In school districts of all sizes, copiers and printers serve a central role in helping to disseminate information and creating working documents. Not only are copiers and printers important to the learning process, they are in use by students, teachers, staff and even visitors.
In addition to a wide variety of users, there also are a variety of devices—desktops, tablets, laptops, smartphones—accessing those printers. Put it all together, and it becomes a complex printing environment, whether it's all in one building or spread across many schools throughout a community.
Here are seven common problems school districts face when it comes to copiers/printers and some of the solutions that come from working with a Managed Print Services provider.
1. Too many printers
Many school districts acquire printers at the end of the school year before budget money goes unused, and it’s not very strategic. Some don’t even know how many they have, or how many different models and manufacturers are represented in their printer pool. That, of course, makes maintenance and supplying the printers confusing at best and chaos at worst.
Solution: Managed Print Services can conduct an assessment of a school district’s entire print environment to provide a clear picture of what the district has, and what it needs and doesn't need.
2. OVERWORKED IT STAFF
Having a school district's IT team run from printer to printer to deal with maintenance, repair and supplies reduces the time they have to do other work—sometimes their primary job. It's becoming more important for schools to be strategic about how and where their IT professionals are spending their time.
Solution: Managed Print Services will help manage, maintain and repair copiers and printers, freeing up the school district's IT staff to work on projects that can make a difference in the organization.
3. Running out of supplies or having too much
Budget constraints that affect printer purchases also affect print supply orders. It's frustrating if supplies run out; yet, it doesn't make sense to purchase too much and have it sit around. There’s a better way.
Solution: With Managed Print Services, printer supplies will be filled automatically when a printer needs them school.
4. Keeping Student Data confidential
Every organization prints some type of secure information. For school districts, which deal with confidential student data, security policies and practices are essential.
Solution: Managed Print Services address privacy concerns. When a school employee prints a document from their computer, the printer can hold the information in its queue and won't print it until that employee is at the printer and swipes or enters an ID to release the job. This helps ensure printed confidential and sensitive documents end up in the proper hands.
5. Environmental issues with paper and toner
A well-managed print environment can help school districts conserve paper, as well as make sure toner cartridges are properly recycled. For school districts that pride themselves on being a good environmental steward, both students and parents will appreciate it.
Solution: A Managed Print Services provider can install software to help educate users on printing costs by prompting them before they print, and providing alternatives on how to save money. Administration also can set copy/print limits on each machine, assign user limits, or set emails to be printed in black and white or duplexed. With more school districts moving to a 1-to-1 student-to-computer ratio, software can be installed to limit or restrict students from printing from their devices.
6. Frustrated teachers and students
When staff, teachers or students need copies made, it’s not always something they can wait for. Printer downtime can cause frustration and lost learning opportunities.
Solution: Working with a Managed Print Services provider can help minimize printer downtime and that can make a big difference when it comes to productivity.
7. Outdated printers
Old printers often need to be replaced. But as a budget item, that can cause capital expenditure headaches.
Solution: With Managed Print Services, new and updated printers are factored into the cost per page invoice, and are replaced when they need it according to the service contract. That can take new printer worries out of future budget negotiations.
Find solutions to copier/print problems
Marco has experience working with school districts of all sizes across the country. For example, after working with Marco’s Managed Print Services, the Northern Cass School District in North Dakota reduced its print volume by 200,000 pages in just six months.
Contact a Marco copier/printer specialist to learn more about Managed Print Services and how Marco can work with you to solve technology problems within your school district.