As the Director of I.T. Services for Patagonia, Casey Stoops knows the challenges of managing the technology infrastructure for one of the world’s most popular sports apparel and gear providers. Between desktop support, server management, phone systems, printers, and the rest of the network infrastructure, Stoops and his team have many issues competing for attention. At the same time, Patagonia’s corporate mission includes using business “to inspire and implement solutions to environmental crisis.” As such, Stoops is always alert to potential solutions that improve service to end users while reducing the environmental footprint of Patagonia’s operations.
One of the most frustrating aspects of Stoop’s job was managing printers and copiers. “When I first arrived at Patagonia in 2010, some of our printers were under management, but there was a large fleet of smaller devices all over the office,” recalls Stoops. Different printers had different service contracts and supply needs. Not only was this frustrating to users, it also posed continual challenges to the I.T. support.
Too Many Devices
The company had over 33 stand alone HP printers, a variety of fax machines, and several multifunction copiers. “I wanted to consolidate all of the printers on the contract and find ways to reduce the size of the fleet.”
Frustrating End User Experience
Having all of these different devices created a frustrating experience for end users. “Depending on where they were in the building they would have a different printer. Some didn’t have scanning capabilities. Some were trying to use fax machines to scan.”
Time to Support
Printer issues consumed a growing amount of I.T. support time. Between fielding support calls for printers, trying to figure out what company was servicing the device, and stocking a wide variety of printer cartridges, printer support presented daily issues for the I.T. team, distracting them from key corporate initiatives.
Even all of these challenges, Stoops still knew that printing plays a critical role in Patagonia’s product design and business processes. “We print a considerable amount of paper around here,” said Stoops. “The design process still uses a lot of paper.” Stoops needed a way to reduce the support impact of printers while still providing a high level of service to end users and finding ways to minimize the environmental impact of the business.