Is making a change, worth the effort needed? Many school districts ask this question before they make any change with internal resources. Taking time to research areas of improvement takes time away from more important tasks (and students) and how much would they really save.
One of our local School Districts was asking themselves this very question. They were happy using their current vendor but wanted to improve their financial picture. A managed print program could possibly provide a solution, but would it be worth the effort. After all, they had a large fleet of printers and MFP's/copiers that grew for a period of ten (10) years, and it worked fine.
Sure, they could invest a significant amount of time into this endeavor, but what would the payoff look like? Harder yet, what burden would switching vendors (both in time and money) look like, despite the savings that would be reached? Would it be a break-even and a loss of time?
This school district faced the same challenges that the majority of districts do:
- Printing way too much. They saw waste everywhere. But that had been the same for the last 15 years. Everyone needs to print, especially teachers.
- Trouble controlling color printing. They knew they needed it. Color offers strong benefits but at what cost?
- An excessively large fleet of laser printers for the IT staff to maintain. They included network challenges, break fix, driver issues, purchasing of supplies, etc.
We had seen an average of 20% reduction in costs with implementing a managed print solution, so the investment in time had a strong chance of paying off. After we shared success stories with savings other school districts were seeing, they decided if was worth a look.
Our first step was to meet with the staff to do a site survey to map where all the devices were located. Using floor plans, we could better analyze the device locations. Then we looked at the printing volume of each machine and gave a recommendation that ‘right sized’ the MFP’s for the volume that was being produced. We also significantly reduced the laser printer fleet, because many times the laser printers were only a few steps away from the copiers.
When it came time to install the new fleet, there were 75 total devices. This was reduced down from 137! We suggested installing a print management software, PaperCut. This allowed their internal IT department to manage and monitor print volumes for their organization.
They equipped their MFP's with card readers and ‘follow me’ secure print release technology. Enabling their end users to send printing jobs into a secure hold queue and then go to any ‘follow me’ enabled device and release the job with a fob or HID access card. It is not only designed to help reduce printing, but It also gives the user multiple options for devices to print their material in case the first MFP's they went to release their job was already in use.
So, was the investment in their time worth it? Below are a few stats from this district after their first 12 months with their new Managed Print Solution.
- There were over 97,510 print jobs that were sent to the print queue and never released!
- Black & white print volume from 15 million a year to 8.4 million (43% reduction)
- Color print volume from 2 million to 365,000 (81% reduction)
- Overall 12 month cost of operation from $440,000 down to $144,000! (67% reduction)
Is making a change to review your printers and implement a managed print solution worth it?