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A Top Steel Manufacturer Looks to ARC to Reduce Printing Costs

The new eastern section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge connects more than two California cities — it joins companies from around the world that came together to build the soon-to-be iconic span.

One of those companies is an icon itself.

China’s state-owned Baosteel is one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world and produced much of the material that made the bridge — as well as buildings, ships, vehicles, and many other products — possible.

But as the Shanghai-based company has grown at a blistering pace along with China’s economy, it sometimes produces challenges as well as excellent steel.

For the past two decades, Baosteel has done all of its printing in-house, from bid documents to blueprints. Though expenses were high due to a very large production staff, it was never an issue because their business was always strong.

And then things began to change.

Labor costs in China started rising and the central government began cutting budgets, preventing Baosteel from being able to buy new machines and keep up with printing demand. They needed to shift gears.

Fast.

And that’s where ARC’s joint venture company in China, Unis Document Solutions (UDS), came in.

UDS has worked with Baosteel for the past decade, mainly supplying machines for their print center. But Michael Ruan, Vice President of Sales, ARC-UDS, and his team saw an opportunity. They presented the company with a Managed Print Services (MPS) solution, one that featured ARC’s PlanWell Collaborate, a cloud-based project software that maximizes project collaboration and document delivery.

Before Baosteel committed, they asked Ruan to run some numbers.

“This past January, they asked us to give them a quote for all the printing jobs they did in 2012,” recalls Ruan. “And to their surprise, our quote was 30 to 60% lower than their cost, which would have saved them $250,000.”

It’s hard to argue with numbers like that. The MPS deal with Baosteel was sealed in June 2013, with UDS agreeing to manage 14 large multifunction devices and 200 onsite printers. In addition, there will be two dozen UDS employees working onsite. And since UDS is a part of ARC, Baosteel will have the ability to expand their use of ARC’s MPS solution across the globe.

“It’s exciting to be at the forefront of a sea change in printing services in China,” says Dilo Wijesuriya, ARC’s Chief Operating Officer. “Many government agencies are looking at technology to streamline their processes and reduce operational costs.”

Ruan is quick to point out that getting the Baosteel contract was a team effort. Everyone from Victor Wang, Production Manager for Digital Printing, to Sinky Liu, MPS Director, to Grey Wang, MSS Director, had a hand in bringing it to fruition.

However, it was Grey Wang, the project manager, who went the extra mile. Literally.

“Every Friday afternoon, Grey offered a ride home to Baosteel’s printing center general manager,” explains Ruan. “The rush hour traffic gave them plenty of time to talk business.”

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