Weston County School District #1 is located in Newcastle, Wyoming, and includes Newcastle High School, Middle School and Elementary School. Its mission is to give its students the knowledge and skills to become ethical, responsible, productive citizens and lifelong learners.
Several years ago Weston County School District #1 did an informal evaluation of its technology. Special attention was given to areas where it could offer staff and students more reliable service and the district bigger cost savings.
One area identified was printing. At the time, the district used multiple vendors to supply it with a variety of printers, including desktop inkjet, standalone laser and fully integrated network laser printers. It also used multiple vendors to maintain its varying supply of toner. Many times these purchases were department specific, making a cost analysis very difficult.
“In essence we had no idea what we were spending on our printing costs,” said Dave Ehlers, Director of Technology at Weston County School District #1. “Our only constant was the amount of paper we were using on a yearly basis.”
Beyond not having a clear idea of printing costs, the district staff also struggled to support the diverse number of printer models.
“Our technology department was taxed when it came to maintenance. We’d clean the rollers and run some air through the machine—that was the extent of our expertise on maintenance. If the printer still wouldn’t work, our next step was replacement. So we would throw that machine out and buy a new one. If that was the only model we had left, we were stuck with two or three sets of toner as well.”
Having so many types of models and drivers also took a toll on the district’s print server, which would crash from time to time. “Every time it crashed it would take days to rebuild. We would be down for a quite a while,” he added.