Multifunction devices & uniFLOW software reducing Linfox print costs

Supplier: Canon Business Services
14 May, 2015

Linfox has grown from humble beginnings to become the largest privately owned logistics company in Australia. The Linfox Logistics business operates more than 3.2 million square metres of warehousing and nearly 5,000 vehicles across ten countries.

Across the Asia Pacific region, Linfox Logistics provides logistics services to the world's largest miner, delivers more than 4.5 billion litres of fuels, more than 16 million pallets of goods to retailers and serves nine of the region's top ten Fast Moving Consumer Goods producers.


Linfox was consolidating its two head offices located in Clayton and on St Kilda Road into one new branch in Essendon Fields. As part of the migration Linfox looked to Canon, to streamline its print and document handling processes and reduce costs.

Linfox also had internal energy efficiency targets to meet and identified its printing environment as a way to meet these goals. Canon deployed six imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5051 copiers and uniFLOW software to provide the organisation with a more cost-effective and flexible printing infrastructure.

The challenge

As part of its national growth strategy Linfox is gradually consolidating its smaller sites to more centralised 'mega' logistical sites in order to bring its teams closer together and improve the sharing of information and exchange of ideas among departments. This will then lead to more efficient and cost-effective operations.

In 2009 two separate branches in St Kilda and Clayton, Victoria, were migrated to one head office in Essendon Fields. Each of these offices had 25-30 desktop printers alone, so Linfox was looking for a way to reduce this number of devices to improve its printing efficiencies and processes.

"We really needed to be smarter about our printing – having 50+ desktop printers and faxes was not sustainable and certainly not efficient," said Jacqui. "Our main goals were to reduce our costs - for consumables, maintenance and paper wastage – while also having greater visibility into our printing usage to help streamline our workflows.

The solution

Linfox has been using Canon's imageRUNNER multifunction devices (MFDs) since 2001 in 150 of its sites Australia-wide, so has already seen the benefits delivered by Canon's devices and uniFLOW software. In 2009 Linfox expanded on this existing solution when it consolidated two sites and replaced 50+ desktop printers and faxes with six Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5051 multifunction devices as part of its move to its new head office at Essendon Fields.

"Canon has been able to demonstrate the benefits of its MFDs for a number of years and this prompted us to deploy them in our new Essendon Fields site, as well as other future sites such as Hazelmere in Western Australia," said Jacqui.

"The feature that we were most excited about was the uniFLOW software, as this gives us so much more functionality from our printing environment, such as secure printing, scan to email and mobile printing."


Since deploying the imageRUNNER devices and uniFLOW software in its new head office, Linfox has been able to considerably reduce the costs associated with its printing environment. Consolidating its 50+ desktop printers and faxes down to six MFDs means fewer consumables to replace, reduced device maintenance, and far greater visibility and control over its printing usage.

"The main goal was to reduce our costs associated with paper wastage in the office, and that was something we noticed immediately after using uniFLOW," said Jacqui. "By 2015 Linfox wants to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 per cent and we're confident that our reduced paper wastage will go a long way to helping us achieve that goal.

"With the Canon printers we can delete jobs before they are printed, which prevents unnecessary surplus, and double-sided printing is set as default. Uncollected print jobs are also automatically cleared after 24 hours.

"The monitoring provided by uniFLOW is also a great benefit. We can run usage reports, track how many colour prints we're doing and by whom, and also establish where the greatest volume of printing is being processed. These statistics all help us to identify areas where we can potentially cut costs," said Jacqui.

Secure printing was also a feature that Linfox wanted to leverage as part of the uniFLOW offering. With a number of different departments in the organisation managing confidential documents, such as legal and financial, a secure printing component was critical.

"We can't afford to have sensitive documents lying around the printer, especially from a legal perspective," said Jacqui.

"The feedback we've received from staff on secure printing has been great. They are now able to print their documents throughout the day and then just make one trip to the printer without worrying about the documents getting misplaced or getting into the wrong hands. And it doesn't matter which machine they print to, with the secure swipe card they can print securely from any machine.

"We also have peace of mind from a maintenance perspective," added Jacqui. "The printers automatically notify Canon when the consumables are running low, meaning we don't have to handle the replacements. It's great knowing that we never have to worry about running out of toner – it's all managed for us," said Jacqui.

Future plans

Another long term goal for the Canon rollout was the mobility strategy, as Linfox is looking to integrate mobile devices into its workflows as much as possible. The business has been upgraded to uniFLOW 5.1, which enables greater compatibility for Apple devices and other mobile functionality.

"The IT department and some of our senior execs use iPad and iPhone devices so the latest version of uniFLOW will certainly make their lives easier and provide greater flexibility," said Jacqui. "We are sure to see the value of this as more staff use their own devices for document sharing. It also provides us with guest printing, meaning that anyone visiting the branch will be able to print from their own mobile device."

As part of the broader business strategy, Linfox is increasingly migrating to larger logistical sites in the same mould as Essendon Fields, and its Hazelmere branch is the latest site to get the upgrade to uniFLOW 5.1.