Somerton & Co Calculates the Benefits of New OKI Printer - UK
Hugh Somerton formed the company in the late fifties and operated from offices in Luton. As the practice grew the operation was relocated to Central Croydon to serve a large base of clients in South London.
The firm has grown rapidly but it has been able to still retain its personal service and touch to its clients and has successfully achieved the transistion from being a small firm to a medium sized firm.
A study from the centre for economics and business research (cebr) states that the UK accountancy services sector could potentially make an annual cost saving of £11 million through more efficient printing. This saving equates to a new top-of-the-range (£40) calculator for all the country's accountants.
For Somerton & Co, a small Croydon-based firm of chartered accountants, the chance to achieve performance benefits cost-effectively was top-of-mind when it decided to invest in the C8800 Series, an innovative A3 colour printer from OKI Printing Solutions.
The firm was attracted to the OKI printer because it was cost-effective and yet capable of delivering the quality and accuracy it was looking for and, in so doing, generate efficiencies for the business. The OKI C8800 fitted the bill perfectly.
For any accountancy firm being able to present itself in a visually impressive way as possible to existing and potential clients can be a key competitive differentiator. And Somerton & Co is no exception in this respect. Since it was implemented, the printer has helped the firm to market itself more effectively by enabling it to present its full service portfolio in the most professional manner possible.
A key element in this promotional process is OKI Template Manager, a software package that comes 'in the box' and provides a range of templates to help improve printed documents including letterhead and business cards. Somerton & Co has been quick to see the potential of the software.
As an accountant at the firm, Chirag Vora, explains, "We view the quality of our marketing material as a key element in successfully building our brand in the marketplace. When we first saw Template Manager, we were amazed at what it could offer us in enhancing that brand and enabling us to achieve consistency across all our accounting activities."
Another important use of the OKI C8800 at Somerton & Co is to print out accounts spreadsheets on A3 paper. Historically, in order to do this, the firm relied on a mono laserjet printer, which was unable to print either in colour or in an A3 format. Over time, the lack of a colour printing capability became a growing concern. If the firm wanted to emphasise any information on a spreadsheet or alert clients to specific queries, it had to mark-up the relevant sections with a highlighter pen.
Equally, the ability to print only in A4 was increasingly inconvenient. As Somerton & Co's Chirag Vora explains, "As we were limited to A4, we often had to flick between several pages just to carry out a month's analysis of a client's accounts. It was an awkward and cumbersome process."
As Vora explains, "Since implementing the C8800, we can fit a whole spreadsheet onto one A3 page. This reduces paperwork and allows us to analyse a set of accounts far more quickly. It also makes it easier to run through issues with clients during face-to-face meetings."
Vora adds that the print quality delivered by the OKI printer has been exceptional. This is important when presenting to clients. "We really notice the difference when we are compiling the end-of-year accounts," he said. "The print quality is a lot better than we could have generated on our previous device."
The Need for Speed
The speed of the OKI C8800 has been another key benefit. By using it, the firm can print up to 26 pages per minute (ppm) in colour and 32 ppm monochrome. Once again, this performance far exceeds the level it could have achieved using its previous device.
According to Vora, "We often have to print several sets of accounts to tight deadlines and then send them to a range of different locations. Typically, these include Companies House, the client's headquarters and the relevant tax offices. The rapid printing speed of our new printer makes this process much simpler." As it looks to the future, Somerton & Co is eager to explore other ways of promoting itself, enhancing its business profile with quality marketing collateral and brochures and improving its client service with colourful presentation boards and high-impact easy-to-read financial reporting using the OKI C8880.