The UK’s largest foodservice brand, Brakes, recently awarded a three-year contract to Datatrade to maintain its mission critical printer fleet. The managed print services (MPS) contract will improve operational resilience of the vital back office printers, and increase warehouse productivity.


A key aim is to pre-empt, and ultimately eliminate, the sort of P1 callouts that delay Brakes’ distribution of multi-temperature food to UK pubs, restaurants, hospitals and schools.

Datatrade’s first task is auditing the existing fleet of nearly 500 industrial printers across Brakes’ 74 UK distribution centres. Steve Wilkes, from Datatrade says: “We need to assess the age and reliability of each device, its function and whether it’s right for the job. Only then will we know which printers are really mission critical in the warehouses, what work processes would be affected should they fail, and where to build in real resilience.

“Whilst Brakes has not put a figure on its own downtime, supermarkets claim it costs £100,000 an hour. So, we really need to identify where Brakes’ mission critical printers are located so that we can provide 24/7 cover for them, installing preventative maintenance care packs onsite to enable us to fix issues within four hours,” he says.

Brakes has both line thermal and laser printers across its fleet producing vital documents like picking notes, invoices and reports. As part of the MPS contract, Datatrade will help Brakes migrate some of its older, legacy devices to trial new machines from OEMs like Printronix.

Datatrade is no stranger to Brakes and has provided it with MPS support through a third party for a decade but this new, direct arrangement will expedite communications and deliver better value for money. Under the new contract, break/fix calls will be logged by Capgemini but the work will be done by Datatrade’s own engineers.

Keith Norbury, IS service delivery director at Brakes said: ‘Datatrade has a 10-year proven track record with us so we trust its engineers to maximise our printer availability, critical to ensuring we provide a great service to our customers. Our focus is on minimising downtime and we’re confident that Datatrade will identify the depots most at risk and develop a support and maintenance strategy to improve our overall operational resilience.”

MPS can both minimise warehouse downtime and reduce costs, typically by 30%. It ensures that printer fleets are properly maintained and serviced on an all-inclusive basis (parts, labour and consumables).

Tel: 01604 666606


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