Harry Gwala Municipality refreshes printers with a reliable, easy to manage solution

Harry Gwala District Municipality


Local government organisation replaced its ageing fleet with Nashua printers and multi-function devices, helping to reduce wastage and save money. The solution is reliable and easy to manage, saving staff time.

The challenges

For government bodies, the requirements for IT and printing are similar to private companies: a reliable easy-to-manage service is needed, with the features to meet users’ demands, and delivered at a competitive price. Harry Gwala District Municipality (formerly known as Sisonke District Municipality) is no exception. Located in KwaZulu-Natal, the municipality provides services to nearly half a million residents, across an area of more than 10,000km2. It is organised into five local municipalities: Kwasani, Ubuhlebezwe, Umzimkhulu, Ingwe and Greater Kokstad.

The municipality was previously using incumbent printers, but when this contract came to an end, it went out to tender to find a replacement printer vendor that could meet the needs of its 400 staff.

After reviewing the available options, it chose a solution from Nashua. The decision was based on the overall strength of Nashua’s proposal, and its ability to provide a solution to control and manage the print environment.

The solution

The Nashua solution includes a variety of machines, which are used for printing, faxing and scanning, including scanning documents directly to email. The machines are deployed in the municipality’s head office and at its four district satellite offices, which are all connected by a wide area network (WAN).

As well as regular office use, the municipality outputs many large documents in its main print room, such as agendas, so print volumes are high. Overall volume is now around 150,000 pages per month, of which the majority is generated at the head office.

The main print room is equipped with a Pro1107 high-volume printer and an MPC6501SFP colour multi-function printer (MFP). The head office also uses MP4002 and MP5002 black and white MFPs. Finally, each of the four satellite offices has an MPC3352SP colour MFP.

PaperCut reduces wastage

A key part of the solution is PaperCut software, which means that users have to enter their own passcode at a printer to release their output job. Previously, the municipality did not have this kind of print management, and was not able to see in detail exactly what its users were printing.

“The passcode system cuts down on wastage substantially – we used to have a lot of unused paper lying around,” says Final Dlamini, IT technician at Harry Gwala District Municipality. “It’s also good for privacy – everybody likes to keep their documents confidential.”

As well as saving money by cutting print volumes and wastage, the software enables printing costs to be recharged to different departments within the municipality. This improves accountability and management visibility of what is being printed, and helps to encourage users to reduce their printing output.

With PaperCut, users can also print to a device at another site, which can help when they are travelling between offices and want to collect their documents when they arrive.

Time savings

The municipality has an IT team of only two people, meaning that time, and the saving thereof, is of utmost importance. According to Dlamini, reliability has improved with the new fleet of devices, and he comments, “Everything’s good – we have fewer problems than with the previous printers.

“We spend less time compared to the old printers, which gave us a lot of trouble,” continues Dlamini. “Before, we had to sort out a problem with the printers each and every day, and I used to spend most of my time dealing with paper jams and other issues – typically 30 hours out of the 35 in the week.”

“Now, the time I used to spend with the printers is freed up, which means that I can concentrate on other tasks such as fixing computers and managing the network,” says Dlamini. “Our IT systems are now better maintained as I have more time.”

Proactive support

ProAct software, which is both a preventative and proactive management system, sends notifications to Nashua of toner levels and any problems at the municipality, as well as monthly readings of pages printed. ProAct also enables Nashua to automatically send monthly reports to Harry Gwala’s finance department, which detail the spending on print and what each user has printed.

“Nashua log in remotely with the Nashua ProAct software, which helps me because they don’t have to visit us to sort out issues – which means resolution is fast,” says Dlamini. “When we see something that needs attention, we phone Nashua and they log in and fix the issue quickly.

“Nashua’s service is good, and they’re really fast to respond,” says Dlamini. “The Nashua people are the best – they phone after hours and the technicians are truly dedicated.

“Implementation was smooth, the support is fast, and overall, everything is excellent – I would give Nashua 10 out of 10,” concludes Dlamini.

For further information on any aspect of becoming a customer reference for Nashua , please contact Nashua’s communications manager, Jessica Midlane – [email protected].

For more information please visit www.nashua.co.za, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook