Mingara Leisure Group

All benefits of Epson Workforce fleet realised at Mingara Leisure Group

Mingara Leisure Group went to market looking to find a cost effective, reliable, environmentally improved printer and copying option to cover the diverse operational needs of the four NSW registered clubs under its administrative umbrella.

Mingara Leisure Group is a not-for-profit organisation that strives to make a significant contribution to the quality of community life through strategic and administrative support of registered clubs in NSW. Its team of specialist professionals are passionate about assisting the management teams of its independently operated venues in areas such as Tumbi Umbi, Blue Mountains, Western Sydney and Port Macquarie.

The Challenge

Was there something better than traditional toner printers with the unreliability issues and costly maintenance of their many moving parts? Could energy and consumables usage be lowered to improve the Group’s environmental footprint?

The Solution

A variety of Epson Workforce multifunction inkjet printers matched to each club’s administrative and operational needs.

The Benefits
  • Little maintenance required
  • Low energy and consumables use support sustainability drive
  • Reduced cost of self managed devices
  • Managed procurement of consumables

From 12 months’ experience, both Compnow and Epson have been faultless in their service, their communication and knowledge. This project is continuing to be a real success for our clubs.

Shane Pex Group ICT Manager
Mingara Leisure Group


The Challenge

The five year contract for Mingara Leisure Group’s printer fleet was expiring. Rather than simply renew with the same supplier, Shane Pex, Mingara’s Group ICT Manager, decided to “go to market to see what was out there”.

He describes two values of Mingara that influence how and why they make decisions: “We’re quite progressive, so are happy to look at new ways of doing things. And we’re also very sensitive to the perception of our clubs by their local communities – so impacts like sustainability are important.”

The brief was to discover a commercially viable option that would improve on the unreliability and cost of running traditional toner printers: “Technologies with so many moving parts are fraught with danger. Our printers were always breaking down, and they were expensive to fix. Plus we were very mindful of our energy and consumables usage – I was very keen to see what we could do about the Group’s environmental footprint,” Shane says.

The printer refresh project would be the holding Group’s responsibility and an accounting function at club level.

RFPs arrived from six companies, “and then CompNow came into the picture. When talking to one of their guys about a new MacBook, he opened my eyes to what they could do in the printing space”.

The Solution

CompNow’s managed offering included the outright purchase of Epson commercial grade inkjet printers, and managed consumables procurement.

“All the other bids were toner apples for apples comparisons. And the usual ownership retained by the manufacturer, cents per copy for B/W or colour, and maintenance included in the rental.

“But CompNow threw intriguing options forward. Its proposal was for a move to Epson commercial grade inkjet printers, under an outright purchase, and with CompNow managing the purchasing and storage of our consumables,” Shane says.

The idea was to decentralise the clubs’ fleet with a blended solution of copiers and desktop devices. All sites would have a large printer or centralised workhorse then up to 12 smaller A4 printers in different areas of the club – gyms, restaurants, childcare, gaming – and in offices such as HR/Payroll. Epson caters perfectly for this highly efficient, networked environment.

CompNow put forward different five-year funding offerings, including its own leasing arrangement. The service agreement was to be directly between Mingara and Epson. CompNow also calculated a five year requirement for consumables which were to be bought upfront and stored for Mingara in a CompNow warehouse.

“On the commercial side, this proposal was incredibly competitive. So that pushed it straight to the top of the pile,” Shane says.

He also believed that the technology would provide a longer life cycle – projected beyond current expectations, out to seven years.

Shane’s in-depth analysis of both traditional toner and the new offerings also included the risks associated with proposing ink as “it’s not a well known technology in the commercial space. But we had been using inkjet printers for 10 years in our desktop publishing department.

“Our exec team and the board could see all the boxes ticked against our needs and had the confidence for a sign off on CompNow’s solution.”

Embarking on the deployment of the new Epson fleet – 24 machines of different sizes and functionality types – to the four clubs, “both the CompNow and Epson teams were highly skilled and communicated really well. They made the new way of doing things all very clear to our clubs. And they scheduled the installations to fit around our needs,” Shane says.

The upfront consumables stock is managed by CompNow from a Sydney warehouse. Usage triggers an event directly to Epson and then automatically to CompNow, resulting in delivery prior to run out. “It’s neat and fast. And we’re no longer wasting our real estate holding equipment,” Shane says.

In the change over Shane says they discovered a couple of small negatives in their choice of particular models, largely due to the wisdom of hindsight: “To some extent we weren’t fully aware of the actual use the printers were needed for and so, in one case, the new machine didn’t have some of the functionality the club was used to. And in another, the physical space had a limitation we didn’t know to factor in. It is a lesson in the difficultly of knowing all the questions to ask, in getting users to think through the exact details of their needs.”

For those thinking of making the switch to commercial use ink, Shane has some handy feedback. A user felt the new printer was slower than the old one. Shane’s tests proved “the Epson was faster but it makes a different sound – the slower speed was a perception thing”. He also says the paper may look damp, particularly when the printer is producing at high speed. “This again is largely perception. The ink won’t smudge and the paper returns to normal feel in a couple of seconds. The paper quality has an impact here.”

The Benefits

As the purchasing decision dictated, Mingara is proving “the Epsons are totally reliable. They don’t break down. Other than one device with a known faulty tray part, we’ve had no tech call outs in 12 months. There’s very little attention needed – because the devices have few moving parts – so we can easily manage them ourselves. And they have very large ink tanks – based on our usage, we only need to replace some of them every three years,” Shane says.

The financials stack up in both lower maintenance costs and greater control over the cost of print and consumables.

And the reduced environmental impact of the Epson solution is also an important plus – fewer consumables, the machines use 90 percent less power, and have manufacturer end of life recycling Mingara is focused in ensuring its clubs maintain the highest reputation within their communities and this greener solution is seen as a strong benefit.

Mingara Leisure Group’s printing and copying migration project “has worked out even better than expected. From implementation to now, a year down the track, we rate our experience at 99.9 percent – which I’ve never had with any other printing environment. We absolutely made the right decision and would do it again in a heartbeat,” Shane says.

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