Administrators of one small southeastern US city discovered that managed print services for government print environments eliminate problems, while delivering quantifiable results.
This city serves close to 20,000 residents, straddles two counties, and enjoys a busy economy fueled by manufacturing, corporate HQ activity, retail and distribution businesses.
For nearly ten years, the city used another vendor for office services like printer and IT management. Coincidentally, the local Chamber of Commerce had also used that vendor, but the C of C procurement director had since replaced them with Novatech.
At a Chamber function, local Novatech representatives met some of the city administrators and procurement team and learned about problems they were having. From there, the conversations kept evolving.
Service, Pricing Dissatisfaction Made It Time to Replace Current Vendor
City administrators struggled with service and pricing from their previous managed print provider. Usually, municipalities get bids on outsourced services, but the city had not done a technology bid before, and the provider seemed to be taking advantage in some areas. Other than rising costs, the municipality hadn’t seen much progressive change as a result of the relationship, nor had they seen much of the vendor.
The Novatech managed print team, on the other hand, showed persistence and determination. They know relationships take effort and put attention into theirs, both with the city and the Chamber of Commerce.
Following more conversations and an assessment, the Novatech team was prepared to come in and really improve operational expenses, even during a time of inflation and high costs.
Walk-through Uncovers Needs of Multiple Locations, Departments
Like many government entities, the municipality has multiple departments and locations, including a city hall. Within each department may be further specialities like planning and codes, tourism and public utilities. In other words, the print fleet covers a lot of ground.
“When the relationship started, I did walk-throughs with each department and asked questions like what do you like about your current product? What don’t you like?” said the Novatech Business Technology Advisor who led the assessment.
Because this Novatech manager lives close to the community, he had local connections that meant something to the city team and contributed to the developing relationship. From walkthrough to proposal, the process took about three weeks. Then the Novatech team got the installation up and running quickly.
Problem: Not Getting Contracted Software Support and Training
The previous provider dropped the ball when it came to software. The city was paying for tools and training but had no support. The vendor was charging for software that wasn’t being utilized because users weren’t trained on it. “We’re getting charged for a software that’s never worked for us,” said the frustrated City Procurement Director.
For this client, the timing was perfect with a Novatech Expo held in their area.At the Expo, city employees learned about DocuWare document management software, and a demo gave them confidence in moving forward.
Novatech solutions implemented across the city office locations:
● Replaced all device hardware (10 MFP units, 1 scanner)
● Ongoing managed print services
● Software as needed in different departments
Experienced Guidance During a Contract Renewal
The city was close to an automatic contract renewal with their current provider. Novatech advised studying the fine print if they didn’t want an automatic renewal and another year of the current vendor.
“They [vendors] wait till contracts hit those automatic renewal periods before they meet the customers, because at that point, they know you’re stuck with them,” said the BTA.
The city leaders didn’t want that renewal to happen and appreciated the advice. The BTA helped the procurement director craft a termination letter requesting a month-to-month contract with automatic cancellation if that wasn’t possible.
Next, the vendor billing department dropped the ball on the termination letter and didn’t notify the city’s account manager. Instead the city got an email in reply asking when to pick up the equipment. This was a red flag for the city and further cemented their growing trust in Novatech.
First Step in a Managed Office Journey
In the municipality’s different departments, the BTA mirrored everything from a hardware perspective, which made the change more familiar to users. That was followed by training and making sure everything was set up correctly. (That’s how Novatech caught and corrected a holdover connectivity issue involving scanning in the municipal fire department.)
While the pricing itself was attractive, Novatech knowledge and expertise gave the procurement director confidence, backed by our assurance from a service standpoint. That helped open their eyes to going further with Managed Office Services.
“I think the whole managed office experience with one provider to do it all was a ‘wow’ moment for them,” noted the BTA. “Our presentation and meeting with all our different people really showed good value in what we do.” Now it’s likely a Managed Office is in the future for this busy city.