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242 Wythe Ave #4, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Oxygen Technical Services Ltd

First Phase Helps Leading Distributor Redesign Their Print Environment for Big Savings

The Customer

Our customer for this test case is a leading distributor and retailer of plumbing and electrical supplies. While their head office is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, they support thirty branch offices that are spread across western Canada.

With more than 500 employees in their facilities, this company’s print environment consisted of approximately 130 Lexmark-branded desktop devices that ranged from single-function printers to multifunction models (MFPs) in a range of models and ages.

The Challenge

As might be expected with an operation of this size, our distributor was facing a number of print challenges that were impacting not only their bottom line but other critical aspects of the operation that directly affected their business success, including:

  • Uncontrolled print expenses
  • Printer downtime
  • Lack of accountability and inventory control in the print environment
  • Inconsistent supply purchasing
  • Poor troubleshooting procedures

When management approached First Phase regarding these issues, our team of experts began with a deep dive analysis to get all the details on each of these problem areas.

The Analysis

Our assessment revealed that this company felt their ability to sustain a high level of productivity was weakened by periods of printer downtime.

Their IT department was spending extensive amounts of time working with the Lexmark help desk to resolve printer issues. In the event an issue was finally flagged as a repair, the IT department then had a difficult time finding local vendors to work on the equipment within critical timeframes.

This slow response to troubleshooting and repair was draining IT resources and crippling staff productivity.

Our team also discovered that branch offices were purchasing supplies from the vendors of their choice, resulting in inconsistent pricing for supplies and the complications that naturally arise when dealing with multiple vendors.

As a result, the print environment was largely uncontrolled, with everything from inventory, supplies, and hard costs to troubleshooting being dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

The Solution

First Phase responded to these challenges with a comprehensive program that hit each of our client’s pain points with a redesign of their print environment. Here’s how we did it:

  • We implemented a full circle Lexmark print management strategy to eliminate break/fix printing and ensure all devices are regularly maintained, updated, and upgraded to ensure optimal uptime.
  • We provided vendor consolidation services using a national service program that provides one touchpoint for the main office and all branches to coordinate hardware, supplies, and onsite service. This helped to unify pricing for hardware, supplies, and services for better cost transparency.
  • We automated print supply replenishment to reduce on-hand inventories, track costs, and reduce the burden on staff
  • We implemented a printer program that will reduce the Lexmark models to four types over three years, dependent on print volumes and usage.
  • We provided a toner recycling program for all offices to increase the company’s sustainability profile and save on costs.

Using this framework, First Phase helped this client reap huge benefits from just a few simple, actionable changes to their print environment.

The Outcome

Our analysis of this distributor’s print environment and subsequent redesign helped them increase productivity and allow their staff to focus on more mission-critical tasks. They experienced:

  • Reduced operational hard costs (supplies, hardware, services)
  • Reduced downtime and faster triage of print challenges
  • Reduced help desk calls
  • Reduced time for their accounts payable department as they moved from multiple invoices to one monthly invoice that accounted for all locations

The overall benefit? In addition to accelerated productivity, this customer saw their operational savings of both hard and soft costs skyrocket to 40% in the first year alone. In the following five years, they maintained a savings level of 30% to 40% year over year.


Before deciding on a Managed Print Services provider for your company, speak to First Phase Data, and request a print assessment today. For more engaging content and to keep up with new developments, sign up for our newsletter.

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