Top 5 Education Printing Challenges and Best Practices to Cut Costs
Education printing challenge #1: Uncontrolled printing costs
Is your school spending far too much on printing? Chances are, you have no printing policies or controls in place. That means every staff member and student can print anything they choose… including non-school related jobs. With no oversight, print users have no motivation to change their wasteful printing habits.
Best practice: monitor and control student and staff printing
With modern print management software, you can monitor who prints what, and take action to eliminate unauthorized printing. You can also track printing by departments or staff member. You can also establish print quotas for groups or individuals, charging print usage back to each department’s budget.
Colleges and universities can also establish print quotas for students. For example, each student gets a certain budget for printing each semester. If they go over that allocated amount, they can pay extra to print more. You can set up your print management system to link to your student payment system.
Best practice: set up print policies and reminder messages
Your staff and your students probably don’t give a thought to how much it costs every time they print a page. That’s why education printing typically includes so much waste: paper, toner and ink, and other associated costs.
Counter that problem with print management software that lets you set printing policies and rules to encourage better behavior. For example, you can discourage color printing for pages that don’t really need it. Or, you can make your printers default to duplex printing to save paper.
Learn more about how this works: Rules-Based Print Routing: The Easy Way to Cut Print Costs
Education printing challenge #2: Access to printers
Students and teachers need access to printers wherever they are in your school or campus. They also need access from mobile devices. When your education printing is not designed to accommodate the needs of users, the result is lots of abandoned print jobs and waste.
Best practice: set up follow-me print
Follow-me print, also known as pull-printing, lets your staff and students pick up their print job from any nearby printer. It uses a centralized, cloud-based print queue so no one is tied to any particular printer. People can even print from tablets and smartphones.
Here’s how it works. When someone prints a document, they simply go to a convenient printer and enter an access code or swipe a card. The job prints and the student or teacher is on their way. This feature also comes in handy when one printer is down, jammed, or tied up with a large print job. People can just walk over to another printer to get their document.
Read this to learn more about follow me print for education printing.
Education printing challenge #3: Keeping documents secure
When teachers and students are sharing printers, document confidentiality is an important issue. You don’t want teachers printing grades or test answers when students can pick up that document from the printer. However, you don’t need to provide teachers with dedicated printers to solve this common education printing problem. Print management software can help.
Best practice: set up secure print
Secure print ensures the confidentiality of documents printed to shared printers. How? The document doesn’t actually print until the student or teacher comes to the printer to retrieve it. He or she simply swipes an access card or enters a personal code, and the document prints. So, there are no more documents left sitting on the printer where anyone could pick it up.
The best part? Setting up secure print also reduces education printing costs. That’s because people can’t print and then forget to pick up their document. Secure print reduces wasted paper, toner and even service expenses.
Read this article to learn more about secure print.
Education printing challenge #4: Cost of IT support for printing
Even though there are so many digital resources available today, education printing is still essential. And the cost of IT support for printing can be high. That includes managing print queues and print servers, supporting your print fleet across campus, not to mention the cost of supplies for all those devices.
Best practice: implement managed print services
Optimizing education printing with managed print services not only saves money, but also reduces the load on your IT staff.
- You can eliminate print servers and use a single global print queue
- You can eliminate unnecessary printers, which cuts down on support
- You can reduce the consumables IT needs to order and keep in stock (reducing both time and money)
Find out more about managed print services: Managed Printing Saves Thousands on Print Costs (Case Study)
Education printing challenge #5: High volume printing
Whether it’s forms, flyers, mailing pieces, or promotional materials, chances are you are doing some high-volume printing and mailing. Those printing and mailing projects can be very expensive to produce with the wrong machine. When evaluating the cost of equipment, be sure to take into account the cost per page along with the hardware costs. When you do that, you may find that different equipment options make better financial sense.
Best practice: get an expert assessment to optimize your high volume printing
You can take control of these education printing expenses in one of two ways: by adding automation to your in-house print operation, OR by outsourcing your printing to the leader in printing and mailing (a service that blows away other dedicated education printing services). Both ways can reduce costs. The best option for you will depend on your specific situation.
Superior Office Systems provides printing and mailing equipment, and we also work with the best outsource printing & mailing solution available. Our printing & mailing experts can evaluate your needs to help you make the best decision for your business.
Want a quick, no-obligation assessment? Take our free quiz to get expert advice about which way to go.
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