I B S Office Solutions

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by I B S Office Solutions's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from I B S Office Solutions is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Managing Director
Based in Henley-on-Thames, IBS Office Solutions have
successfully implemented cost-saving print solutions to the
education sector, supporting schools and colleges in the
UK to provide the most economic and user-friendly devices for
teachers and pupils alike. They help meet the growing demands
of education and enable in-house production of valuable
learning resource data. Through their own team of trained DBS-
checked engineers, IBS Office Solutions directly service in excess
of 2,000 Sharp multi-functional copiers, printers and scanners.
They also provide print management solutions so that schools
can adapt to the changes in technology and teaching (such as
“bring your own device”, Mobility Print and Follow Me Print).
Describing all of this in greater detail is Managing Director,
Caleb Southwell.
Sources of pride for IBS Office Solutions
Many things distinguish IBS Office Solutions. In addition to our proactive approach
to reducing our carbon footprint, we are proud of being: an appointed “Sharp
Centre of Excellence”; Sharp’s largest distributor in the South of England and a
PaperCut-accredited reseller specialist.
Equally worth pointing out is the speed with which we respond to our client’s
needs – our call-out times are well under four hours and remote IT support comes
within the hour.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2006
»Based in Henley-on-Thames
»Services: Supply and support
of photocopiers, printers and
scanners to the education
»Number of employees: 22
IBS Office Solutions
Highlighting best practice
Over the past 15 years, we have grown
from a home-based operation, to now
employing over 20 staff and occupying
new premises of more than 3,000
square feet. Our success over this time
is founded on the principles of not
being a faceless operation. We provide
a human approach to our clients, so
we fully understand their requirements
at all times. From half past seven
every morning, of every working day
of the week, we are at the end of the
phone to assist, guide and support
Testifying to our success
»“The office at IBS and their team of
engineers are always quick to answer
and respond to our calls. When
required, an engineer is often on site
within two to three hours after the
call is logged.”
»“IBS are always my first point of
call for copying and printing service
discussions; I am then able to
compare service and costs against
other suppliers but have found none
to beat those offered.”
IBS Office Solutions’ unique
At IBS, we are committed to the
provision of regular training for
all employees, such that they can
meet the growing demands of our
clients. We also provide training for
all teachers and reprographic staff
during installation and throughout
the year as required. In tandem with
this, we ensure ease of use, which
in practice means a customised user
interface that reflects the requirements
of each school. Additionally, we have
an account manager for each region
of the UK, all overseen by the senior
engineering manager. Also important
to us is that we conduct a regular
review of our minimum service call
procedures and policies.
Another distinguishing feature of our
company is the extent to which we are
proactive. At any time during the day
we can remotely monitor our clients’
hardware and consumable needs.
During the school holidays we visit and
complete preventative maintenance
calls, thereby preparing the equipment
efficiently for the start of each term.
The “SEE-SAW” approach
Many of our clients recognise the value
of getting the right balance between
cost and quality of service. This is why
our retention and renewals of client
contracts is in excess of 98 per cent.
Those returning after three years or
less have experienced poor support
from contracts based purely on price.
The lower-priced providers often
install inappropriate equipment for the
schools and do not allocate sufficient
time to implement print management
systems effectively, which hampers
schools’ abilities to save costs and
minimise the environmental impact.
As a result, these framework-based
contracts don’t always deliver the
financial savings they portray.
A wide range of
Many of our
recognise the
value of
getting the
right balance
between cost
and quality of
Adapting to change
Our admin team are dedicated to
ensuring our policies and procedures
satisfy the ever-changing climate of the
education sector. This includes:
»DBS checks for all customer-
interfacing employees
»Engineers carry a company ID and
DBS license
»GDPR: residue of data on equipment
hard drive
All equipment that is returned at the
end of contract have their hard drives
reformatted. Our latest range of
products has a function called a Data
Security Kit, which overwrites the hard
drive after every copy and print with
military-graded encryption.
UK copier market
Over the past few years, there have
been numerous acquisitions in the
UK copier market, whereby the
resellers have become larger than
the manufacturers. In response,
the Japanese manufacturers have
increased their direct sales activity
through framework contracts and
by undercutting their own dealer
network, which they fund directly
from the factories in Japan. This
issue has been compounded by the
manufacturers acquiring a number of
the larger resellers in the UK. There
are now limited UK companies which
can compete with the manufacturers’
pricing. The knock-on effects include:
»Decline in local employment
»Diminishing margins
»Decline in the quality of after-sales
»Decline in potential cost savings
»Increased downtime of equipment
»Environmental impact due to
engineers driving further, causing
greater carbon emissions
Stay in the race
We at IBS Office Solutions will continue
to be proactive in our approach of
offering high standards of service
support, customer liaison and general
administration. We will endeavour,
with the support of our suppliers and
employees, to offer best value but
without compromise.
Best value but
Production print


This article was sponsored by I B S Office Solutions. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy