With footprints in print, new media, television, radio, outdoor media and property, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is undoubtedly one of Asia’s leading media organisations. Today, the organisation hires some 4,000 employees, with 1,000 of them being journalists and correspondents from around the world.
With an organisation of this scale — not to mention the fact that certain departments literally work around the clock — effective document management is one of SPH’s chief priorities. This was part of the reason why the organisation recently overhauled its fleet of single- and multi-functional devices (MFD), thus allowing operations to run smoothly on a daily basis.
However, according to Maxine Tan, Vice President of the Administration Division at SPH’s Procurement, Travel and Office Services department, this was not always the case.
Maxine oversees procurement cum travel coordination for employees at SPH, along with essential office services, such as the mailroom, transport and events, which is why she had a lot of first-hand experience with regard to ineffective document management, at least before the MFDs were updated.
For example, staff-to-printer ratio was not optimised, which meant that there were too many machines for too few users. Wastage, too, was a big problem that Maxine pointed out. “It was difficult to enforce double-sided printing across the organisation, and print jobs were often left uncollected around the office,” she recalls. Paper wastage aside, Maxine also saw these as possible security loopholes. “The lack of authentication capabilities in the devices also meant that confidential documents could be printed and viewed by just about anybody if left uncollected,” she says. Perhaps the greatest pain point, however, was the fact that SPH used to own printers from several different vendors. Having to liaise with multiple companies and maintenance technicians aside, complexity, too, was a commonplace problem for Maxine, “We faced the challenge of maintaining different print queues for different operating systems, not to mention different printer drivers for different models.”
Switching the entire printing fleet to Canon products, however, changed all of that.
For example, instead of managing print and scan jobs across multiple devices, Canon’s MFDs come with uniFLOW, a proprietary management software that tracks and manages printing and scanning jobs across the entire fleet. This means less time spent trying to figure out how to print documents, and more time on the tasks that actually matter. Being able to monitor usage also means that wastage can be minimised over time, positively impacting the bottom line in the long run.
On the security front, Canon printers also enforce accountability and document security at every step of the way. uniFLOW’s authentication features mean that only authorised individuals can print, scan and retrieve confidential materials from the devices. This closes an important security loophole that is often overlooked by organisations elsewhere.
As impressive as Canon’s line-up of products are, it is the frontline service staff that truly set the brand apart from all the rest.
A unified fleet means that SPH now only has to contact one vendor to address any operational hiccups along the way. On top of that, Canon Singapore also stationed two resident engineers at SPH News Centre. When an issue crops up, Canon Singapore’s engineers will be on hand within 15 minutes — a particularly valuable service, since the News Centre is a non-stop operation.
Simply purchasing new devices for the office, however, is not quite enough.
To prepare for the transition to MFDs, strong commitment from SPH Management to champion this initiative is pivotal, as the project team embarked on a Change Management programme corporate-wide. They first excited colleagues with teaser ads on the impending change, educated them on the key MFDs benefits and engaged department coordinators corporate-wide for all to buy in to the idea. That is why Canon Singapore’s on-site engineers also make it a point to conduct training sessions for SPH employees, making sure that everyone can tap the devices’ capabilities. Separate training was also conducted for journalists as they are usually out in the field, just so that everyone could reap MFDs’ benefits.
Even though it was a hurdle to overhaul the company’s printing fleet, Maxine believes that it was ultimately the right decision, “Canon’s project team members demonstrated strong commitment and professionalism to work in partnership, as well as to ensure seamless cutover from the outset,” she explains. “[I believe that] balancing cost while embracing innovation is key to achieving true efficiency and effectiveness within an organisation. That is why we decided to go with Canon.”