The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: June 2008

FNB signs R15m office automation deal

1 June 2008

First National Bank has signed a deal with Itec West for a printing solution that will save the financial institution between 15 and 20% per annum.
In terms of the three-year contract, FNB has leased 137 multifunctional devices from Itec West, replacing a total of 656 desktop printers that were being used by FNB Shared Services' 3700 employees. These employees are situated in seven buildings around Johannesburg and five buildings across the rest of the country.
Prior to contracting with Itec West, the business unit had contracts in place with a range of printer, photocopier and fax suppliers, as well as a great number of independent desktop machines representing a variety of brands. "This was complex and expensive to maintain, operate and support," says Neels Boshoff, chief financial officer, FNB Shared Services. "We wanted to find one supplier who would be able to provide us with a top brand at a competitive price. At the same time, Itec West took the initiative, carried out a print audit and presented us with a solid business case for the overhaul of our entire office automation system. Not only have we saved a substantial amount of money, but we have also streamlined our processes as a result."
Neels Boshoff, chief financial officer, FNB Shared Services
Neels Boshoff, chief financial officer, FNB Shared Services
Itec West's print audit consisted of a full assessment of FNB Shared Services' existing printing solutions as well as a full print review that took into account monthly printing volumes per division and department, determined the need for colour and monochrome printing, and documented the printing requirements of individual employees. The report highlighted total cost of ownership, running costs, and where money was being lost.
"We found, for example, that many high-level multifunctional devices were being used only to make photocopies," says Rodney Taylor, managing director of Itec West. "Based on the findings, we compiled a proposal that outlined the structure of an enhanced office automation environment for FNB Shared Services."
FNB benchmarked the proposal against both existing and other suppliers and awarded the contract to Itec West. "The savings have been significant, but the business case was an equally important consideration," says Boshoff. "We have onsite support, realtime monitoring of all machines so that technicians are alerted to problems before users are even aware of them, backup devices at all sites, as well as an agreed turnaround time for fault resolution."
Itec provided FNB Shared Services with a standardised solution, so that only a single brand of toner and spare parts have to be kept onsite. "This not only cuts down on costs, but makes the entire printing solution more manageable and easy to run," adds Taylor.
For phase two of the rollout, which saw FNB Shared Services rationalising their office automation equipment in the FNB Shared Services Contact Centre environment, FNB sent out a request for proposals (RFP), inviting other suppliers to submit a proposal for the supply and management of multifunctional devices.
"This is the best way for us to leverage our negotiating ability and purchasing power with suppliers," Boshoff says. "Once again, Itec came up trumps in terms of price, ability to provide the service required, turnaround times, and BEE accreditation."
IQ automates FNB’s commission
IQ Software Engineering, a division of The IQ Business Group, has developed a bespoke software solution for FNB that enables the bank to boost the management of its home loan commissions. Previously, FNB managed the commissions manually, making the payout of commissions vulnerable to human error as well as taking a lot of extra man hours.
The smart client-based system not only streamlines the process for commission payments, it allows for traceable and audited calculation of all payments and identifies possible duplicate payments. It also allows for the recovery of past over-payments. In addition, it provides outputs that can be used as input into other systems while giving FNB a competitive turnaround time for processing commissions.
“The development of the FNB Home Loan Commissions system has enabled us to streamline and improve our overall process efficiency and enable us to improve our relationships with external parties due to improved business relationship," says Mark Sclanders, Head – FNB Home Loan Products.
With ease of use and good response times a high priority in the development of the system, IQ delivered a system that continued to provide the Excel-like abilities users were accustomed to.
“With .NET Framework version 2 and CSLA as the business domain framework, the system was given an Office 2007 look and feel. In line with FNB corporate policy, the database utilised was Microsoft SQL Server 2000,” explains Biase De Gregorio, delivery manager at IQ Software Engineering.
For more information contact Steve Lauter, IQ Business Group, +27 (0)11 259 4000, Ingrid Green, marketing manager, Itec South Africa, +27 (0)11 236 2186,,

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