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Konica Minolta rescues NFP mail house

Wednesday, 28 March 2018
By Print21

Beehive Industries is a NFP Social Enterprise.

A chance meeting between Konica Minolta CEO David Cooke and Beehive Industries chief Brendan Lonergan has helped to secure the future of the Sydney-based not-for-profit organisation that supports seniors, people living with disabilities and the long-term unemployed.

Beehive operates a successful packaging assembly and mail house service for a range of corporate, government, and not-for-profit customers, operates a leisure centre and learning centre as well as running a full commercial kitchen and dining room where it provides free breakfast, morning tea, and lunch to its service users each day. 

The organisation was facing a funding crisis after losing a significant portion of its budget under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, making it difficult to continue providing services. 

‘An incredibly smart piece of equipment’:  Brendan Lonergan, CEO Beehive. 

To run its Darlinghurst-based mail house services, Beehive had to use local print shops to print out flysheets, letterheads and other jobs. This external cost meant profit margins were negligible, making it harder for Beehive to raise the money it needed to support its service users. 

Brendan Lonergan, CEO, Beehive Industries, said, “Faced with such a substantial loss in recurrent funding, there are generally two options: cut services and support fewer people in need; or expand revenues to continue to support as many people as possible. Obviously, Beehive preferred to expand revenues.” 

Beehive intended to launch a program called Beehive2Work, which would expand the commercial services it offered and provide employment opportunities for the people it supports.  However, Beehive had no printing equipment in-house and no budget to purchase state-of-the-art equipment, which severely limited its ability to explore new revenue opportunities.

But at a chance meeting with Konica Minolta CEO Dr David Cooke, Brendan Lonergan outlined the issues Beehive faced. 

Dr David Cooke, CEO Konica Minolta.

“We’re looking after more than 200 seniors, people with disabilities or long-term unemployed and the of the money for the services we provide comes from running the commercial business. At the meeting, Dr David Cooke asked how Konica Minolta could help; it was clear that printing and document scanning equipment would be ideal to help us expand our commercial services and improve our margins.” 

Konica Minolta immediately began sourcing ex-lease equipment that could be put to work at Beehive, donating a bizhub C654 including booklet finishing technology for in-house printing requirements. Konica Minolta’s partner, ACA Pacific, donated a Kodak i4600 scanner and associated training and implementation. Konica Minolta also supplied furniture, computer equipment, shelving units, and more. 

Beehive Industries received ex-lease equipment that was in as-new condition, which helped to launch its Beehive2Work program. “The equipment was so well refurbished that when the Konica Minolta technician arrived to do the install, he initially thought it was a brand new machine,” said Lonergan.

“This incredibly smart piece of equipment has delivered two key benefits. First, we can now offer printing services to our customers, which also means we can make a small margin on the printing. Even at a few cents a page, it soon adds up over thousands of pages and helps cover our funding needs. 

“The second key benefit is that we’re now a lot more useful to our customers and potential customers. We’re no longer asking them to do their own printing or incurring costs at a local print shop. Instead, we simply ask them to send us their data files and we can do the rest. That makes us more competitive and a more realistic alternative to traditional print shops. 

“We can print everything from membership stickers to flysheets for magazine mail-outs. This has created new lines of business and more work for the business. That means more cash flow as well as more activity for our people to do.” 

Beehive’s service users are socially and economically disadvantaged. The Beehive2Work program gives them a place to go and work to do. It also provides training opportunities that can translate into longer-term employment in private businesses. 

“What Konica Minolta has contributed to Beehive Industries is a lot more than just equipment,” Lonergan said. “It’s opened up new opportunities for us and our service users, which is priceless.” 

2 Responses to “Konica Minolta rescues NFP mail house”

  1. March 28, 2018 at 2:10 pm,

    said:

    Great work KM. Everyone is a winner – and not that hard to do!

  2. March 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm,

    said:

    What a great ‘good news’ story. Well done David and KM.

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