Five strategies for controlling printing costs for schools

22nd January 2018

Delve in to the detail with Print Insights

Never before have organisations had so much data at their fingertips. The world of print is no different. With advances in technology and the rise of connected devices, your school can gain real-time data, in-depth reporting and regular insights into what and who are driving printing costs in your school. And, when you can see your costs, you can manage them.

Use technology to see which devices are being used, or over used, who the individual users are and what documents are being printed. With this information in hand, you can make better decisions and enable controls to contain and optimise your printing costs.

For example, you can assign specific printing budgets to every user and department, helping you to better track and forecast printing trends, as well as control usage. And if a budget is expended, printing can be denied until more funds are released. Or, if an unusually large job gets printed out of hours, you can see who was involved and investigate further. You have the control to see and respond in whatever way works best for your school.

Rules and routing

Like all schools, you will have a range of different print devices across your campus. Your printers probably offer a range of different options and will have different costs associated. And let’s be clear, you don’t want students printing a 100 page research paper on the schools most costly colour printer in the art department.

Let your print environment do the handwork for you with an intelligent print management solution that allows you to set rules and routing to automatically send print jobs to the most appropriate printer, based on criteria you set. Such solutions store print jobs digitally in a secure, centralised server and then interact with network printers to create jobs. An intelligent solution empowers your school to establish rules-based output and routing policies that add efficiencies and reduce costs. Just a few examples include printing all emails in black-and-white, routing large jobs to cost-effective printers, or limiting student printing privileges. Best of all, your teachers will be more productive because all they need to do is hit “file, print” and the technology will do the rest. 

Follow me print

Eliminate wasted resources from uncollected or accidental print jobs with “follow-me” capabilities. With follow-me, your print jobs will be sent to a secure server, where they remain until the user walks the printer and releases the job. This can be done by logging in or, more efficiently, with a personalised swipe card that authenticates a user’s credentials and releases the printing in just a flash.

Follow-me print not only helps you better protect sensitive information and confidential student data, but the school also gains productivity benefits. Teachers can initiate print jobs from anywhere – on a desktop, in a cloud application or from their mobile device – and simply print when they reach their destination. No more carrying stacks of documents around with them.

Choose a managed service

According to IDC Research, organisations can expect to cut their printing costs by up to 30% by taking advantage of a managed document service. A managed service can help your school find savings by providing the business expertise to help you asses your printing needs and find ways to optimise and consolidate the your environment. Most often, managed services also include regular reporting and insights to help you better understand the print behaviour and performance in your school. This, along with access to additional professional support and expertise, will allow your school to continue to find new ways to take costs out of your print environment by enabling controls. What’s more, with your entire print environment managed for you, you can free up your valuable resources and leave your already stretched IT department free to focus on more constructive tasks.

Make the world a greener place

In FY2005–06, paper recycling reached a considerable milestone, with the total paper recycled surpassing 1 million tonnes in Victoria alone. * That’s a lot of paper when you consider there are seven states in Australia.

By implementing controls such as follow-me print or rules and routing to limit how much paper is used, you can take an active role in leading your school towards a more sustainable future. Take this one step further by encourage active participation from your students and staff. Communicate your printing policies, how much paper your school is saving, and what this means for the environment. Empower and encourage users to make more environmentally friendly decisions at the printer and give them the tools to make changes, for example the number of copies. This will not only help you to reduce your school’s costs and environmental footprint, but to help teach students to take positive environmental actions right from the start.

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