Case Studies

Intelligent Document Imaging Solution Helps Commercial Explosives Enterprise

AEL Mining Services, a leading manufacturer of commercial explosives, uses Ricoh document imaging solutions. Versatile and efficient multifunctional products that print, copy, scan and fax have replaced standalone imaging devices. By optimising fleet utilisation, Ricoh has helped AEL reduce expenditure on print, release office space and cut energy consumption.

AEL Mining Services

With annual sales of nearly R3 billion, AEL Mining Services is the largest supplier of explosives technology in Africa. The company’s headquarters, regional offices and production sites had procured document imaging systems from different vendors according to local need. Little consideration was given to the overall effectiveness of the company’s document infrastructure.

Employees moving from one location to another were faced with different technology. Many of the devices had limited functionality and did not fully meet business requirements. There were several different service providers and it was not always clear who supported which machine. The company processed hundreds of individual invoices every year for service and consumables.


Historic Windmills Recreated Using 3D Printing

The American Wind Power Center (AWPC) has partnered with WhiteClouds to create scale models of historic windmills using computer-aided design and 3D printing. The windmills will be part of a model train display that will be on show in the AWPC Museum. “We plan to build a model train layout of early Lubbock from 1910 to 1950, a time when there were a large number of windmills in this area,” said Coy Harris, Executive Director of the AWPC. “That is also the time when the train came to Lubbock.”

Harris has been working with Kelly Root, a designer at WhiteClouds, to create scale models of the windmills which are then 3D printed in WhiteClouds’ lab on a ProJet 3500 HDMax. “By using 3D design and 3D printing (the AWPC) was able to get a scale model of a windmill that isn’t available anywhere else. This is a windmill that was being used over 30 years ago. Scale models of it simply aren’t available anywhere, it had to be created from scratch.”

The models have been recreated using a variety of techniques. One of the windmills was recreated using a scale model that AWPC already owned. Root was able to take the measurements and then reverse-engineer and design a replica of the model. One of the other windmills was created using old blue prints of the original windmill and photographs. Root commented that the biggest challenge of the project is keeping the models as true to the original full-scale windmills as possible while still keeping the designs 3D printable. 

Modern Litho-Print Co.—Raising the Bar with EFI Monarch Planner and Suite of EFI Solutions


“As the volume and complexity of work grew for Modern Litho, it became clear we needed more automated tools to streamline the workflow and keep our costs in check.” —Jim Tomblinson, plant superintendent, Modern Litho-Print Co.

Modern Litho has been relying on the EFI Monarch (formerly called EFI Hagen) print management system for more than 10 years. While Monarch was able to help them streamline processes, Modern Litho needed to add a specific solution to simplify the labor-intensive publication work they do each month.

"We were still writing manual job tickets and needed to add people to keep up witht he work load," said Tomblinson. "We also had a disconnect between customer service resp (CSR's) and pre-press that resulted in a delay in starting jobs due to the lack of complete information from customers. We were in search of a bi-directional solution that would not only give us snap shots but also a panoramic view of our jobs."

With these challenges in mind, Modern Litho saw a demo of Monarch Planner at an EFI Connect users' conference, and the solution fit their needs exactly.


Case Study: Lexmark Uses MDM to Turn Information Into a Business Asset

Lexmark International undertook a master data management (MDM) program when it realized that its systems could not give decision makers the answers to the questions they were asking about the business. The MDM team designed an ambitious program that can serve as a model for MDM leaders who must plan their own initiatives.

Key Findings

  • The IT organization surveyed Lexmark's eight financial analysts, and discovered they spent 22,000 hours a year just to find the information they needed for their reports.
  • Lexmark assembled a data governance council, chaired by the CFO, including the CIO and thevice presidents in charge of sales and marketing, finance, the supply chain, R&D, purchasing and HR.
  • The MDM team and governance council identified five domains for the initiative: customer, vendor, product, material and person.
  • Lexmark can now produce profit-and-loss reports for specific products in 10 minutes — it used to take a week, with heavy manual work to find and cleanse data.


  • Don't simply seek a senior executive to sponsor the initiative; find one who will actively participate throughout the life of the program.
  • Embed the MDM discipline in business processes. MDM is an integral part of transactional and operational processes so that people cannot circumvent them or change data in a subscription system without doing so in the MDM system.
  • Measure results as a way to improve the implementation. To improve decision making, the MDM team defined clear data quality metrics, which are used to measure progress at regular intervals.

Real Talk With Medical Mutual of Ohio


Medical Mutual of Ohio is a health insurance company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. As a regional insurer, they are deeply committed to their members. They are also the official health insurer of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Browns. 

After conducting thorough studies of their equipment assets and usage, they realized there was an opportunity to consolidate to reduce costs and better serve their clients with more efficient office operations.

The Challenge

Starting in 2008, Medical Mutual of Ohio tested Xerox® ColorQube Multifunction Printers against three competitors. They installed different manufacturers’ products in different locations across their operation over a significant length of time to test capabilities and performance in the real world. 

“We looked at multiple vendors,” says Lyn Duvall, Manager of Printing Services. “We had to try the equipment. Get it in our shop and have people who were really going to use them try them all. We threw whatever we could possibly think of at the equipment. We wanted to see if the units could really multitask, if they can do two things at a time. These are things that will impact a workflow. We looked at security, of course, but we also looked at how quickly we got answers from people who could help us when we asked questions.” 


Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan: A Records Management Investment that Pays Big Dividend


Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. With seven major practice areas — corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax — Sutherland attorneys serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.


