Founded by a team of Calgary entrepreneurs, WestJet began flying to five cities in Western Canada in February 1996. Due in large part to excellent customer service and competitive rates, WestJet has become Canada's leading high-value low-fare airline.
In its early years, WestJet worked with a number of vendors, including Ricoh (formerly IKON Office Solutions, Inc.), to provide and service output devices, such as printers, copiers, fax machines, and multi-function printers (MFPs). As WestJet started to soar, it determined that issuing a request for proposal (RFP) for output devices would help the company cut costs, ensure document security, and reduce its environmental footprint.
WestJet released its RFP in June 2008 with the following objectives:
- Consistent technology model for its new campus in Calgary, Alberta
- Contain and track print related costs
- Minimize environmental impact
- Effectively manage its fleet of output devices
- Improve workflow processes
- Improve document security
Although Ricoh was competing for the contract against several well established technology companies, it was no contest. Ricoh‘s solution of people, equipment, software, service levels, and pricing met all of WestJet’s objectives and they were awarded the contract in September 2008.
The Ricoh RFP response included both color and monochrome Ricoh MFPs as well as specially selected software and service components that targeted the WestJet RFP objectives. Rightfax server integration, Equitrac’s secure Follow You Print solution, and an onsite Ricoh Fleet Manager were key bid components.
The Ricoh solution included placing a Ricoh Fleet Manager on site. The Fleet Manager is the day-to-day contact for busy WestJet staff and executives to address any and all items relating to Ricoh’s fleet of equipment. The Fleet Manager is also the first point of contact for service calls, technical support and training. In addition, they also manage and report on a variety of device related and service level related criteria for WestJet management on a regular basis. In essence, the Fleet Manager takes care of the daily tasks associated with office equipment so WestJet employees are able to redirect their energies to tasks of higher strategic importance to the organization.
The Solution, Continued
The Rightfax Component of the solution provides a streamlined fax process that reduces the need for fax lines by allowing users to receive faxes in a secure, electronic format, and only print them if required. By implementing Rightfax, Westjet went from 140 fax lines down to 16 lines saving approximately 1 million fax pages from being printed per year! This solution alone saved Westjet $90,000 per year and paid for itself within 12 months.
Equitrac was another important component of the overall bid. Equitrac allows users to send print jobs to the print queue where they are held until the user releases the print job at the output device with a secure access card. This helps eliminate waste and drives costs down by reducing print jobs that employees sometimes print and then realize they need to revise. If a job is not printed within a set amount of time, as determined by the client, the job is automatically deleted from the print queue, eliminating the accidental printing of old jobs, saving money and reducing the company’s environmental footprint. Since documents are not printed unless the employee is at the printer, Equitrac improves document security. No unauthorized eyes are viewing documents sitting at the print device before the user can retrieve them. In addition, clearance protocols ensure an employee in accounting, for instance, cannot print out an HR document.
The Equitrac solution also allows WestJet to track output usage. The company estimates it has reduced output costs, such as paper and toner, by up to 30% since introducing Equitrac. While this is good for WestJet’s bottom line, it is also good for the environment.
Paying Particular Attention to the Environment
The environment is of particular importance to WestJet. Since 2001, WestJet has spent over $2 billion upgrading its fleet to more fuel-efficient Boeing 737-series aircraft. Emissions from these aircrafts are 30 per cent lower on a per person basis than the fleet of 200-series aircraft WestJet replaced.
In an effort to support WestJet’s environmental initiative of lowering its carbon emissions footprint, Ricoh has been participating shoulder to shoulder with WestJet employees in an annual tree planting event. Since 2009, Ricoh and WestJet have held two tree planting days with over 50 employees from both organizations coming together and planting a total of 1,200 trees to date!
“Ricoh showed us how to better manage our print infrastructure so that we could reduce our environmental footprint and document-related costs. It’s a win-win, for the environment and for WestJet," says Justin Gobeil, Category Manager, Strategic Procurement of WestJet.