hands of students in university library and open books
University of Southampton
9 December 2022

Virginia Hayward

Virginia Hayward were struggling with their existing managed print solution - the desired materials couldn’t be produced consistently, especially in high volumes - so they approached Apogee for a Managed Print Service that would transform their processes.

  • 80% savings on man hours
  • Efficiency gains felt companywide
  • Able to work 7 days in advance
  • 40,000 brochures printed and mailed through Apogee’s secure ODS facility
 

“The fact that the service included dispatch printing and office printing – as well as the print management software – made the commercial benefits too compelling to ignore. 

And because we’ve now got the right kit at the right specifications, we’re spending less time waiting for repairs and more time doing what we need to be doing.”

– Alex Walker, Head of Operations at Virginia Hayward

The Client

Offering a range of luxury gift hampers to suit any occasion, Virginia Hayward typically operate with 115 full-time employees – except in the lead-up to Christmas, where an influx of temporary workers triples staff numbers to cover the increased demand. Operating out of one central site in Shaftesbury, Virginia Hayward prints tens of thousands of dispatch labels a day.

 

The Challenge

In short, the frequent performance issues of Virginia Hayward’s existing Managed Print service was having a detrimental effect on productivity – and in the lead-up to the festive period, this affected not only the dispatch team, but interrupted work in other areas of the business. Furthermore, it was also damaging the standard of Virginia Hayward’s service, since bespoke print materials could not be produced reliably.

The main challenge was that, while Virginia Hayward aimed to send hampers accompanied by high-quality labels with bespoke messaging, their existing Managed Print service was not sufficiently equipped to produce the desired materials consistently. This resulted in frequent print jams, especially during high volume print runs.

This was a particular issue during the months leading to Christmas. Due to the increased demand, Virginia Hayward’s dispatch team were forced to forgo producing the high-quality labels to avoid print jams – instead opting for simple A4 sheets in plastic envelopes. However, having to fold these sheets to fit the envelopes proved to be a heavy manual burden on the team, meaning that many colleagues from non-related departments had to routinely stop working to assist, in order to ensure that orders were met on time.

To overcome these issues, Virginia Hayward needed to transform their processes – especially since, as well as continual issues with productivity, their image as a luxury brand was being damaged by basic labelling materials when faced with a lack of a better option.

The Solution

Following conversations with Apogee’s team, Virginia Hayward engaged with a number of services to transform their processes – including Managed Print Services (MPS), Creative Print, Print Management, Outsourced Document Services (ODS), and Hybrid Mail.

Firstly, the entire site was subject to a full print audit. This illuminated that Virginia Hayward, under their previous print provider, had been working with a multitude of different types of print equipment, all originating from different companies. With only an internal IT department on-hand to perform repairs, the combination of different models and toners made this a needlessly complicated process.

In order to streamline processes and bring the client’s printing up to a consistent standard, multiple new specialist label printers of the same specifications, model, and toner were provided through a full Managed Print Service. These machines were the most suitable available on the market, since, as a multi-brand supplier, Apogee are free to offer products and services that are not limited to one single brand.

This also freed up the time of Virginia Hayward’s IT department to focus on more important strategic tasks – and since this Managed Print Service (MPS) also incorporated Apogee’s ongoing print support within the price, which meant that the client could proceed without needing to expand their IT team.

The second step was to redesign the high-quality hamper label to be compatible with the updated printers – with a change of stock, appearance, design, tactility, and acetate being proposed by the Creative Print team. Eventually, a new design that was befitting of a luxury brand was finalised, following regular reviews with the client.

Thirdly, assessment of Virginia Hayward’s workflows – namely, when processing information to print on the label – were found to be inefficient, with staff having to manually collate information stored across multiple databases. This process was streamlined exponentially by transforming it into an automatic workflow, through the introduction of sophisticated Print Management software - with full on-site training provided.

Lastly, further efficiencies have been created through Virginia Hayward outsourcing high-volume print runs through Apogee’s Hybrid Mail service. Now, print marketing campaigns such as the Christmas brochure – a print run of 40,000 copies – are printed and sent directly to customer homes through Apogee’s ODS Facility.

The Outcome

“Before, the most efficient we could get in our dispatch department was to be able to provide work for the current day, plus one in advance,” says Alex Walker, Head of Operations at Virginia Hayward. “Under Apogee, we are able to cover the current day, plus seven; with the number of hours that our dispatch team are working reduced by about 80%. When you consider how we were operating in 2021, the change is incredible.”

Increased efficiency is a direct result of engaging with this combination of managed services. Upgrading to a Managed Print Service (MPS) has allowed Virginia Hayward to achieve their goals of delivering high-quality bespoke labels, to the high standard that is expected of a luxury brand – with device uptime maximised, and technical support readily available when required.

Similarly; staff time is being utilised more effectively with the help of both the automatic processes provided by the Print Management software; and the physical production of marketing materials through Apogee’s Outsourced Document Services.

Another advantage to this increased efficiency is that Virginia Hayward have made significant steps to being a more sustainable business. Not only has waste been reduced significantly – most notably, with the usage of plastic envelopes no longer being required with the new high quality labels – but the reduced man hours have also resulted in considerable energy savings.

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