With 400 plus attorneys and offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, and Washington DC as well as available office-space in London and a partnership with another firm located in China, Sutherland Asbill, & Brennan LLP recognized the importance of  eveloping an efficient, standardized records management system to house their vast archive of legal documentation. In 2006, Sutherland moved its Records Management function to report into its IT department. According to the Firm’s Director of Client Information and Records Compliance, “When I took over the records function it was quickly apparent that our records handling had developed in an ad hoc manner. This was a source of frustration for many of our team members and in turn was costing the firm literally millions of unnecessary dollars. We needed to develop standardized records management policies and procedures across the firm’s network of offices.”


Extended Stay Deluxe Hotel Guests Find Printing Nirvana with EFI PrintMe


Extended Stay Hotels wanted an on-premise printing solution for its Extended Stay Deluxe guests. It had to be affordable, easy to set up, and easy to use. 

It was five years ago that Ira Greenfield, Vice President of Technology for Extended Stay Hotels, lobbied to introduce printing as a guest service amenity at their Extended Stay Deluxe (ESD) hotel properties, one of five brands within the Extended Stay Hotels family.

Greenfield targeted the ESD properties for on-premise printing because it was a steady request by many of the guests, as they stayed for lengthy periods — often months at a time — or returned regularly. Their print needs were of varying complexities and often time-sensitive, so driving to the nearby print shop wasn’t always convenient or even possible.

Not having a guest printer was inconvenient for the hotel staff as well. Guests would regularly ask the general manager or a front desk staff member to print a document on the office printer.


Spotlight Shines on Profits with "Lights Out" Productivity Xerox® - FreeFlow Process Manager® Helps AI Work Round the Clock


Founded in 1973, Wilmington, Delawarebased Associates International (Ai) has been a leading regional commercial printer for over 38 years. In 1997, Ai expanded into digital printing and mailing services, beginning its transition from a traditional print service provider to the successful marketing service provider it is now. Today, Ai offers personalized, on-demand and conventional printing as well as web-based document management to both large and small customers. A long-standing Xerox customer, its digital division includes two Xerox® iGen3® Digital Production Presses and one Xerox® iGen4® Press, all with CREO Color Servers.

With a keen focus on continuous improvement and lean manufacturing principles, Ai has ramped up its efforts to automate manual functions and increase productivity while increasing revenue. In 2007, Ai set out to win the print collateral business for a large U.S. pharmaceutical company. Requirements included producing customized sales literature, pads, booklets and personalized materials such as labels and appointment cards for a 7,000-user customer base. Ultimately, the new business entailed an additional 200 to 300 new print-on-demand orders each day. What’s more, the customer also required 36‑hour turnarounds and a 40 percent reduction in costs.

To accommodate this impressive list of requirements and win this customer’s business, Ai revamped its existing workflow and staff extensively. Rising to the challenge, it developed an award-winning, proprietary digital workflow branded as AiConnect™ Enterprise Storefront. With AiConnect, users are able to customize and order documents right from their Web browser. Prepress, printing, finishing and shipping processes are all automated. AiConnect effectively enabled Ai to meet the customer’s printing needs while delivering an average turnaround of 24–36 hours and a 40 percent cost reduction for the process.



Ricoh's Approach to Improving Sustainability


There's no doubt that nowadays, reducing carbon emissions is a must for everyone, every day, everywhere. But when it comes to actively changing patterns of behavior, then things start to become less clear. Especially in an office environment, reducing carbon emissions means more than just switching off the lights when leaving the office. There are many initiatives that can be undertaken to achieve the next level of sustainability.

As strategy consultants, we know that change always starts with a detailed analysis. However, designing plans based on analysis is not enough to reduce carbon emissions. It is the ability to implement those plans in a sustainable way that makes the difference. This implementation can be very challenging; it requires top management commitment plus employee buy-in and behavioral change. It also requires high quality system management, monitoring and continuous improvement. These requirements must be met to ensure that a sustainability plan has the proper impact and can create positive momentum, making the change visible and quantifiable.

Ricoh has developed just such a method for reducing carbon emissions produced by business printing solutions. It incorporates the above requirements and follows a professional, consultative and holistic approach. Ricoh offers its corporate customers a sound sustainability proposition, especially for the "in-use phase" of printing solutions, using a robust change management approach.

It is highly impressive to observe how Ricoh's sustainability proposition works in practice, leading to significantly lower carbon emissions without sacrificing service or productivity. It is a win-win-win solution for users, companies and our planet.


Company Nurse Impresses Clients, Saves Time and Money with Fiery VUE-produced Documents

Company Nurse relied on outside vendors to print their booklets, brochures and other important corporate and internal materials. As the company began to print shorter runs and more personalized pieces, this arrangement became too expensive. A cost analysis revealed they could save more than $1,500 a month by bringing these print jobs in-house — not to mention improving turnaround times and control of documents.

So, Company Nurse purchased a Fiery®-powered multifunction digital color printer. This enabled them to turn out more and more documents, but it was often difficult and time-consuming to produce slick, finished-looking materials. They needed an easier and faster way to produce professional looking booklets, brochures, newsletters, case studies, enrollment guides and internal training documents.

Enter Fiery VUE! After attending an event hosted by the Arizona Office Technology association, and seeing a demo of Fiery VUE, Angi Hast, project manager, asked to be part of EFI’s beta test program. Soon after she was using the software, and then installed the release version as soon as it was available to users everywhere.

Fiery VUE is an innovative visual print application that makes production of professional-looking finished documents fast and simple for all office workers. The application is ideal for any functional group across an enterprise including sales, marketing, finance, legal, HR and training.

With minimal keystrokes or training, Fiery VUE allows office workers to be more productive, reducing the time and complexity of creating and assembling finished documents. Business owners gain in-house document control and lower costs, while being assured security, consistent quality and color accuracy across all departments. 



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