Smooth sailing for Alexander Forbes’ printer relocation project

| 23 July 2013

The new site of financial services group, Alexander Forbes, has been heralded as a truly "green" building. Situated at 115 West Street in Sandton, Johannesburg, the group's move towards the end of 2012 saw it settle into a structure that is not only environmentally friendly, but also aesthetically striking.

An important part of this repositioning was the moving of Alexander Forbes' 150 printing devices from the old building to its new premises. This was a particularly challenging process, explains Nic van der Walt, Optimized Print Service (OPS) site manager at Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa, as the numerous departments were moved in phases over a five week period, on weekends only, to minimise the impact on the group's 2,000 Sandton-based staff members.

"During this time, we needed to move devices department by department, which was difficult as some divisions shared printing devices with others that were not moving at the same time. There was also some departmental restructuring taking place and the printing needs of the new departments needed to be taken into consideration too. Add to this the fact that some departments, which had previously shared devices, were not moving to the same floor in the new building made for a real challenge."

As Alexander Forbes' preferred document management and imaging supplier, Konica Minolta South Africa was also tasked with relocating the group's bulk print room, while ensuring that essential printing services continued to run at both buildings.

"Konica Minolta South Africa worked extremely closely with both Alexander Forbes and Baseline Project Management, the company that orchestrated the entire move, in order to plan the device relocation to the last detail," says Van der Walt.

""The move was planned down to the minute, as there were certain logistical issues that needed to be considered, like the fact that the old building only had one elevator going into the basement from where the devices could be loaded onto the trucks. This elevator had to be shared by all parties involved in the move. Konica Minolta South Africa certainly upheld its side of proceedings, ensuring that our trucks were ready and waiting at the right time for the printers to be loaded up and delivered to the new premises for installation."

According to Mientjie van der Merwe, head of tax and special projects at Alexander Forbes Financial Services, the equipment move was seamless from their perspective. "Konica Minolta South Africa really did a brilliant job, sorting out any issues that arose quickly and efficiently, remaining professional, willing to assist and organised at all times."

Bronwen Radley, project manager at Baseline Project Management, agrees. "Once we realised that not only would the printer distribution ratios need to be reassessed at the new site but that both environments had to remain up and running throughout the five week period, we asked Konica Minolta South Africa put together a detailed plan.

"The Konica Minolta team really stepped up the plate and made the move easier, performing a full audit of the existing printers, checking on the different needs of each department and ascertaining the best location for each machine according to the new floor plan. The company really gave us its full support"

The new building brings a number of benefits on the printer management side, says Van der Walt. Not only does it have a much larger paper storeroom housing 30 pallets of paper, which means less frequent ordering, but the print room itself is much bigger too and better designed. "In addition, they now have additional storage rooms for printers not in use, so swap outs can be handled quickly and easily," he concludes.