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Minolta South Africa clinches Alexander Forbes outsourcing contract

Bidvest Group company, Minolta South Africa has finalised a three-year outsourcing contract to provide a document optimisation output system for Alexander Forbes’ financial services division, which will significantly reduce the division’s document production costs. Minolta South Africa business consultant, Nick Mitchell, says this is the second contract to be signed with Alexander Forbes since 2000. “In 2000 we signed a 36-month outsourcing contract, which was extended for a further year in 2004. “Before 2000 Alexander Forbes’ financial services division was producing 2.5-million images at an average cost of 36 cents per image.

Within six months Minolta South Africa had helped the division reduce the volume to about 1.5-million images at a cost of 30 cents per page. This allowed for a 20% reduction in the costs associated with document production,” says Mitchell. This saving was largely due to the implementation of a document management system, Equitrac, which allowed the division to recover costs and manage expenses associated with prints, copies, faxes and scans. This was done by breaking down document production costs per user, department and cost centre.

With the signing of the new contract, Minolta South Africa intends to reduce costs in the 1,300-strong financial services division further over 36 months. In 2000 Minolta South Africa initially replaced about 800 desktop printers with 105 multifunctional peripherals (MFPs). Now it will remove another 15 devices and upgrade Equitrac to reduce costs even further. Mitchell says Alexander Forbes’ financial services division is one of the largest Equitrac sites worldwide and a director of programming has been flown in from Equitrac’s head office in Canada to oversee the smooth implementation of the upgrade.

The outsourcing model means Alexander Forbes pays for output and not process. Minolta South Africa installs the hardware, software, tracking and billing systems and provides the people to manage the process. Minolta South Africa has a dedicated hardware engineer, a software engineer, three print room assistants and one site manager based at Alexander Forbes’ Sandton offices. Once implemented, the division will be serviced by 72 monochrome devices and seven colour printers. The print room will boast three high volume monochrome devices as well as Konica Minolta’s new production printer, the bizhub PRO C500, a multifunctional peripheral that prints 51 pages-per-minute (ppm) in colour and monochrome.

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