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Stockport Homes

We were impressed by Arena’s experience within the housing sector and they weren’t just selling printers to us but addressing each of our needs and requirements and looking at this project as an entire solution.

John Chambers, Head of IT
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As a growing social housing provider, Stockport Homes were preparing for moving to a new building, presenting the opportunity to upgrade their fleet of devices and print strategy. John Chambers, Head of IT, shares his experience of selecting Arena for their stand out ethics, minimising hassle in the tender process through the direct award route and the ease of implementing a managed print solution during their relocation.

“We were moving office buildings so we wanted to take the opportunity for a premises reduction strategy. Our old fleet of devices needed upgrading, and we wanted a supplier who could help to look at our usage and put a solution in place. Using our experience, we created a statement of requirements for potential new suppliers to acknowledge and respond to,” explained John.

John selected the Procurement for Housing (PfH) framework to find a supplier that could meet their requirements, whilst ensuring they would be compliant and provide best practice. Having met Arena and been impressed with their ethics as well as their products, John chose to conduct a direct call-off from the framework, avoiding unnecessary time being spent engaging with other suppliers.

John commented, “Using the PfH framework was an easy process. It provides a standardised approach to buying and it’s much easier than going to tender, you know what you are buying and who you are buying from. We were impressed by Arena’s experience within the housing sector and they weren’t just selling printers to us but addressing each of our needs and requirements and looking at this project as an entire solution. We awarded the contract to Arena as a direct call-off from the framework, this was an easy process to go through and I would massively recommend it.” 

John explained that choosing a supplier is about more than just providing the devices. “Print is still a utility, so it is the added service around the devices which Arena can provide, that is the reason why we chose Arena over 7 or 8 other suppliers. We’ve had consistency from our account manager which has been great, it’s good to know we have a strong contact who we can rely on. Arena’s CSR record resonated with us too, we want to work with suppliers who can demonstrate their values.”

Once the contract had been awarded, Arena ensured that the precise needs of Stockport Homes were understood fully before designing the solution, preparing for implementation, delivering on this plan and ensuring effective ongoing support was in place. This has been one of the ways in which Arena has provided added value, taking the pressure away from the IT and project teams at Stockport Homes, whilst trusting Arena to deliver service excellence.

The professional services team at Arena ensured that the new managed print solution was ready and configured for the first working day of the new building. Devices were given to Stockport Homes to test, while Arena analysed their usage and mapped the building for accurate placement of the right devices to suit their requirements and business needs.

“We’ve been impressed with Arena’s product knowledge and they’ve been very responsive which is an important quality in a supplier,” commented John. “When the devices were first installed the majority of teething issues were down to human error, but once the staff had learnt and adapted to the new machines with the help of Arena, these issues reduced.”

Part of the solution implemented for Stockport Homes involved PaperCut. This software manages their print activity, from usage reports to cost saving tools. John finds this to be a highly beneficial part of the solution, as he explains, “We were provided with some training documents to help train the staff which were really useful to get familiar with PaperCut. I’ve found the reporting side to be absolutely brilliant. It helps to identify the individuals who are printing more than others so that this can be addressed, it’s very useful for an insight into our print activity.”

Using PaperCut allows for rules to be automatically set to control what is being printed which has helped to save on their print costs. Before implementing our managed print solution, their colour print was at around 50%. “Now, 83% of our print is mono and only 17% colour, so our costs have significantly reduced” reported John.

Overall, John has been very happy with the service he has received from Arena. From helping to keep the hassle of a relocation and implementation of a new print fleet to a minimum, to the expert advice available whenever it’s needed from his dedicated account manager. John said, “We weren’t necessarily just looking for new products, we were looking for a relationship with a supplier and we’ve been very pleased with the nature of Arena.”


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