Avon and Somerset Police

In the face of funding reductions, Avon and Somerset needed to make operational efficiencies to maintain policing levels without dipping into reserves. Xerox® Services are contributing to those aims by generating print-related savings of at least £650,000 over two years.

  • The Challenge
  • The Approach
  • The Solution
  • Feedback

The Challenge

In search of savings to help maintain policing levels.

With policing budgets under pressure as part of the government’s austerity policy, Avon and Somerset Police needed to generate operational efficiencies. “To maintain policing levels without dipping into our reserves, we had to look for innovative ways to make savings,” says Steve Hodgson, Head of Procurement.

A joint venture with an IT service provider covering printing was coming to an end. “We took it as an opportunity to see if we could print better for less,” says Steve.

The force asked EBC Group to help by:

  • Identifying ways to make cost-saving and quality improvements to its bulk print operations.
  • Benchmarking managed print value propositions, quality, and compliance with information protection requirements.
  • Recommending options for further print-related efficiency gains. 

The Approach

As an independent company, EBC Group works with a range of leading technology partners including Xerox, which accredits EBC Group as a Xerox Gold Document Technology Partner.

EBC Group proposed a range of Xerox® Services to meet the force’s ambitions. “The work done by EBC Group gave us assurance that selecting Xerox met our internal governance on contract awards,” says Steve.

A bulk print service that delivers.

In line with EBC Group’s proposal, Avon and Somerset replaced its in-house bulk print service with Xerox® Document Publishing Services.

The Xerox® Service meets the force’s regular needs for printed items like forms and business cards. It also ensures secure production, management and despatch of the pocket notebooks officers use to record evidential information, which are strictly numbered for tracking and audit trail purposes.

In addition, Xerox fulfils ad-hoc requests, such as producing posters and leaflets for campaigns and events. Users request jobs through an online portal; a Xerox Document Advisor provides guidance on best practices and helps the force maximize value and minimize costs.

“Working with our dedicated Document Advisor is hugely beneficial,” says Steve. “She makes sure, for example, that we use the most appropriate media for a campaign and select the most economical thresholds for large-volume printing.”

Providing secure, reliable managed MFPs.

For office printing, the force rolled out a Xerox® Managed Print Solution. EBC Group’s benchmarking exercise showed that the Xerox® Service with a print management solution from Equitrac would provide the best-value solution for managed multifunction printers (MFPs).

The service meets the force’s information protection needs with built-in security features and measures such as vetted Xerox personnel, a UK-based service desk, and the ability to set devices up remotely to preserve the integrity of covert sites. In addition, staff must use their access cards at devices to release their printouts, which prevents documents falling into the wrong hands.

Hybrid Mail simplifies citizen communications.

To make further efficiency savings, Avon and Somerset followed EBC Group’s recommendation to implement the Xerox® Hybrid Mail Service, which makes printing and posting letters easier and cheaper.

“We quickly saw the potential for using Hybrid Mail in our Speeding Enforcement Unit, which sends out nearly 200,000 speeding notices a year,” says Steve. “As well as cutting costs and boosting productivity, Hybrid Mail provides irrefutable proof of the posting date of notices, which is critical to this time-bound process.”

The Solution

“Within two years of switching our bulk print to Xerox, we were in pocket by £650,000, which helped us continue delivering excellent policing in the face of funding reductions,” says Steve. “On top of that, we’re making significant savings on managed print, and anticipate considerable efficiency gains with Hybrid Mail.”

Continued transformation of its services is a priority for Avon and Somerset Police, as it aims to engage more closely with the public and maximise the resources it can devote to keeping people safe. “It’s good to work with a market leader like Xerox,” says Steve. “We gain insight into the advances their customers in other sectors are making, and how we can do the same.”