Patagonia

Document Systems Helps Patagonia Reduce Costs

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.

Challenges

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.

Solution

During a quarterly review, John Puentes, Major Account Specialist for Document Systems recommended evaluating the fleet of printers, fax machines, and copiers to look for ways to simultaneously reduce expenses, improve productivity, and decrease the environmental impact of printing.

Managed Print Services

The solution began by bringing all of the current printers under management. Document Systems installed printer monitoring software. Not only did this facilitate accurate and transparent billing for the program, it also created print usage reports. This allowed Stoops to get an accurate picture of the print usage.

Device Consolidation with Multifunction Systems

Armed with print usage reports, Stoops and Puentes collaborated to reduce the number of devices while standardizing on one brand of multifunction systems. “We removed over 30 standalone laser printers,” said Puentes. “These were replaced with departmental multifunction systems that print, copy, fax, and scan.” Design and marketing departments received color devices.

Benefits

The entire company enjoys the benefits. The I.T. Department appreciates the reduced number of distractions. End users like the simplicity of having a consistent user experience. The company is reducing it’s environmental footprint.

Less I.T. Support Time

Stoops loves the fact that his team spends much less time resolving printer issues. “We spent a lot of time on printer maintenance. Now, all of that is gone away.” When issues arise related to printers, Stoop’s team simply calls Document Systems. Remote printer monitoring often identifies support problems before they become work-interrupting issues.

Increased Visibility

The print monitoring software gives Stoops complete visibility into print usage by department and individual. “It’s given me a data point to use with management and our environmental teams.” Having something to measure against helps drive continuous improvement.

Device Standardization

“We get feedback from corporate users that it’s really useful for them to have every print device work the same.” They can go between buildings and departments and all of the devices have the same user interface. Now the I.T. department has fewer print drivers to manage. Since there are fewer devices there are fewer supplies to stock making it easier to keep users up and running.

Improved Productivity

The new multifunction systems allow users to scan. This increased productivity while reducing paper usage. “Legal started scanning all of their contracts into their contract management application,” said Stoops. Similarly, the accounting department scans every invoice. “We still keep paper records but we’re no longer sending paper between desks.”

Reduced Environmental Impact

Patagonia’s corporate mission is to “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Stoops targeted a 25% reduction in paper usage. “We use the tools from Document Systems to identify where the heavy printer usage is.” While Stoops has initiated corporate print policies directed at reducing usage, what he’s found works best is reaching out to end users directly. Using the data from the print reports Stoops identifies departments and users that consume a lot of print. He reaches out to them to discuss ways to cut print usage. The device consolidation also reduces the eco-impact. “We removed over 30 laser printers from our fleet. That’s less power usage,” says Stoops. The new devices are Energy Star rated. Plus the new Ricoh devices are using more eco-friendly inks.

When asked what he would say to other I.T. Managers considering a similar relationship with Document Systems, Stoops’ advice is this: “Think about how much time your team is spending on direct support tickets and maintaining the devices. Having to manage all of this is a huge time suck.” With Document Systems he’s freed up a lot of time for his team, improved the end user experience, and reduced the environmental footprint of Patagonia’s operations. “Our experience with Document Systems has been great.” “This lets me up our service levels and focus on more important things.”

About Document Systems 

Document Systems is the document solutions leader in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties. We’ve help companies create cost control strategies and streamline business processes by providing powerful document production and management solutions. We offer a wide variety of best in class printers, multifunction systems, and document management applications as well as related services and supplies. Our goal is to deliver on our promises and exceed our clients’ expectations. We have the entrepreneurial attitude that you can only find in a locally owned and operated business. We believe in developing long-term, personal relationships with our customers.