Just In Time: Managing Information Technology Logistics
The first Tuesday in November every four years can get a little chaotic. Only slightly less chaotic are the midterm, city, county and other elections throughout the political cycle. To keep elections running smoothly, some states and counties turn to a company for help. And that election services company relies on MicroAge’s Ken Katz to coordinate the technology services piece of their work.
“One thing that an election committee needs to be prepared for is the possibility that voter turnout might exceed the number of pre-printed ballots,” Ken explains. “For print-on-demand ballots, they need OKI Data printers.”
Because ballots are machine-read, they must be produced on high-precision printers, and the OKI C9650hdn printers are ideal.
“Ken is very committed to ensuring every detail is right, and that’s especially important when you’re working on projects like this that involve multiple orders to multiple states,” adds James Greene, a representative for OKI Data. “He does his due diligence, and he and MicroAge are a pleasure to work with.”
Working together, Ken and the client’s chief operations officer were able to forecast how many printers would be needed for a recent election. Forecasting is an essential component because distributors typically do not stock these high-end printers.
“These are printers that have to be built,” Ken explains. “We were able to provide the logistics to get these printers ordered and then deliver them where they needed to be on time.”
Working with multiple distributors, Ken also made sure consumables like printer drums and toner arrived on time as well.
“We were able to work with multiple vendors to help our client,” he says. “And that was good, because no one distributor had everything.”
By coordinating the printers and related products, Ken was also able to save the client on both the cost of shipping and the time involved. Plus, the client could receive a small number of invoices and shipments, meaning they could focus their attention on what they do best.
“We did what we said we’d do,” Ken notes. “And because of our relationships and our financial strength, we were able to make it easy for the client to have a large deployment of a hard-to-find item.”