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Martin House Children's Hospice

Less time crawling under desks and fixing problems means more time for strategic thinking.

Gary Hall, IT and Facilities Manager
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Martin House provides family led care for children with life shortening conditions. It is a place where children, young people and their families can find support, rest, practical help and a place to stay from time-to-time along their journey. Martin House has recently started using mstore, Arena’s software for document and records management, alongside Arena’s Managed Print Service (MPS).

Managed Print Service (MPS)

IT and Facilities Manager, Gary Hall, explains; “we had lots of printers and copiers around the building, of varying makes and models; and a cupboard full of toner - some of which was obsolete. We wanted to better understand and control the costs, and take the hassle out of keeping printers up and running.”

Several providers were asked to tender for the contract, Gary notes; “we visited Arena’s showroom in Wakefield and properly put the machines to the test.” A myriad of sample documents were printed, “we were impressed with the results and overall Arena’s pitch was far superior to the others we received, in terms of their consultancy, demonstrations, facilities and proposal documentation.”

A print audit from Arena proposed a fleet of new Toshiba machines, Gary comments; “toner is delivered just when we need it, so we have cleared our stock and no-longer need to spend time ordering supplies.” MPS is also having a positive effect in terms of servicing, which is all taken care of by Arena and included in a fixed, monthly invoice. Gary notes; “less time crawling under desks and fixing problems means more time for strategic thinking.”

Defaults on the devices set documents to print on both sides of the paper and limit colour usage, whilst ‘Follow Me’ printing has further reduced output. “People are more considerate about what they print because they have to walk to a printer to collect the pages. We are estimating an annual saving of around £7000 as a result of the change.” Gary also notes that the quality of print is so good that consideration is being given to printing some promotional items in-house; “we have already stopped ordering externally printed letterhead paper.”

It is also noted that costs are now much easier to track, thanks to print control software on the machines. Gary explains; “we can allocate costs more easily and the new reports mean there is less guess work going on. We can also start to anticipate busy times and spot the heavier users - it all makes for clearer forecasting.”

Arena’s service played a major role in winning the business; “We have always had good service from Arena, which made them a natural port of call for us. Theirs was not the cheapest quote but they are delivering value and I can’t speak highly enough of our Account Manager; he is very supportive and quick to respond when we need something.”

Electronic document and records management system (EDRMS)

Rapidly evolving legislation surrounding records relating to the care of young people has made the handling of documents a priority for Martin House. Gary explains; “our systems need to be aligned with NHS governance and the security of sensitive files is a key issue.”

The charity is using mstore to digitize paper records in line with these requirements; “we are underway with scanning an archive of around 175,000 documents, which are purely our children’s records, and we plan to be 80% paperless within the next five years.”

mstore is already being used to process and store volunteering documents as well as  Gift Aid forms and beneficiary records, and Gary tells us that the infrastructure is in place to handle documents related to facilities management and finance. “We are working towards linking all of our systems to mstore, including our new ThankQ fundraising database, in order to improve document security.”

Gary comments that mstore’s versatility is proving beneficial; “we can edit the file structure ourselves to make the system fit the way we work with documents. Our work with mstore is very much ‘in progress’ but we are getting good support from Arena and we are confident that we are creating a robust system for the future.”



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