Case studies

The annual printing expenses have been drastically reduced thanks to the in-house printing system at a fraction of the $20 per unit printing cost incurred for namecards previously.

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Canon's Expertise Shines Within Its Premises

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Overview:
  • Customer Name
    • Canon Singapore Pte. Ltd.

"The annual printing expenses have been drastically reduced thanks to the in-house printing system at a fraction of the $20 per unit printing cost incurred for namecards previously."

Business Overview

Canon's expertise shines within its premises
Known as a renowned camera maker for decades, Canon has since developed into a global player in providing innovative office workflow solutions. For over 70 years, Canon has built a reputation for technological innovations that support social and cultural development as well as better living standards.

Established in 1979, Canon Singapore Pte. Ltd. is the regional headquarters for South & Southeast Asia. The organization today boasts three subsidiaries in Malaysia, Thailand, India and has a representative office in Vietnam. Apart from leading all marketing, service and training activities in the region, Canon Singapore manages over 15 independent distributors in South Asia including Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Pakistan. As Canon Singapore progresses, it continues to market a comprehensive range of quality digital imaging equipment and office solutions for customers.

Canon seeks to understand what constitutes true efficiency:
With a record of developing unprecedented technologies in digital and office innovation, Canon Singapore is also constantly in search of the latest ideas and solutions to improve efficiency in the office, particularly, in the area of achieving true efficiency. Citing its own operations as an example, Canon has examined and discovered that true efficiency is not only achieved through cutting costs, but in understanding where time and money are wasted.

Typically when a company considers efficiency it thinks solely on input factors such as cutting the marketing / media budget, head count and non-essential expenses by a certain percentage. Canon, using a different approach, opts to take a closer look at how their organization is structured as well as how certain processes could be further improved.

Upon studying the organization, its process and value generation, Canon was able to ascertain which domains were generating real value and where time, money and resources were being wasted.

Canon looks into insourcing the outsourced to improve true efficiency:
Canon Singapore saw an opportunity to improve true efficiency by insourcing namecard printing. The team found that the former outsourced printing system was both tedious and expensive which often led to high wastage and increased costs. This led to the exploration of namecard printing utilising Canon's software and devices. The results were positive with the introduction of insourcing namecard printing with greater flexibility in printing, reduced printing and wastage costs, greater workflow optimization as well as a quicker printing system.

The Challenge

Then: Inflexible Printing Criteria
It was important that Canon Singapore assessed which tasks could be improved upon so as to ensure greater productivity and efficiency. When improving any task, a company always needs to identify areas that are truly critical. With over 800 staff, Canon Singapore required an extensive servicing team to support the demands of their day-to-day operations. Any holdups to this critical servicing process would lead to inefficiency and wastage of time and resources. This was evident in the area of namecard printing which faced restrictions when Canon outsourced namecard printing to an external vendor. The task of namecard printing experienced restrictions with the quantity required per order as well as additional costs when amendments had to be made. On the whole, the process of outsourcing proved tedious and ineffective.

Charged at $20 per unit, the external namecard printing source required a minimum order of 100 prints (1 box) per staff, from 10 staff each time. The General Affairs (GA) department staff also had to check and confirm the namecards artwork each time a job was requested, resulting in slower turnaround time of at least one week. In addition, urgent printing jobs often resulted in inconsistent size and quality, affecting the professional image of the Canon staff. Besides cost and quality, the external vendor was not able to immediately rectify errors in layout or information. Such impediments usually amounted to another 2 to 3 weeks of waiting time for the namecards to be reprinted and delivered. The entire process of outsourcing proved to be inadequate and inefficient on a whole.

Then: High Printing and Wastage Costs
Due to the minimum quantity required for outsourced namecard printing, Canon often had to over place orders in order to fit the quotas required. In addition, at a high charge of $20 per unit, such outsourcing has contributed to Canon's rising expenses with namecard printing. Also, amendments could not be immediately modified, thereby increasing wastage printing on replacing obsolete cards.

Then: Workflow Inefficiency
One challenge faced by the growing workforce of Canon Singapore was the constant requests for namecards. The manual process of filling up order forms led to errors that sometimes led to delays in the overall printing process. Frequently, GA staff had to spend time rectifying these errors, reducing the time they had to perform their duties efficiently.

Then: Slow Printing and Collection Process
There are always urgent request for namecards whenever there is a corporate event. However, with the restriction of a 2 to 3 week printing time period limitation, this restricted Canon Singapore's staff from networking opportunities. Coupled with time-consuming order forms and the necessity of GA staff to consolidate and check each entry before submitting the orders to external vendors, this lengthy process was susceptible to errors.

The Solution

Today: New Technology Makes Flexible Printing and Improved Output Quality a Possibility
Staff can now customise their namecards using Canon's PrintShop Mail software, an effective mechanism for them to design and modify their namecards with just one click. The GA department is able to immediately modify templates when changes are required. This saves time and simultaneously eliminates multiple prints for obsolete namecards, thus reducing print wastages and costs. Besides having no impositions on minimum orders, the in-house web based namecard printing system is very accessible to Canon Singapore staff. With an organised and faster printing system, Canon Singapore has devised a solution that successfully speeds up workflow and now allows staff to replenish their namecards within 2 to 3 days.

Today: Achieving Efficiency Without Increasing The Cost Structure
In order to achieve true efficiency, Canon Singapore had to explore alternatives that would reduce printing and wastage costs without affecting the cost structure in implementation. With in-house printing, Canon Singapore is able to assume absolute control over quality and quantity, effectively minimizing wastage.

The annual printing expenses have been drastically reduced thanks to the in-house printing system at a fraction of the $20 per unit printing cost incurred for namecards previously.

Today: Quick Printing and Collection Process
With in-house printing, Canon Singapore staffs are now able to order and amend their namecards via the web application, Printshop Mail. This online application automatically transfers all orders through a central system to the GA staff for approval. Namecards are then printed using Canon's imagePRESS C1 and imagePRESS C7000 devices, which are easily operated and accessed by staff. With lesser intermediaries, ordering, printing and collection of namecards are now more organized and convenient with lesser errors and wastages. The use of on-site insource printing also eliminates delivery time and costs with no delays or holdups for staff requesting namecards.

A success story!
Increased productivity, greater flexibility and reduced wastage


Canon Singapore has explored the opportunities of achieving true efficiency above the traditional mindset of just taking into account input factors such as reducing costs. This search for greater efficiency has led Canon Singapore to examine the nature of namecard printing and how insourcing would prove a more viable cost saving option. Through the advent of technologies like Canon's Printshop Mail and online printing options, Canon Singapore was able to replace the inefficient outsourced namecard printing process with in-house office solutions. This has led to increased productivity and greater flexibility with printing and lesser wastage.

The Results
  • New technology makes flexible printing and improved output quality a possibility
  • Achieving efficiency without increasing the cost structure
  • Quick printing and collection process


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