It is a universal truth that printing can become a very costly expense if it is not closely managed. Looking at a school environment, printing cannot be done away with as printing plays a critical role in the education environment. As technology evolves, educational institutions are challenged to keep up with the latest trends and they must do so with a limited budget.
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A common misconception is that educational technology replaces printing, as well as replacing the role of the teacher. Technology in the education space is there to support the teacher and school management in their daily activities and to enhance the teaching experience. Budgetary constraints become a barrier for schools to adopt the latest teaching technology and therefore place school management under immense pressure to keep expenses to a minimum while at the same time innovating within the school space.
Printing is often the biggest expense and school management often face the following challenges:
- Many different device models and brands that have to be supported
- Multiple vendors / contracts with confusing billing structures
- Under or over utilised print equipment causing device failure
- No dedicated reporting system on print behaviour for better control
Managed Print Services (MPS) is the key to managing the school’s print volumes and costs, here are five Instant benefits that come from implementing an MPS strategy:
- Cost Savings:
Often in school environments, too many or too little supplies for print devices are ordered. This results either in downtime or over supply situations. Gaining control of this process can lead to immediate costs savings for the school and a reduction in downtime. Another way to save costs is to target a more centralised print strategy, where all unnecessary desktop machines are removed. All printing is then directed to the bigger machines which run at a lower cost to desktop machines.
- Gain Visibility:
To gain visibility means to gain knowledge in what users are printing. Schools will have access to usage reports. These reports can be used to analyse print behaviours and analysis can be broken down per department, location or user. This data can assist in identifying faculty users that are printing too much as well as areas where policies could be implemented to reduce print volumes.
- Effortless Printer Maintenance:
Maintenance of printers is usually left at the bottom of the to-do list in most school environments. Owned devices are usually serviced as and when downtime occurs. This can become expensive and can cause frustrations for IT, Teachers and Students. MPS will ensure maintenance and supplies of all owned and non-owned equipment, which will reduce downtime and frustrations within the environment.
- Support the “Green” Initiatives in Protecting the Environment:
Schools have a responsibility to lead the way in protecting the environment and educating their students to do the same. Through a sustainable MPS strategy, the school can assist employees and students to print less in order to save paper, recycle printer cartridges and avoid non-collected print jobs.
- Simplifying Budgets:
The main goal of implementing an MPS strategy is to make it easier to manage the total cost of the print environment and to reduce printing in general. Managing vendor contracts and billing as well as any orders for print consumables, allows for a more centralised billing structure which leads to better planning and implementation of forecasting measures for future costs. Cost savings for schools are essential and can be realised in many different areas. The key to managing school print environments is to have a centralised system which allows for staff printing, whilst keeping print costs to a minimum. Digital educational solutions are also entering the market to drive print volumes down. The biggest barrier for most schools are the costs to implement these types of solutions. Managing the print environment is the first step to reducing costs and volumes.