Your school purchases a number of printers. The school is responsible for ordering cartridges and toners and for maintenance and repairs on their printers. Where possible schools will try to purchase refilled or remanufactured consumables for their printers as this keeps the cost down, but in our experience with schools they tend to purchase original cartridges and toners because they are regarded as more reliable.
Generally there is a mix of monochrome and colour printers and simple multifunction devices (copiers, scanners and faxes) with smaller machines located in classrooms, and the larger machines in centralised locations.
This scenario is by far the most common in schools and in our opinion it is the most
sensible; however it does have its disadvantages:-
This scenario is identical to the previous example except that a value added retailer (companies specialising in supplying education) will service and maintain the printers. In some cases the retailer will even supply you the printers free of charge, meaning you do not have any initial capital outlay for your hardware.
While this scenario is very attractive to schools on a budget, be wary of the following
A school who uses this scenario will look to have a few larger, dedicated (reprographic) printers, and send all print jobs throughout the school to these machines.
Difficulties our customers have experienced when using this scenario are:-
Schools are required to maintain different types of printer, keeping in stock consumables for these which ties up the budget.
Schools cannot keep control of their costs as the price of printer consumables fluctuates. This can make it difficult for you to calculate if the printer the school is buying will be as cost effective now, as it will be in the future.
Schools have to deal with waste toners, cartridges and packaging when replacing spent consumables. This can be a time consuming task, which is a drain on the staff productivity and can be counter productive to the school’s environmental goals if these consumables find their way into landfill.
Schools are required to maintain and repair their own printers. This can lead to downtime as they try to find the most cost effective solution. Staff and pupils can be left without a printer while waiting for repairs.
In a lot of cases, the most cost effective solution to a repair is to replace the printer. When this happens the school will be burdened with the cost of replacing it, and it would be likely that the school may not be able to use the consumables they have in stock with the replacement printer.
Schools can only buy replacement consumables directly from the retailer who supplies
them with printers. In most cases they do not have any control over when they purchase.
The retailer will be able to access each printer’s usage information, and once a toner reaches an agreed level, which will be stipulated in the contract, (usually 10%) they will invoice the school for a replacement. This means the only control the school will have over their budget is to print less.
Schools will be tied into a time based contract (usually three or five years) where they have to use the printers in their school. To protect their profits most of these types of retailers will invoice you a minimum amount per year if schools choose to stop using their printers.
The cost of the consumables that the school are bound to purchase are not always as competitively prices as other supplier’s products. This is because the retailer needs to claw back the freebie offered to the school in the first place, be it the extended warranty, free printers or both.
The cost of the consumables schools purchase from the retailer can also fluctuate, meaning they do not know how much they will be spending on consumables towards the end of their contract, making budgeting even more difficult.
Only having a few printers in a school can be less productive. Staff will need to leave their classrooms to collect printed material which can be on another floor, or even in another building. This is usually done at break times, before, or after school, which means there can be queues as there is a limited amount of time for staff to collect their printed material.
An average secondary school will print in excess of 1 million pages per year. Only having a few printers in a school means the workload these printers handle will be very heavy, meaning they will require regular maintenance. This can decrease productivity while the printer is awaiting spare parts and repairs.
Schools will need to sign up to a lengthy contract. This means as technology changes, or if a different supplier, or even your existing supplier offers a better deal they will not be able to take advantage of it.
Material of a confidential nature cannot always be printed in this manner. Even with a password protected system in place, there may be other staff and pupils waiting for their prints while others are printing, so there is always a chance that this material could be seen by others, or end up in the wrong hands.
Schools may end up purchasing additional printers where a larger machine would not physically fit into the room where the printer is required. This is not always taken into account when budgeting, meaning this scenario may not be as cost effective as they originally thought.
Continuink printers are a new option worth considering when schools are making buying decisions, or considering a more cost effective and greener alternative, with a guarantee to save schools 30% over any of the existing scenarios available to them.
Before we look at the Continuink solution let’s consider what you may be currently
Schools are aware that they need to control their printer consumables budget, which is why most schools use a combination of scenarios to try to keep their cost of printing down.
Printer usage in schools usually fits into one of the following three or a combination.
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