Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa, recently won the bid to assist southern Africa’s premier property agency, Pam Golding Properties, in meeting its document output strategy.

In line with the agency’s main objectives to increase employee efficiencies, reduce costs, enhance control over its document output environment, leverage the expertise of technology, such as provided by Konica Minolta SA, and improve on its current workflows and business processes, more than 100 bizhub multifunctional (MFD) devices were installed at the group’s Bishopscourt, Cape Town head office and its regional offices and branches, replacing the existing fleet of 300 devices.
According to Nicole Marshall, group financial officer at Pam Golding Properties, the group went through a detailed request for proposal process and rated each company that responded on a number of areas, which included understanding the agency’s needs, the ability to report on specific usage, quality of print, a national service footprint and, of course, pricing.
“Each criterion was weighted and scored. There were two suppliers that rated highly, but the professionalism of Konica Minolta South Africa was superior and matched our brand image, giving us confidence that the company would be the right choice and be able to deliver,” says Marshall.
In addition to the bizhub devices, software by Konica Minolta South Africa will also be utilised by the Pam Golding Property Group.
“This includes our Pagescope Netcare, which enables automated meter readings and service alerts from the devices, and Pagescope Data Administrator, in order to pull user reports from the MFDs for print control purposes and also to add users and scan entries to the devices," explains Wilstan Weichardt, sales manager at Konica Minolta South Africa.
"The print driver packaging utility ensures the customised print drivers were deployed seamlessly and easily; as well as Pagescope Web interface, to remotely access the MFDs and configure these via the Web.”
All software supplied is a product of Konica Minolta, which eliminates outsourcing to a third party and enables an exemplary service level resolution in-house.
Konica Minolta South Africa also has a dedicated service desk consultant stationed at Pam Golding Properties IT division, to address and resolve all first line calls from the agency’s users and escalate more serious technical/software calls to the Konica Minolta South Africa call centre.
In addition, Konica Minolta South Africa holds monthly service performance meetings with the agency’s IT division to both assess the previous month’s service results and address any outstanding issues.
“The support received has also been fantastic. Konica Minolta South Africa really goes out of its way to assist us, especially when branches are opening or moving and we require a loan machine for a short period. We feel that we are business partners, rather than Konica Minolta South Africa just being a supplier,” says Marshall.
She adds that since implementation, the Pam Golding Property Group has only just begun to appreciate the extent to which process improvement opportunities can be exploited.
“User behaviour patterns have changed in that users are far more cost sensitive and deliberate in their printing processes. Paper workflow processes have also improved significantly with regards to speed and the quality of prints is crisp.
"The standardisation and networking of our printing technology have led to better management and also allowed us to provide useful reporting capabilities to management. Owing to this positive landscape, we will start a new phase shortly, which will look at the more aggressive use of some of the bizhub’s capabilities, as we have found the devices to be outstanding and easy to use,” she says.
Marshall estimates the cost saving owing to the new output model to be around 20% so far.
“The Konica Minolta South Africa model, all inclusive cost per page, suits the way we do business and helps us monitor our spend as we are able to report by region, by branch, by individual as well as by colour, black and white, print and copy. We have also set up defaults such as printing double sided, meaning that we can save paper and, ultimately, forests.
"In addition, there has been a large saving in personnel’s time – as we now have one supplier, one contact person and standard equipment across the company – simplifying the life of the user, the super users (who are responsible for ordering and replacement of toner and paper), the IT support function and the finance team responsible for payments.”