Pathology company sets up $1m printer deal

One of Australia's largest private pathologist companies, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, has terminated its three-year colour printer contract with Lexmark and installed 85 Oki machines as part of a new three-year $1 million deal with Oki.

Part of the Sonic Healthcare Group with more than 1800 employees, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology terminated the three-year contract with Lexmark, saying the support times were not up to scratch.

While not wanting to "bag" Lexmark, Rob Wells, group IT manager at Sonic Healthcare said Lexmark was "highly professional and helpful", but was just unable to suit the needs of Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology.

Well said the pathology does a lot of colour printingmaking cost per page important.

According to Wells, most of Sullivan's printing occurs outside capital cities in regional areas, which can make support difficult as "vendors supply their support mostly near where other companies are based, in capital cities".

"We are a very demanding customer as we're talking about crucial reports for medical diagnostics. We need to be able to print these reports and get the results of patient's tests back to the doctor immediately. If a printer dies and we don't have an alternative at the site, we have to print the report from another location and get the report couriered. We can't wait an hour or two for support to turn up," Wells said.

The roll-out of the new digital colour printers which started in early September, and finished this month, saw OKIC7200 and OKIC9400 colour units installed at laboratories throughout QLD and northern NSW.

The Oki deal includes three years of maintenance services and round the clock support.

Wells said Oki has promised to "be able to support the new printers at each of the locations and if for whatever reason it can't repair the printer, it will be able to replace it asap.

"We did speak to Lexmark about the support times and it was keen to help. I wouldn't want to give out a message that they were anything but highly professional, but still it wasn't to the standard we required. Lexmark did a number of things for us at a cost to them. We just need to be able to give our doctors and patients the best results," Wells said.

Wells said as part of the three-year deal, Oki provided training to Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology staff on how to use the new printers. This included call centre, IT and engineer staff.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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