Ricoh South Africa has partnered with BirdLife South Africa, saving the organisation up to R200,000 per annum.
Ricoh has saved the organisation some R17,000 every month after replacing its document imaging environment with Ricoh equipment supplied, deployed and now maintained by Cortez Asset Finance, an authorised Ricoh business partner.
BirdLife South Africa strives to conserve birds, their habitats and biodiversity through scientifically based programmes by supporting the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources and encouraging people to enjoy and value nature.
‘We are reliant on donors for most of our income so to save just over R200,000 a year is hugely beneficial to us,’ said Fanie du Plessis, finance and operations manager of BirdLife South Africa. ‘Now we can allocate the saved finances to more critical needs, which is our mission.’
Martin Botha, director of Cortez Asset Finance said, ‘Cortez Asset Finance engagement with Birdlife South Africa began in 2014 and with BirdLife’s approval commenced to conduct a core physical and financial audit review of BirdLife’s existing office automation environment and associated contracts.
‘Upon conclusion of the no obligation audit, Cortez provided BirdLife South Africa with an asset register of the existing office automation fleet and highlighted all inefficiencies of the aforementioned contracts and furthermore highlighted how BirdLife South Africa would gain significant long term financial savings deliverable by Cortez Asset Finance, albeit with the addition of access to the latest technology. The relationship is a long-term customer based centric solution, which is managed by Cortez on a national footprint.’
Du Plessis said that the Ricoh technology enabled Cortez, along with its support and maintenance services, to reduce the monthly rental fees as well as the per-image costs to produce documents.
‘I get many requests from people like Martin Botha to get BirdLife’s business,’ said du Plessis. ‘I immediately felt comfortable, upon inspecting the documentation, that his proposal contained no hidden costs and knew that he had the best interests of BirdLife at heart. For example, many other providers included minimum billing clauses but Martin did not. Through our years of interaction, we have come to know Cortez as a reliable supplier that provided us with optimum service levels, irrespective of the fact that we are a relatively small client.’
He said the organisation can use the finances it will save every month to fund other critical needs such as supporting the organisation’s Seabird Conservation Programme office in Cape Town. This programme deals with a wide range of threats to seabirds such as mortalities linked to the fishing industry, and the drastic population decline of the African Penguin due to the depletion of fish stocks through overfishing.
Further inland, additional BirdLife South Africa programmes work on saving land-based threatened bird species, the protection of critical habitats for birds and other biodiversity, advocacy linked to developments which are undertaken in important habitats, and so on.
Du Plessis reiterated that BirdLife South Africa’s work is not only important to birds but also to people. ‘The habitats and species we aim to conserve are critical for the long-term sustainability of our society as a whole, as intact ecosystems form the basis for any flourishing society and economy.’
‘It’s well known that birds and birding are close to my heart, it’s a personal passion,’ said Jacques van Wyk, COO of Ricoh SA. ‘When I learned that BirdLife had selected Ricoh to be its document imaging technology and solutions partner I immediately donated reams of paper consumables to help its effective administration functions. BirdLife does such important work that impacts the broader South African society, such as habitat preservation that helps birds and protects our natural resources such as water – so crucial in a water-stressed country like ours, that I feel it’s my duty to support them.’