It may have streamlined the system and improved customer service, but one side effect of the EPS – unforeseen by many – has been the dramatic increase in the need for reliable printing functions.
The Day Lewis chain, with more than 300 outlets across the UK, has been working with business technology solutions provider Brother to help meet the challenge of rapidly growing demand for printing across its network. Diane Barnes, senior business manager at Brother, explains: “As soon as the EPS went live, Day Lewis saw its print requirements skyrocket from a fairly low base to around 5,000 prints per store per month. Paper jams and toner shortages, as well as overworked hardware that wasn’t designed for the volumes required, were having a serious negative impact on efficiency. Sometimes whole outlets would grind to a halt until technical support was able to attend.”
The chain used to manage its print service in-house, but quickly found the demand for technical support become unsustainable for a busy internal team handling complex IT infrastructure. A more robust solution was needed, and after a tender, Brother was appointed to implement a managed print service (MPS) covering hardware, consumables and all support services. This removed all responsibility from pharmacy staff and allowed them to focus on serving customers.
Day Lewis now uses more than 1,000 leased printers across its network, monitoring usage and performance closely and adapting to any changes to make sure bottlenecks don’t develop. Printer uptime now averages 99 per cent across the network and the business has saved 20 per cent on its print costs – as well as the time saved for in-store teams and their central IT support functions.
Brother says that as technology continues to remove barriers between pharmacies and their customers, it’s vital that businesses have the print hardware they need to keep pace. At a time when finding operational efficiencies is high on the agenda, it could be worth looking beyond the traditional ownership model.