Roadway Express provides less-than-truckload freight services to more than 500,000 customers across North America each year. The company is interwoven intricately into the distribution of nearly every major industry � transporting apparel, appliances, automotive parts, chemicals, food, furniture, machinery, metal and metal products, rubber, textiles, wood and other manufactured products. The company�s corporate headquarters is in Akron, Ohio, which also houses its centralized help desk. Roadway Express� expansive breadth extends to nearly 400 terminal facilities outside its corporate headquarters. Thirty of these facilities are major consolidation and distribution centers located in strategic locations throughout the continental US to reach critical markets quickly. Maintaining smooth operations at these facilities is tantamount to sustaining efficient commerce throughout the US.
Business Problem
Roadway Express had been using Printronix P3040 and L150MVP line matrix printers purchased between 1991 and 1993. The company connected each printer to a standalone computer system, resulting in approximately 400 separate systems. The printers ran 24/7, printing on all types of transportation documentation including bills of lading, invoices and delivery receipts. This amounted to about 30 different types of multipart shipping forms. These antiquated systems did not facilitate efficient commerce; instead, they proved costly, both in repair expenditures and in unproductive employee hours.
For Roadway Express, printer downtime was a significant issue that required immediate resolution. Service calls on downed printing systems often were not resolved quickly, and mounting service calls consumed staff time. Two Roadway Express staffers � one onsite at the customer location and the other one at the centralized help desk � were spending 30 minutes or more on a single service call. In addition, Roadway Express terminal sites experienced an average of two to three electrical power outages each week, during which the printer configuration was often lost. These situations resulted in help desk personnel working with non-technical personnel on the tedious process of reconfiguring a printer manually or, alternatively, incurring the cost of a service call.
With more than 3,000 support calls handled per year � resulting in 75 hours logged at the help desk every month � Roadway Express needed a printing solution that was as scalable as its distribution network. In short, the company needed a solution that was more efficient and less costly and could withstand the less-than-ideal environment of the trucking terminals.
Printronix Solution
By analyzing Roadway Express� usage patterns and how it needed to grow, Printronix was able to recommend the right printing architecture to fit its needs. The Printronix PrintNet Plus remote printer management tool was the perfect solution for reducing Roadway Express� high service and maintenance costs. The company purchased 700 P5005 and P5205 Printronix line matrix printers with PrintNet Plus. Now, the central computer system located in Roadway Express� corporate office controls each printer remotely.
This unique remote management tool enables the centralized help desk to analyze individual printers located at any of the terminal sites. This diagnostic feature enables help desk personnel to correct problems, reconfigure printers and quickly decide whether the problem warrants a service call � all from one location, remotely managed. By empowering central help desk professionals to correct problems efficiently, Roadway Express and Printronix have been able to eliminate unnecessary service call costs and reduce printer downtime significantly. In one simple solution from Printronix, Roadway Express regained efficiency and productivity, keeping the company on the right road.
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