Results worth copying for Rednock School
Rednock School’s Business Manager, Marilyn Kingscott, understood the benefit an external specialist could bring to a niche cost-centre procurement project. When the school’s photocopier contracts came up for renewal, Marilyn invited Chris Wardle, Client Relationship Manager at Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) to conduct a review. Both Marilyn and Rednock School’s Headteacher, David Alexander, were impressed with ERA’s approach to cost saving. Three years on, with service improvements and savings achieved, ERA continue to work with Rednock for long-term benefits.
Rednock School is a comprehensive school in Gloucestershire. In 2009, the school underwent a complete re-build which saw a £38 million investment into developing an entirely new site. Rednock delivers quality education to over 1000 students. Its ethos that ‘Every Child Matters’ has been highly praised by OFSTED inspectors. Award-winning and innovative, Rednock prides itself on being a forward looking school, embracing changes to the benefit of the community.
During initial discussions, it became clear that Rednock were suffering at the hands of their existing provider – a large player in the market. Billing errors and overcharging were compounded by a lack of service and excessive down time with a large percentage of the print fleet.
Chris introduced Marilyn to ERA copier specialist, Andy Kinnear. Andy has a significant understanding of the notoriously complex approaches to contracts, service agreements and finance arrangements used by many different suppliers. After analysing the available data, Andy established there was no proactive account management from the incumbent: the reliability of the equipment was poor and the response times from the provider was equally so, causing frustration and inconvenience for the school – especially during peak periods.
Andy also identified the existing supplier was double-charging the school for colour and mono A3 printing, resulting in very high costs within the print room. He advised Rednock that a lack of control with colour usage was increasing costs further still. Within his review, Andy noted an unusual amount of desktop printers for a school of Rednock’s size and that costs had become unmanaged as consumables were purchased on an ad-hoc basis from a local supplier.
Andy conducted a comprehensive audit on all printers within the school to identify areas where numbers could be reduced. He then created a new, bespoke tender which he took out to reliable suppliers already known to ERA. Together, Chris and Andy recommended new, best-fit providers and, with ERA’s guidance, Marilyn and David chose to award the contract to a new, local supplier. The print fleet was rationalised and new devices installed which were more suited to a school environment.
“When the time came to renew our contract, we knew that we wanted to move over to Managed Print, but didn’t have the expertise in house to undertake the project. ERA gave us access to experts who knew the best suppliers and could get us the best deal. We wouldn’t have found our new supplier without ERA because schools in Gloucestershire tend to go to the same batch of suppliers,” explained Marilyn.
Delivering savings and service improvements
Under the new provider, service response times and account management has shown a marked improvement and fleet reliability is at its highest. The new supplier consistently attends service calls and repairs any faults that do arise within a two to three hour timeframe, versus an average 48 hours response time with the previous provider. As per Andy’s recommendation, the desktop printer fleet was reduced from over 50 machines to 26 and improved internal systems ensure there is now no ad hoc purchasing of expensive consumables. To combat the previous double-charging, Andy negotiated a single-click charge for any A3 copies produced, resulting in significant savings. The colour to mono ratio has reduced from 37/63 in favour of mono to 19/81 in favour of mono, with all colour usage controlled. The new fleet operates on a fully managed print service, with complete transparency of usage and service costs each quarter.
“Service levels have massively improved and we’ve saved a lot of money. Both Chris and Andy had Rednock’s interests firmly in mind throughout – and they still do. With the ongoing audits, Andy has identified things that we simply wouldn’t have picked up and has put them right for the benefit of the school,” said Marilyn.
ERA’s client relationships don’t end with identifying the best suppliers and saving costs. Chris and Andy have continued to work closely with Rednock over the last three years, ensuring the transition to the new supplier was seamless and that promised service levels were being delivered. By undertaking quarterly audits, ERA ensures that savings are being achieved and contracts are optimised where possible for the benefit of the school.
As part of this ongoing service, Andy negotiated a free rental period for years four and five. This will increase savings by tens of thousands of pounds and take projected savings for the life of the project to over six figures.
SUMMARY OF SAVINGS
- Photocopiers: 40%
Improved service and support from supplier
Streamlined fleet and updated ordering processes
Better-fit supplier to meet Rednock’s needs
- Independent and objective market reviews