Synergy finds synergy cutting printing costs

Monday, 13 April, 2009

Western Australian electricity retailer Synergy was established in 2006 when Western Power was disaggregated into separate electricity generation, electricity transmission and electricity retail organisations. While there is a contestable market for large electricity users, Synergy has an effective monopoly over electricity retail to small and medium enterprises and domestic users in South-West Western Australia.

In 2007, the company moved from the premises it had shared with the generation and transmission groups into a new office. It is aiming for an Australian Greenhouse Building Rating of four stars for its new premises and has seized the opportunity to take a more sustainable approach to its business.

Synergy wanted a sustainable imaging and printing facility, easy and secure printer access for its employees, streamlined service and more efficient consumables purchasing.

The company signed a four-year HP Smart Print Services Agreement. This provides Synergy with one-stop-shop access to service, maintenance and consumables, with Synergy paying a monthly fee based on the number of copies printed as well as a rental component.

Wayne Perry, Synergy Building Services Manager, says: “There is a lot of emphasis on sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint.”

The company has introduced more efficient air conditioning, installed energy-efficient lighting and used environmentally friendly materials where possible. This was important not only for Synergy itself, but to demonstrate to its customers ways to reduce their own environmental footprint. Perry notes, “We are in the unusual position of being an energy supplier that is asking our customers to use less energy.

“When we moved to this new building we analysed our existing network of printers. Each area had one or two printers. They were laser printers, kept on all day to keep the toner cartridges warm.” In fact, Synergy had around 80 printers spread throughout the business, with each clutch of staff responsible for their own printer and the consumables used.

Synergy has become the first WA organisation to use HP’s Edgeline CM8060, a colour multifunction printer which harnesses ink jet technology and offers both high capacity and speed, which proved a determining factor in the final selection.

On the consumables front, a key factor for Synergy is the fact that the HP Edgeline CM8060 does not use toner, which needs to be kept warm, requiring printers to constantly expend energy on heating when switched on.

“While one multifunction printer uses less energy than five laser printers,” according to Perry, Synergy has yet to measure the exact carbon footprint of its new printing environment, although it is capturing data in order to determine that in the future.

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