Colour Multifunction


OKI printers comfortably enhance operations at DFS

About the company

With over 45 years of history, DFS is a British sofa company originally founded in Doncaster that now operates three factories and over 90 stores throughout the UK and Ireland. The company was built around the ethos of providing quality furniture at low prices, which founder Graham Kirkham achieved by selling directly to the public without the use of warehouse suppliers. The company is committed to promoting excellence in manufacturing and services across its many operations and throughout its history has carefully listened to what customers want to produce stylish sofas and maintain the highest level of customer service.

The challenge

Dedicated to ensuring customers receive the best possible service at all times, DFS wanted to improve the speed, accuracy and presentation of its handwritten finance documents. The decision was made to use a new tablet device on the shop floor to digitally take customers’ orders and push DFS into the twenty-first century. As a result, the firm looked for a laser print solution and supplier that could sufficiently handle its extensive order and lease form workload both cost- and time-efficiently, while offering the highest level of print quality and customer service.

The solution

DFS had already been working with OKI Systems UK for over 20 years for the supply and provision of dot-matrix printers. “Having built up a close working relationship with OKI and having already used a few of its laser printers, which have proven to be robust and efficient, we asked the company to take part in our tender process when looking for a permanent laser printer supplier to provide reliable and fast printers,” said DFS IT manager Dean Derby.
DFS went to tender looking for two laser printer suppliers which it could split its print estate between. Outranking the competition in terms of price and product quality, OKI took the top spot. Three years on and OKI has just renewed its print optimizer contract with DFS for a further 12 months and it now manages over 60 per cent of the print estate. OKI supplies a fleet of around 226 ES2632 A4 colour printers to DFS retail stores and provides on-site engineer services including all consumables supplied on a fixed cost per copy contract.

The benefits

As soon as stores had their tablet device up and running, they eliminated the use of carbon copy order and lease forms, which had to be manually rewritten out for each individual customer. The tablet device is now used to take a customer’s order and then the digital form is automatically sent to the printer. As a result, high quality, colour printed versions of the finance forms can be quickly issued to the customer, saved for DFS records and passed on in the appropriate format to the finance vendor when a client is purchasing a sofa. These digital order forms are also printed straight from the computer generated system, greatly reducing the risk that any will go astray.

One of the biggest benefits seen by DFS was the improvement in order turnaround and accuracy. By eliminating the use of difficult to read handwriting and the need to totally rewrite an order if a customer changed their mind, DFS quickly found that it was working far more efficiently. Before partnering with OKI, if a customer wanted to add an additional chair to their dining table order, for example, a staff member would have had to scrap the original handwritten carbon copy and rewrite a new form from scratch. With their new system in place, staff members are able to quickly amend the digital order and print a revised copy.

“Speeding up finance document workflows and the accuracy of order content, customers ultimately receive a better quality of service and as such we create a much better impression,” Derby said. “Our finance process needed to move into the twenty-first century and OKI has helped us to do that with the implementation of laser printers. Now customers receive colour printed order forms, which are quicker to issue and far more accurate and professional than the outdated carbon copy versions we relied on before.

“We have been delighted with the laser print offering and support we have received from OKI over the last few years. It is critical that we have reliable printers in place to meet the needs of our customers. When working with OKI, we are always confident that we will receive the highest quality of products and experience minimal printer downtime.”

The future

After achieving excellent results with OKI over the last few years, DFS is now discussing the possibility of extending its print contract to cover additional multi-functional printers at the head office and to support further retail operations as the company looks towards further expansion of its retail operations.
According to Derby, “With planned expansion in the pipeline we will definitely be turning to OKI for additional machines in the future. It has been a pleasure to work with the OKI print experts, they have always exceeded our expectation and the firms’ excellent print offering has helped us to continue to improve our customer service.”
The OKI Smart Managed Print Services programme encompasses a range of tried and tested methods and tools to establish the current state of an organisation’s print related costs and processes before OKI create a professional bespoke proposal to suit individual customer specific requirements. Our sales and engineering staff work closely with our key partners to offer Managed Print Solutions with maximum customer value.

Oki Data (S) Pte. Ltd.

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