Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd has enabled Norse Group, the UK's largest commercial local authority trading company, to gain insight into printed document volumes and lifecycles, address print-related issues, and plan for process transformation, through its innovative Smart Workflow Services (SWS) audit service.
Owned by Norfolk County Council, Norse Group works in partnership with councils all over the UK to deliver property consultancy, facilities management, and care services. Keen to reduce its reliance on printing and copying, and to advance its digital transformation agenda, Norse Group turned to its trusted supplier for over a decade, Konica Minolta.
Chris Nichols, Infrastructure and Business Project Technician at Norse Group commented, “I felt sure that our print and copy volumes were higher than they needed to be, and that we could cut costs by reducing our colour output. But before I could start to implement change, I needed stats to show the business what it was printing, and why."
Print management software provides useful information such as how many pages are being printed, copied, and scanned; how many prints and copies are in colour; and which devices are heavily used. But it doesn't reveal what documents are being processed or — perhaps more importantly — why. "SWS goes beyond the high-level information provided by a managed print service,” added Chris. “It allows you to quantify your printing activity and scrutinise what's being printed in the context of workflows and processes.”
The bespoke SWS software was installed on a selection of Norse Group's devices used by the IT, Finance and HR teams. GDPR compliant and highly secure, it unobtrusively automatically captured and categorised images of all the documents that were printed, copied, and scanned on those devices during a defined period. In parallel, the team interviewed Norse Group users to understand the purpose and lifecycle of the documents in question.
Once the analysis was complete, Konica Minolta delivered detailed, logical reports showing what documents were being processed at Norse Group, and the workflows around them. "The report data exposed issues I'd long suspected but had been unable to prove," stated Chris.
The report flagged up issues such as unnecessary colour usage, Inefficient processes (including over-reliance on printed archive copies instead of using the electronic document management system), document control issues (including out-of-date information templates/ logos), and potential data security issues from printed documents. Konica Minolta presented recommendations for quick wins, including education to help behavioural change; as well as proposals for longer-term improvements based on process transformation.
"To be able to drive real change, you need data, and that's what the SWS engagement has delivered," concluded Chris. "We now have information to help us resolve our immediate issues, and to plan the digitisation of print-centric processes to help us save money, increase efficiency, and support our transformation."
For more information on Norse Group please visit: www.norsegroup.co.uk