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Winning 'Green' Hearts & Minds

Ross O. Storey | March 29, 2010
The holy grail of a 'paperless office' may be just a vision to many, but one Singapore government statutory board has made significant progress by winning over the 'hearts and minds' of its employees.



 Change management and employee resistance were the key obstacles faced by the JTC Corporation when they undertook a major managed print services project as part of their Green IT journey.

 Working together with FujiXerox, the managed print services project was deployed by the JTC in three phases across five months to refresh their printing technology. Most of the Corporation's machines were more than four years old.

 The JTC is a statutory board of the Singapore Government. It is the lead agency responsible for planning, promoting and developing the Lion City's industrial facilities and infrastructure.

 Since being established in 1968, the JTC has developed some 6,600 hectares of industrial land and 4.4 million square metres of ready built facilities. Its projects include Changi Business Park, Jurong Island, Seletar Aerospace Park, Tuas Biomedical Park, the Biopolis, Fusionopolis and the newly announced CleanTech Park - which means a lot of printing and paper.

 Nurturing Singapore industry

 In the process of establishing and nurturing Singapore's broad-based industrial property market, the JTC has housed more than 7,000 home grown companies and multinationals.

 The managed print services project, said JTC CIO Lawrence Ang, produced "significant improvements to our overall office eco-system and aesthetics" and tangible annual cost savings of more than SG$100,000 (US$71,324).

 The number of printing devices (photocopiers, network printers, standalone printers, fax machines, scanners) was reduced by about 85 per cent - from 454 individual machines to less than 70 multi-function devices (MFDs).

 In the five months after the project completion, the number of print jobs was cut by 18 per cent (from 684,221 to 559,698) compared to the five months before.

 Ang said that the extent of the change at JTC "was fairly drastic", so they had a Plan B and Plan C. And some of these were as simple as connecting back an old network printer to alleviate the print load.

 Identify strong supporters

 "We did not have to activate these plans," he said. "We also identified departments who were either strong supporters of the project or those whose current problems could be alleviated with the MFD's to be in Phase 1 and then immediately incorporated their possible feedback into the publicity track for the later phases.

 "Reflecting back, it is useful to work with a partner, in this case Fuji Xerox, who is ready and capable to walk the journey with you - the journey of change, consolidation, document management and process integration."

 Ang said it was a challenge to convince staff that less devices did not mean being worst-off: "Especially those who wanted to cling on to their existing personal printers and now have to walk further to collect their print jobs from the multi-function devices (MFDs)."


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