improving the functionality and introducing new payment options for users to reduce the amount of intervention required from library staff.

To ensure a successful installation, the Kyocera team initiated and set up the devices before arriving on site, so that they could simply plug them in and configures them once in the right place. This ‘plug and play’ approach enabled Kyocera to seamlessly deliver and install the devices across the 85 sites within a six-week timeframe, ensuring that there was minimal disruption to the council’s Operations.

Kyocera also installed the latest in print management software across every device, with ID badge authentication for security, and Kyocera Fleet services for remote diagnostics. The software provides the council with scheduled management information reports which give visibility over departmental printing activity, enabling the council to observe trends and to track, target and potentially reduce the volume of colour printing. The ‘follow me’ element of the software also reduces wasted printing, as staff has to sign in to print a document, ensuring they only print what they really need.

The Result

The first and most obvious benefit that Wakefield Council has seen from the Kyocera managed print solution is the cost saving benefit. The council has reduced its annual print budget by 20% this financial year and is targeting a further 28% reduction next year. In addition, the council expects to generate an additional £400,000 from public printing in its libraries over the next five years.

With the new print management software in place, the dashboard functionality allows the council to manage its printing more effectively, helping to cut waste and giving it much better visibility over departmental printing activity.

Jeremy concluded: “We were particularly impressed with how Kyocera rolled out the new devices across our 85 properties, with minimum disruption and a seamless integration with our IT networks. In addition, the new, intuitive user interface is making it much easier to use the devices. We now have reviews every quarter with the team at Kyocera, working closely is helping us to identify potential improvements and further innovative plans for the future.

“Wakefield Council is undergoing a significant digital transformation as we look to embrace new digital technologies and we see Kyocera as a strategically important partner in this process. We believe that with the help of Kyocera we will further increase our efficiency and effectiveness as an organisation.”

For further information

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