GH Metal Solutions

Simplifying Printing Across 14 Locations Nationwide by Eliminating Print Servers: GH Metal Solutions Eradicates Downtime in a Virtualized Environment

GH Metal Solutions Case Study

Challenges

  • Needed to eliminate print servers and related downtime across 14 offices nationwide
  • Standardizing printing in a virtual (VMware) environment
  • Enabling dead-simple printer setup for end users in order to reduce the time and cost spent dealing with help desk calls
  • Provide in-depth reporting and analytics to help manage printing costs across the entire organization

Results

  • GH Metal Solutions selected PrinterLogic to eliminate all print servers and standardize their print environment
  • Seamless integration with the existing VMware environment
  • PrinterLogic established an intuitive self-service print model, eliminating the need for manual printer adds and unnecessary service desk calls
  • Powerful auditing and reporting tools that enable the monitoring of print activities for greater cost control

GH Metal Solutions was founded in 1958 and has since become one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of metal parts. In 2012, GH Metal Solutions joined Feralloy Corporation in order to expand its manufacturing capabilities and grow into new markets. The full service metal fabrication company now has over 14 locations nationwide, including its 200,000 square foot headquarters in Alabama.

As the company experienced rapid growth, it also experienced growing pains in its printing environment.

“We had several print servers which managed printers throughout our 14 locations nationwide, and that created an absolute nightmare when it came to managing downtime,” said Mike Goddard, IT Network Hardware Administrator at GH Metal Solutions. “One of the print servers was always going down, which seriously decreased productivity and increased IT costs. We needed a solution, and I honestly didn’t know that eliminating all my print servers was even an option until I was introduced to PrinterLogic.”

GH Metal Solutions decided that it needed a print management solution that was:

  • Web-based
  • Able to run in a virtual environment
  • Simple for both administrators and end-users
  • Capable of providing in-depth reporting

After evaluating the available Enterprise Print Management Solutions, GH Metal Solutions selected PrinterLogic to eliminate their print servers and reduce their overall printer-related costs.

Challenge #1—Eliminating Print Servers (and Downtime) Across 14 Locations Nationwide

As GH Metal Solutions’ rapid expansion necessitated new offices nationwide, they continued to roll out additional print servers. Not only did this incur large upfront hardware costs, but the ongoing management of all these remote print servers was both costly and time consuming.

“We were constantly dealing with downtime issues and receiving high levels of support calls, and it was just overwhelming,” said Goddard. “It became apparent that we needed to remove print servers from the equation altogether.”

“Not only can users easily install their own printers with just a few clicks, they can also simply print from any GH Metal Solutions office they happen to be in.”

Solution

GH Metal Solutions recognized that PrinterLogic’s web-based app could be used to completely eliminate all of their print servers. In a short period of time, PrinterLogic helped GH Metal Solutions standardize its entire printing environment through centrally-managed direct IP printing. And PrinterLogic enabled all of this within GH Metal Solutions’ existing VMware environment.

“The simplicity of setup and the ease of use has been astounding,” said Goddard. “We were able to transition a complex print environment to an easy-to-manage direct IP setup in very little time. And it is so easy on computing resources that we have the whole thing running on a small virtual machine with no issues at all.”

Challenge #2—Enabling Dead-Simple Printer Setup for End Users

With a distributed workforce of over 300 people, GH Metal Solutions’ IT team was constantly bogged down with help desk calls related to printer installation issues. They needed a solution that was capable of empowering end users to install printers themselves and ensure that drivers were always transparently updated, in order to reduce help desk calls and cost.

“Our print environment was so complex that anytime someone needed to add a printer—across any of our offices—they had to call support,” said Goddard. “We needed a solution that eliminated the need for us to manually install everyone’s printers for them.”

Solution

GH Metal Solutions used PrinterLogic to enable printing across Active Directory domains—with or without trusts—to enable employees to print to any printer throughout the entire GH Metal Solutions organization. The software also established an intuitive self-service print model, eliminating the need for manual printer adds and unnecessary service desk calls.

“Not only can users easily install their own printers with just a few clicks, they can also simply print from any GH Metal Solutions office they happen to be in,” said Goddard.

Conclusion and Savings Summary

By deploying PrinterLogic, GH Metal Solutions was able to streamline its entire print environment, even in a virtual setting, while completely eliminating their print servers. The company’s IT team benefits from drastically reduced help desk calls (and the costs associated), and the simplified central management of hundreds of direct IP printers. And end users benefit from reduced downtime and the ability to simply install and use printers across any GH Metal Solutions office.

“Honestly, even without all the other benefits, the auditing and reporting tools alone would have delivered a strong ROI. PrinterLogic has been an incredible asset to our organization,” said Goddard.