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Egmont Books Case Study: Colyer Care Support

The solid foundations of the contracts haven’t changed (you can still get access to our expert engineers via our web ticketing system or over the phone), but unlimited onsite support callouts are now included in your contract.

The way we work has historically been very reactive (it breaks, so we come and fix it), but we’re now trying to be much smarter about the way we support you. We’ve added some clever tools that enable us to be much more proactive so we can stop things going wrong in the first place. We implement the Casper Suite from JAMF to help us manage things efficiently. This is all built into the cost. To help us keep one step ahead, we keep an inventory of all your equipment and your installed software. This is updated daily, so it’s always accurate.

Maintenance policies run on all your machines, running automated tasks such as fixing permissions, checking available disk space and checking the integrity of your hard drives. You’ll have access to a Self-Service Portal enabling you to fix common problems quickly and efficiently, such as re-installing a printer or application or flushing caches and rebooting your Mac. In addition to these automated tools, we now make scheduled quarterly housekeeping visits to give all your machines the once-over, to fix any larger issues and just to say hello (because it’s nice to see a real live person now and again!). Our primary focus is to work smarter and harder to ensure your IT infrastructure runs as smoothly as possible. This means job satisfaction for us and fewer grey hairs for you!

Egmont Publishing is the largest children’s publisher in the UK, specialising in books, magazines and digital media. With their mission of ‘inspiring children to read’ Egmont publishes world-renowned authors like Michael Morpurgo and Lemony Snicket, as well as other children’s favourites: Minecraft, Thomas the Tank Engine, Mr. Men and Winnie the Pooh. We were especially excited to work with Egmont – a company owned by a charitable foundation, providing help to children’s charities. Egmont has donated over €350 million since 1920.

Egmont Case Study

Egmont Publishing is the largest specialist children’s publisher in the UK. They publish books and magazines as well as digital media. Their simple mission is ‘inspiring children to read’. The UK’s leading children’s publishing company. They bring stories to life. 

Egmont Books.  We all know them – either through personal experience or bedtime reading to our children.  They put stories down on paper that take our children to the realms of imagination, fantasy and creativity.  With over 25 million books and 12 million magazines sold each year, they need all the support we can give them. When it comes to printing, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that they get through serious volumes – either through the usual day-to-day or creative colour-accurate single page proofing.

Egmont UK had 19 in-house printers installed in their offices, used by their 200- strong team of staff.  These legacy printers had been installed over time, in an ad hoc manner, with no coherent strategy for maintenance, service and backup.  Inefficiencies were rife, manifesting themselves through excessive paper jams, inaccurate colour, lack of consistency and file compatibility issues.  These lead to wasted ink, media and, more importantly, time. For the employees, the mere printing of a document became a source of stress and productivity started to wane.  After years putting up with this, it was time to call in the experts.

We were sure we could add significant value to Egmont’s business and so approached about our Managed Print Services. In the first instance we carried out an assessment of their internal print process, and what impact it was having on the day-to-day running of the business. The assessment was extremely comprehensive. It involved installing print monitoring tools, having full access to their existing financial information about the current printer fleet, as well as discussions with a wide range of staff from department heads right through to the senior leadership team. The assessment revealed that Egmont’s set up wasn’t at all optimal. They owned 19 printers in total and the way these printers were being used and managed was impacting negatively on the business, both financially and creatively.

Here are just some of the issues they were facing:

  • Lack of reliability
  • Inconsistent colour accuracy
  • File compatibility issues
  • Print wastage and paper jams
  • Print quality and streaking
  • Lost prints
  • Lack of inter-department communication
  • Compromised security
  • Staffing issues

Egmont agreed with our findings, that there were huge opportunities for improvement. They acknowledged that the current state-of-play was significantly contributing to a loss of productivity and significant internal stress amongst their people. We delivered a full re-design and implementation plan to address the issues we had collectively identified. The design was radical, but so too were the results. We removed all 19 of their existing printers and replaced them with four Xerox XC550 print engines (with external Fiery RIPS), Colyer CarePlan VIP Service (the Aston Martin of print management and customer care), Colyer ColourCare preventative Colour support and a full Equitrac Print Management solution.

We sent in our top agent/account manager, to spend some time getting to know Egmont, the employees and how they used their printers.  Our analysis was quite simple.  Of the 19 printers in their in-house fleet, there was an enormous amount of redundancy.  Several printers were used as a backup in case the primaries failed, and when these also started to fail, there was nowhere left to turn.  With our new understanding, we were able to develop a comprehensive programme, replacing the fleet of 19 troublesome printers with four top of the range Xerox printers, managed centrally and deployed as part of the in-house IT strategy.

The irony of working with a company who’s founder Egmont H. Petersen, who in 1878 bought his first printing press and was the first printer in Denmark to use colour and other groundbreaking methods, wasn’t lost on us. Here we were 137 years later, being asked to help them with their printing issues! To discover their major issues in detail, we worked closely with Egmont; running a thorough audit of their printing machines and researching how staff used them on a day-to-day basis.

Our exhaustive review of their 19 machines (yes, 19!) provided shocking results. Inefficient use across all of the printers cost Egmont both time and money. Some printers were in the building just as backups, waiting to be used when another conked out – and it didn’t help that the reserves broke down just as much as their counterparts. All this to-and-fro between machines was negatively impacting other aspects of the business including creativity, productivity and causing undue stress amongst staff. File compatibility issues meant that it was taking longer for staff to receive the output they needed, forcing them to spend valuable time wrestling with different file formats before they were able to print. And through all this, when they did manage to print, pages seemed to get lost inside the printer.

Being annoyed by an excessive number of paper jams that never seemed to get fixed, which was stopping them from getting their work done, only added to stress levels peaking, and productivity levels dwindling. The worst find though was realising that even when the 19 printers were working, the print quality wasn’t up to scratch. Colour inconsistency and streaks across the page meant a lot of wasted ink, media and time wasted trying to obtain better printouts. No wonder Egmont readily confirmed that stress amongst staff was high, while productivity was at a low.

These printers were set up and installed by Colyer, accompanied by remote management capabilities and a comprehensive service plan that ensures prompt response, care and maintenance across the board. Also, each user received a ‘proximity card’ which authenticates their identity to the printer and allows the release of their documents to any of the four Xerox printers they wish, giving staff greater control and more flexibility around the office. Another key benefit is that the quality of the devices and colour management means design documents are highly accurate and consistent across all devices.  There is no need to queue for a particular printer – they all yield the same high-quality result. Finally, our single point of contact ensures the best possible relationship with Egmont so that if a problem or a question arises, they know where to turn.  We offer a port in the storm.

Here are a few of the benefits Egmont saw as a result of this implementation:

  • User identification and control: all users have a ‘proximity card’ that authenticates them and allows them to control and direct their own print jobs.
  • Colour accuracy and consistency: printing is entirely consistent across all 4 machines
  • Confidentiality: full security of sensitive and confidential documents
  • Greater efficiencies: no more lost print jobs, wasted print outs, unpredictable results or frustrating machine downtime
  • We conducted an annual review: The review showed that the design we implemented had been a major success, way above and beyond their expectations.

Over the first 12 months of the new design, Egmont made only 3 service calls, saw a reduction in print volumes of 20% and realised they could run a much tighter ship in terms of manpower once the new ways of working had been implemented i.e. an engineer left the business (for reasons unrelated to the project) and there was no commercial need to replace him. In general terms, productivity went through the roof, and the overall positive impact on the business and staff well-being was undeniable. Egmont Publishing was delighted and deemed this to be one of the most successful IT projects they’d ever done. And we were extremely satisfied and proud of a job well done! – Egmont reported a whopping 20% reduction in print volumes from cutting out the botched jobs.  They needed fewer in-house staff to manage the fleet of printers so when an engineer moved on to pastures new, he was not replaced.  The statistics speak for themselves – Egmont made only three service calls following the implementation of the new devices, a significant reduction from the years before.

Colyer’s solution benefitted Egmont on two separate levels.  Firstly, we were able to demonstrate an immediate and direct return on investment through efficiencies in the workforce, less waste of consumables and less time lost at the printer. Secondly, staff no longer dread printing; they are assured of colour accuracy and consistency across all four machines, and less downtime due to printer unpredictability, breakdowns, wasted printouts and lost print jobs.  They have also gained control over how and where they print and no longer worry that their confidential documents sit waiting for them in the outbox tray.

Less waste + reduced stress = greater productivity and efficiency.

XX, IT security manager at Egmont Books, commented

“This was one of the most successful IT strategies that we have ever put in place at Egmont.  The results have been immediate and revolutionised our in-house printing processes.  Staff are happier with the new printers and can spend less time configuring their print jobs and more time getting on with the business of publishing children’s books.  After all, that’s why we are here.”

We knew with a few changes we could dramatically increase productivity and reduce stress levels – and Egmont knew this too. Quickly creating efficiencies would solve quite a few of Egmont’s pains. And the solution was simple – reduce the number of machines by replacing them with better ones. Having more printers isn’t necessarily the best option. We reduced Egmont’s fleet of 19 machines to 4. We installed xx Xerox XX and XX Xerox XX – this high-performance, robust printers, complete with the most recent EFI Fiery systems, are more than enough for their print needs. At Colyer, we take colour seriously, and as per our usual practice, upon installation, we spent a few days on each machine ensuring the colour output for each media was an exact match across all devices.

Having observed how their team used the printers, we identified their particular printing needs, and by monitoring printer locations in Egmont’s offices, we were able to install the right printers for their needs in the best locations. Our last step was to tackle how the printers would be managed and used by staff. We gave all users something known as a ‘proximity card’, which puts them in control of their print jobs, solving security issues around confidential documents, and reducing unnecessary print. Our solution and implementation led to far greater efficiencies, by making sure that there would be no more lost print jobs, wasted printouts, low-quality printing or any frustrating machine down-time. Like the story of Androcles and the Lion, also published by Egmont Books, we were able to remove the thorn from Egmont’s paw successfully, thus saving them money through having fewer printers to maintain and fewer resources needed to manage them. Colour accuracy is at an all-time high and staff are happier – no longer do they have to grapple with their printers for sub-standard results.

James Bensberg, Director of Systems & Business Support at Egmont Publishing commented

“Colyer London have carried out this review and change project with a high level of professionalism and expertise that we have come to expect from working with them over many years. The many benefits that this project has brought have been felt in all areas of our publishing business and it has been seen as a great success.”

Thuy Nguyen

Author Thuy Nguyen

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