Cambridge produces marketing collateral aimed at its secondary school market. And its inhouse editors send high quality pre-production sample chapters and textbooks to customers and authors. Looking for increased printing efficiency, the search was on for equipment that could consistently, cost effectively streamline its operations.
Cambridge University Press is the oldest continuous publishing house in the world. Its 53,000 titles cover academic research, professional development, research journals, school-level education texts and English language teaching. Cambridge has 50 offices worldwide – including Melbourne and Sydney whose 85 staff service Australian and New Zealand customers.
With its fleet of different capacity printers, managed under two separate services contracts & facing end of life, there were a number of issues to be addressed: not least of which were speed, costs and reliability.
Tim Miller, Head of Technology at Cambridge University Press Australia New Zealand, identified two other key factors to be resolved by the acquisition of new printers: to harmonise across the business with a single printer manufacturer; and to remove bottlenecks in the production process.
“We had contention in the workplace with traffic jams around larger, faster production machines that also did folding and stapling. Our smaller desktop, communal use printers we’d restricted to B/W to save costs but that had exacerbated the pressure on the production machines,” he says.
To ensure a smooth transition to the new print environment and success for the investment, Tim consulted with internal users and documented the requirements: “With a rock solid list, we then set out to deliver on the promise”.
The incumbent suppliers and a managed print broker were consulted but none of the proposals solved all of the requirements. The answer emerged when Tim discovered the new Epson WorkForce Enterprise printers in CompNow’s catalogue. CompNow provides IT support to Cambridge and it “had proven its worth in other areas so we trusted what we read about the Epsons,” he says.
“The new WorkForce printers had the potential to revolutionise our internal printing. With CompNow backing us, we felt confident to take the leap of faith as an early adopter,” Tim says.
With six of the new era Epson printers installed in Melbourne and one in Sydney, high performance printing was immediately available to all users.
Cambridge was excited by the process of printing ink. As there’s no heat involved, it requires only about 10 percent of electricity relative to comparable lasers. The WorkForce’s vast reduction in cartridge replacement adds to the efficiencies, at half the consumables rate of the previous fleet.
“The machines absolutely smash out pages at 100 ppm and they’re cold when they arrive. That’s so strange! And with fewer cartridges to recycle we’re helping the planet. We found Epson to be very conservative in its statistics. In every way, the WorkForce goes beyond the product specs and it’s so far in front of any laser contender,” he says.
During installation an issue was discovered with the Epson Print Admin, sold with each printer. While it worked well for PC, it had problems with Mac users, who make up over 50% of the business. CompNow quickly negotiated with PaperCut and integrated its print control software as the solution.
Cambridge had previously experienced the shortcomings of printers with online finishing. “A printer is only as fast as its slowest function,” Tim says. “A machine may print at 70 ppm but is compromised as soon as it slows to perhaps 20 ppm to do the folding.”
CompNow’s suggestion was to use the Epson to print at a consistent 100 ppm and take the pages offline to a NeoPost machine that staples, folds, inserts and make booklets at several 1000 sets per hour. “We’re getting mailout jobs done inside half a day rather than 2 days. And we’re using our casual labour more effectively,” he says.
Cambridge has transformed its marketing programs with the Epson WorkForce printers. Its earlier high speed machines would stop and warm up which dropped them to 50 ppm rate. The Epsons keep pushing out at twice the speed and at half the cost.
CompNow packaged the Epson, Papercut & NeoPost into a single four year agreement. This is structured to complete at the Epson devices’ predicted end of life. The more mechanical NeoPost equipment will be owned outright and retained under a simple maintenance schedule.
Calculated over the term of the contract Tim expects Cambridge University Press to save $20,000 in electricity. While running costs have fallen from $8,000 per month to $3,500, which over the period of 4 years is a staggering additional $173,000 saving, once ink purchases has been added back in.
And there are further savings which Tim says, while they are difficult to quantify are extremely important to recognise: “Productivity has lifted as no one is standing around waiting for things to happen or having to change ink cartridges. The warm laser printed pages used to curl and jam – we’d be shut down daily. In six months we’ve barely had a stoppage with the Epsons. And from feedback from our editors, they can’t believe the pantone matching excellence of the colour reproduction.
“The CompNow project team was responsive and committed to keeping everyone in the loop. It’s the best project I’ve run in three years at Cambridge,” he says.
In corroboration, Mark O’Neil, Cambridge’s Executive Director for Australia and New Zealand, remarked that the installation of the new printing environment was “far smoother than the previous two equipment upgrades. CompNow have done a great job.”