IFG Group Plc Case Study
With information and pension statements a critical part of its business operation, Irish financial services firm, IFG Group, needed to find a more reliable way of producing information for its clients. After implementing a Digicom and Ricoh Office print solution IFG has reduced print cost and also improved reliability, speed and productivity.
The IFG Group is a financial services company specialising in retirement planning solutions for Irish and multinational companies, and for all aspects of personal financial planning and pensions in Ireland. With its head office in Dublin, IFG’s international operations also include the UK and Europe. The organisation employs 800 staff, has a market capitalisation of £150 million, and manages £17 billion in assets.
IFG has pioneered the use of technology to improve its services. The IFG Pension Portal is Ireland’s most innovative interactive information source. But despite a trend towards more digital information, key parts of financial services still rely heavily on paper-based materials and documents. Pension services, which is a mainstay of IFG’s business, have regulations which require providers to issue member benefit statements as paper-based printed documents within a five-month deadline. For its customers, IFG produces these statements at its Dublin head office. Each customer can have an information pack of around XX pages, so the print runs can amount thousands of pages each time they are required.
IFG had already taken the step to change its print resources for individual desktop devices to a more unified managed print service. But the company’s business growth, increasing demand from customers and the need to produce more complex documents meant the print system was no longer meeting business needs.
The existing print devices were coming to end of life and would often break down during higher volume print runs, with frequent paper jams and other technical issues. Print software that supported Follow Me print was also old and no longer effective. It was unreliable and frequently failed to work with staff going to a printer and finding it could not print off their document. Printer downtime was increasing and staff were left for longer and longer periods without a printer.
“The slow speed of the printers and not being able to retrieve the jobs and log in to the machines, were the two key issues we had on a fairly long term basis. From a business productivity point of view, it simply wasn’t working,” says Alan Kelly, IT Director at IFG Group Plc.
The plan was to replace its printing system with a more robust and reliable solution. As well as good quality equipment and ease of use for staff, one of the key requirements was having an effective level of support. IFG investigated a number of different suppliers and, in the end, decided to work with local supplier Digicom, a Ricoh business partner.
“We were impressed with what the partnership between Digicom and Ricoh could deliver. Compared to many other manufacturers, Ricoh offered a great range of high-quality, high-specification devices. This combined with excellence service and support from Digicom meant the solution provided speed, reliability and value for money,” says Kelly.
Digicom and Ricoh were able to deliver and deploy the new print solution at IFG in just 24 hours, with little or no disruptions to business operations.
At its head office in Dublin, IFG has deployed a Digicom and Ricoh Office solution, comprising seven high volume Ricoh Multifunction Products (MFPs), three standard MFPs, Ricoh software and Digicom support. The Ricoh MFPs are networked and integrated into IFG’s existing business applications to provide the business with a single, enterprise-wide system, so that when required, information for the IFG Pension Portal and other systems can be produced easily.
Print Control software is used to manage print services and enable a more efficient and effective Follow Me print facility with staff using their security fobs to release a print job from any device. Digicom’s remote software solution enables Digicom and IFG to manage the Ricoh MFPs efficiently by providing accurate, real-time information about device and consumable use.
The software can also be used to remotely monitor the health of machines, to spot any problems before they become a fault. Regular service checks also keep the printers in good running order, and Digicom engineers are on hand to fix faults within hours rather than days.
“Printing is one of the key services we provide to staff, and the success of the Digicom and Ricoh solution is measured by the fact that it is now one of the services they notice the least,” says Kelly. “Compared to the situation before, we can now ensure more reliable printing with both the equipment used by staff, and with the software that runs the solution. It’s faster, more efficient, delivers better quality and is helping drive up productivity.”
The Digicom and Ricoh print solution means that as well as improving standard, day-to-day printing, it is now much easier to print the thousands of pension documents required by financial regulations. A more efficient, easy-to-manage and reliable solution is helping IFG reduce print costs.
Having more efficient software enables IFG to manage and monitor how print is used across the organisation so that departments are accurately billed for their printing, These kinds of benefits and overall improvement of all printing operations helps reduce administration time associated with running print resources.
Another important benefit has been better quality output. Kelly says, “The Ricoh MFPs are a significant improvement on the previous devices we used. Not only do the higher specifications and faster print speeds cut down the amount of time it takes to run out thousands of pages of statements, the quality of the printed page is much better. While it may seem a minor thing, it’s also a key part of improving the quality of service we can deliver to our customers.”
Productivity is further enhanced by having the same type of MFP throughout IFG’s building, since staff can use any device and do not need to learn how to use different machines.
Kelly says, “We’ve been very happy with the service we get from Digicom. The company is very responsive and any minor issues have been dealt with very quickly and efficiently.”
“Printing is one of the key services we provide to staff, and the success of the Digicom and Ricoh solution is measured by the fact that it is now one of the services they notice the least. Compared to the situation before, we can now ensure more reliable printing with both with the equipment that staff use and the software that runs the solution. It’s faster, more efficient, delivers better quality and is helping drive up productivity.”
Alan Kelly, IT Director | IFG Group Plc