Bridgestone Corporation

Rohm and Haas Company
Bridgestone Corporation

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Cost Saving

Overview

Account Manager, part of the PageScope Enterprise Suite, allows you to track usage of every device on your network. Usage data can be broken down by device, function, user, group or project, and regular analysis can be performed to measure efficiency and usage trends. Output costs can also be assigned to each device function, enabling more effective cost management and waste reduction.

Main Benefits
  • Track and report output costs for each device, user and project
  • Reduce waste of paper, toner and other resources
  • Improve cost consciousness among users
Who Needs bizhub?
  • Offices with multiple networked devices
  • Businesses looking for ways to better control costs by managing usage on a departmental or individual level
  • Companies that want to keep track of consumables and reduce waste
Target

IndustriesAll
DivisionsAll
ScaleLarge offices
Solution keywordsFinance & Accounting / Cost Reduction

The Konica Minolta Solution
  • A dynamic software solution that links together all networked MFPs
  • Output tracking and analysis by device, function, , colour / black and white output, paper size, user and project can be carried out at set intervals such as on a monthly basis
  • Costs can be assigned to every type of output, for better expense and consumables management
  • Alerts can be generated when output limits are exceeded, allowing more effective cost management and waste reduction
Unable to grasp OA equipment usage conditions
Waste concerns over misappropriated and left output documents

With the tire business as its core, Bridgestone’s business operations extend worldwide. In China, the responsibility for their tire business, including sales and market development, falls to Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd., supporting the rapid motorization of China with products of the highest quality and cutting-edge technology.

At first, the Shanghai based company faced a variety of issues relating to the placing of some 20 single function OA equipments. According to Mr. Takashi Murooka, manager of the Planning and Administration department, “it was extremely problematic to grasp usage conditions, and despite our best intentions to reduce output volume, we could not come up with a decent solution beyond calling for a reduction in output volume.”

There were also significant concerns about operations. Failure to go and pick up output documents immediately ran the risk of mix-ups where users walk off with output documents that were not their own. Their IT Officer, Shen MengSi, admits that, “it was not uncommon to arrive home from work only to realize that one had left an output document on top of OA equipment, particularly when operations became busy.”

Further, the maintenance burden of dealing with malfunctions was considerable, putting pressure on the IT department’s main task of strategic planning for IT usage.

Achieved Authentication Management by MFP using existing employee ID cards

The company began a project in October 2007 to overcome these issues and improve their OA equipment environment. Requiring “user productivity not to be reduced” (Mr. Murooka), proposals from several manufacturers were considered, but in the end they chose the Konica Minolta solution. Selection was primarily based on two conditions: namely the accurate tracking of OA equipment usage and a system to ensure output documents would only be accessible to persons who printed them. According to Mr. Shen, “We chose Konica Minolta because not only did they meet all of our requirements but their implementation method was uncomplicated and logical compared to any other manufacturer.”

Specifically, one major factor was the use of IC cards. Konica Minolta’s MFPs provide an authentication printing function, which uses IC card authentication to ensure that the output documents can only be picked up by the relevant person. Coincidentally, Bridgestone (China) already used IC cards as employee IDs to control office access, and these existing IC cards could work with the authenticton printing function offered by Konica Minolta.

Mr. Murooka explains, “Everyone already carries an employee ID card. If that can be used for authenticated printing, then we do not need to distribute and administer an additional card. The ability to install and operate the system without increased work or cost was a decisive factor.”

In addition to the IC card compatibility, the solution’s software was also well received. Konica Minolta provides application software to efficiently use and manage MFPs, such as “PageScope Account Manager,” which aggregates and analyzes output volume. Mr. Shen commented on the superior user interface and comprehensive functionality: “I felt strongly that the software was highly matured as a user administration system.”

Output volume reduced through aggregation management
Improved security through authenticated printing

The company consolidated their existing fleet of 20 OA equipments, used by more than 200 employees, to only five machines using the Konica Minolta “bizhub C452” and “bizhub C550” colour MFPs.

At first, there were concerns that such a large reduction of OA equipments would elicit complaints from employees. In fact, despite the previous number of printers and MFPs, the newly added IC card authentication printing function improved working style and increased productivity by allowing users to pick up a wad of output documents at their convenience rather than going back and forth each time. “We reduced the trouble of going back and forth. It is an unseen advantage, but a big one. Productivity would probably suffer if we went back to the old way,” says Mr. Murooka, feeling the actual improvements in work-style and increase in productivity brought about by the IC card authentication function.

Furthermore, a significant improvement was also seen in reducing running costs. Since detailed aggregating and analyzing of output documents were made possible by the PageScope Account Manager software, it had the indirect effect of suppressing employee output documents, resulting in a 10 percent reduction within the first six months. As a second step, “employees were informed of the number of their output documents around September 2008 which precipitated a drastic drop in the total number of output documents,” (Mr. Murooka), achieving increased employee awareness. “Unnecessary documents were reduced because one could cancel print jobs on the control panel and incomplete print jobs are automatically erased by the system after several hours,” explains Mr. Shen.

In terms of misappropriating and leaving output documents, since print jobs can now only be executed after the user is identified with the introduction of IC card based authenticated printing, “left output documents were reduced to zero, minimizing accidental misappropriation and also bolstering security to a higher level” (Mr. Murooka), achieving results as expected.

Moreover, many more benefits have resulted: Reducing the number of devices decreased the amount of time spent on maintenance by 40 percent, allowing the IT department to devote more time on their core tasks. Saving space occupied by the previous equipment and lower electricity use resulted in further cost reduction.

The company intends to continue improving their OA environment. “New employees need to be registered in the MFPs. We would like to install a management system which will allow us to register users by batch,” says Mr. Shen, giving just one example. The company will strive to improve their corporate value through overall optimization of the OA environment with the support of Konica Minolta, for improved efficiency, cost reduction and bolstering security.

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