Meet Rosauers Supermarkets Since its founding in Spokane, Wa. in 1949, when just 20 employees served shoppers, Rosauers Supermarkets has grown to a network of 21 stores in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. More than 2,000 employees take pride in delivering friendly, professional service in clean, wellstocked stores that offer a wide selection of high-quality products to its customers. Stores feature natural foods and from-scratch bakeries; most also offer in-store pharmacies.
Rosauers Supermarkets improves operations and customer service while reducing output costs with Lexmark Managed Print Services
Managed Print Services (MPS), Printers & Multifunction Devices
Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon
The grocery business is intensely competitive. Margins are tight and customer service is among the primary differentiators. Like every medium-sized company, Rosauers has business-critical printing requirements throughout its stores and at headquarters. In fact, Rosauers’ printing needs are almost as varied as the selection of items on its shelves. Grocery stores print a range of items, from profit reports to share with employees, to flyers for customers and vinyl shelf tags that display prices. Pharmacies print prescription labels and patient information sheets.
Before there was IT oversight, Rosauers met these disparate output needs with a range of printers. As the current IT staff became involved, some standardization was implemented, but the maintenance and management continued to put a strain on the IT staff in the corporate office. Printing problems and device downtime created issues that put customer service at risk.
“We didn’t have any centralized monitoring or visibility to the majority of the devices on the network,” said Steve Lee, director of information technology and communication for Rosauers.
Supporting the fleet of different devices required work-around solutions to keep stores operational when devices would need to be serviced. The service sometimes meant sending devices 400 miles back to the headquarters in Spokane, Wa. “A lot of our stores are in remote locations, so there’s not usually a technician available right away,” said Jeff Marx, IT specialist for Rosauers. “The stores had to ship the device to us and we’d have a local technician fix it and ship it back to the store.”
When Lee first took over IT operations, supplies for the myriad of printers were stockpiled and distributed from the corporate office. As printers were retired or replaced, old, unused supplies stock were left over, amounting to wasted resources. “The pharmacies typically kept at least two or three toner cartridges on hand, which took up a lot of space and led to outdated product,” said Marx.
Despite a variety of printers and devices in stores and pharmacies, the age of the printers led to a lack of features that employees craved to do their jobs more effectively. For example, they weren’t able to print in color, even when doing so would help draw customers’ attention to deals, special offers or other important information.
Lexmark came to the table with a welcome opportunity for Rosauers to upgrade the current equipment and processes to a solution that delivered more capability for less cost.
“One of the reasons we selected Lexmark is because of their ability to work with us to define what’s right for our company,” Lee said. “Our Lexmark representative helped us define our objectives, build a plan to meet them and find cost savings at the same time.”
Rosauers selected Lexmark MPS Business, a bundled offering with a defined set of managed print services and pricing, including installation/implementation support, diamond-level maintenance, proactive consumables management and access to reporting through a web portal.
Lexmark worked closely with Rosauers to select the right device models for each area of its business. Some areas benefited from traditional monochrome laser printing while others needed multifunction products (MFPs) that could handle multiple tasks such as printing, copying, faxing and scanning—in a single unit.
Now, all of the output devices throughout the 21 Rosauers stores and at its headquarters are connected to the network and are managed electronically. With visibility to the entire fleet, printers can report service needs and send that information back to Lexmark so that a technician can be dispatched, often before issues impact employees or customer service. Centralized management allows the IT staff to monitor and support devices from the main office, so that employees in more remote locations are spared the need to ship printers for maintenance, or worse, to temporarily do without print capabilities. When a device gets low on toner, the device itself automatically triggers an alert for a new toner cartridge to be ordered and shipped to the store. It arrives just in time to be replaced. The new approach to toner management has eliminated the need to stockpile consumables for multiple devices at the stores and has taken the burden of ordering off of store management’s hands.
Lexmark’s customer web portal gives Rosauers staff realtime insight into the status of all the devices in the fleet. Now, the team can use information about the company’s printing habits to make more informed business decisions about future IT projects.
Rosauers store managers and IT staff are pleased with the new Lexmark solution. It was an all-around win with new job-specific devices, centralized management, automatic consumables management and bottom line operational savings.
Employees in the stores appreciate the program too. “It’s nice not having to worry about supplies,” said John Tschirgi, store manager at the north division Rosauers Store, “because it gives us more time to do what we’re supposed to be doing and that’s helping our customers.”
Steve Lee Director of Information Technology and Communication Rosauers SupermarketsOne of the reasons we selected Lexmark is because of their ability to work with us to define what’s right for our company. Our Lexmark representative helped us define our objectives, build a plan to meet them and find cost savings at the same time.
The IT department was glad to surrender its role of maintaining its printers and other devices. “Instead of having to run around and ship printers back and forth,” Lee said, “the new Lexmark program brings the service to the stores and that has eased the process here at corporate and at the store level.”
For store managers, the ability to use color to communicate effectively is a highlight. “I can use printed color materials to emphasize some of the things that I would like our customers to see and read,” said Tschirgi.
“We are adding functionality to stores that we have never had before, while reducing both our stress and improving on our bottom line,” Lee said
In the end, service and customer focus set Lexmark apart for Rosauers. “One of the best things is Lexmark’s ability to have a long term vision of our goals along with a commitment to helping us achieve those objectives,” Lee said. “Lexmark really does care about our business and wants to bring value.”