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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister