With 94,000 employees and over 2,000 offices around the world, DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics services, offering a complete range of international air and sea freight, as well as comprehensive logistics solutions and global supply chain management from a single source.
Schenker Australia Pty Ltd was established in Sydney in 1962 and has since then acquired offices in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and currently have 19 facilities located throughout Australia and also 3 facilities in New Zealand. Konica Minolta began its relationship with Schenker Australia in 2009, installing its first devices locally in 2011 as part of a global initiative to reduce costs and streamline business processes.
In logistics operations, shipping documents are prepared and printed for each item of cargo, as well as the creation of other day-to-day documents, so prior to August 2011 DB Schenker’s biggest global challenge was how to manage enormous amounts of documentation. Its quest was to find a universal cost effective solution to streamline its business processes around the world.
Schenker Australia had its own unique challenge in reducing its printing costs as it had multiple vendor products and costs in ordering supplies such as toner, paper and ribbons. Schenker needed to consolidate the printer fleet in order to reduce costs and increase environmental efficiencies.
According to Dan Carpenter, General Manager IT for Schenker Australia and New Zealand, an increase in security was another key focus for the freight and logistics specialists.
“Our current data protection systems were in desperate need of an update, which from an IT perspective, is not something that should be overlooked. So we needed a partner that could not only provide a cost effective solution, but could also deliver improved sustainability initiatives and support our needs for increased security.”
The initial stage of the global project involved 13 Australian sites, and the consolidation of 311 machines from several suppliers down to 127 Konica Minolta devices.
As well as an extensive hardware consolidation, Schenker Australia adopted an integrated software solution which comprised of Konica Minolta’s Optimised Print Services (OPS) and OPS Advanced Monitoring. This superior offering works to increase workplace efficiency and improve business processes by streamlining the support and management of its print environment with remote monitoring and proactive maintenance.
Schenker Australia now have access to a dedicated helpdesk service and priority helpdesk phone numbers and provides automated toner ordering, addressing one of their key system challenges.
“The automatic toner solution is a huge operational cost saver - we used to have to order hundreds of different types of toner, ribbons and laser heads a month and now devices are remotely monitored to check if they are running low on toner and, if so, orders are placed immediately. It just works,” added Dan. “This has saved our support staff 2 to 3 hours a week by completely eliminating this day to day task.”
In addition, the solution Konica Minolta provided incorporated third party software to address the transition from pre-printed stationery to a plain paper operation.
With its proven ability to cut printing costs by an average of 30%, Konica Minolta’s third party pull-printing solution allows Schenker Australia employees to print documents from any location, and at any time.
“The third party software solution is one of our best examples of improved business efficiencies. Previously our big freight systems relied on pre-printed forms and had to use specialist printers to print on specific forms, whereas now it’s much more streamlined,” adds Dan.
Since the installation in 2011, Schenker Australia has seen enormous benefits in cost reduction, greater work efficiency, better sustainability and increased security.
“With Konica Minolta’s integrated approach, we’ve gone from 11 Brands and 80+ MFP models to one brand and six models. The way they’ve been able to address our challenges and provide a tailored business solution is the reason why I’m always championing the cause of Konica Minolta. I’ve got many headaches out there in my area of work but printing just isn’t one of them,” said Dan.
Schenker Australia has seen a 20% - 30% reduction in the total cost of ownership and a 59% reduction in the printer fleet. The elimination of 184 devices has saved the business an estimated $20,000-$30,000 PA in floor space and has had a significantly positive impact on the entire IT team.
“We no longer have individual printers on every manager’s desk, so we don’t have to attend to printers as frequently as we used to. Everyone now has access to multiple printers - if one printer is out of action, they can just pop onto another to release the job. This has helped keep costs down as we’ve been able to save time and promote better workflow efficiency,” continued Dan.
Another key outcome Schenker Australia has seen is the increase in its data protection and sustainability efficiencies. “The pull printing solution has dramatically impacted our document security as there is no longer confidential information left on the printers for prying eyes. From this we’ve also seen a huge decrease in our wastage, with documents less likely to be abandoned at the printer,” said Dan.
Additionally, updating their printing devices to the latest models with energy-saving features has also reduced power consumption significantly. “We estimate electricity savings to be greater than 50% when compared to our previous fleet” said Dan. Moreover, continuous monitoring of all the devices’ usage has resulted in a reduction of wasteful printouts and the digitisation of documents has reduced storage space and lowered consumption of paper resources.
Dan also attributes the benefits they’ve experienced as a result of Konica Minolta’s great working relationship with Schenker Australia and its initiative to become educated on the business before delivering a solution.
“There are many vendors out there that claim to provide integrated solutions, but do not deliver on their promises. Konica Minolta came into our company committed to learn our business operations and internal systems and, from this they were able to identify exactly what offering would benefit us most. We worked with them for almost two years before implementing a solution – it was a true partnership,” commented Dan.