Printing is a huge expense for any business, including educational institutions. Many companies and academic organizations are not even aware of the total cost of printing or even the number of printers or other office equipment residing in administrative offices, classrooms, and support areas.
Over time, print hardware seems to multiply. Small desktop printers may be in use in many areas, along with scanners, copiers, and fax machines. Many may now be underutilized or not used at all. Some may have outlived their usefulness, while others can barely keep up with their workload.
Factors to Consider in an Educational Institution’s Equipment Audit
An equipment audit encompasses the entire educational institution, evaluating:
- What devices are in use – desktop and workgroup printers, copiers, scanners, etc.?
- What attributes do they possess – color, monochrome, speed, capacity?
- Where are they located?
- Who uses them?
- What business functions are they used for?
- What print volumes do they support?
- Who maintains them, and at what cost?
All these factors result in a comprehensive picture of total printing costs and equipment expenses.
Why Audit Education Printing Functions?
Many academic institutions experience downtime during vacation periods, and more recently due to pandemic virus concerns that have closed thousands of schools and institutions of higher learning.
This provides an excellent opportunity to engage a consultant knowledgeable in managed print services to conduct a thorough audit of printing needs and to evaluate business processes. It’s a perfect time to prepare and optimize your institution and print infrastructure for next year.
Educators need to control expenses. Controlling and managing print costs can result in considerable savings in time maintaining printers, reducing the number of printers with modern multifunction replacements, and saving on consumables such as maintenance kits, ink, and toner cartridges.
How Educational Institutions Can Improve Printing Security
Education is a business that has the same needs for security and compliance as any other organization. The requirements for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and other regulations come into play to secure personally identifiable information (PII).
Replacing outdated stand-alone printers with modern multifunction printers (MFPs) enhances security with features such as requirements to enter a PIN or scan secure ID cards before documents can be printed. This eliminates the possibility that sensitive documents can be viewed or picked up by unauthorized individuals before the person printing them arrives at the device.
Managed Print Services Advantages
Implementing managed print services offers many advantages to educational institutions to improve printing efficiency while reducing costs.
- Managed print services provide features such as who can print on specific devices, and the priority of who prints first. Some educators or administrative staff may be authorized to high-speed color printers, while others can be limited to lower-speed monochrome devices.
- Having completed a print audit, educational institutions can often replace outdated or underperforming devices with a single, secure MFP that takes the place of scanners, copiers, and printers. One printer does it all with less power consumption, less space, and enhanced security.
- Where a paper document was once shuffled from desk to desk and often misplaced or misfiled, an MFP can scan a document directly to digital format and route it to the appropriate educator or administrator who needs it – all at electronic speed.
- Improve productivity with printers that are maintained professionally and monitored for work cycles and print processing. Let educators and administrators focus on running their classrooms and business functions, not maintaining printers and ordering supplies.
- Centralize service and support with a single contact instead of each department managing their own printers and copiers – saving time and money.
- Environmental advantages from transformation to digital documents – scan documents to electronic form and email to the appropriate recipients without generating more paper documents.
- Free busy IT personnel from technical issues of setting up and maintaining printing equipment. Service providers will take care of installing, maintaining, and training users on the new equipment.
- Flexibility – managed print services can be expanded easily as needs change.
Visibility is a key benefit of managed print services. Once implemented, there will never again be a question regarding printing expenses, what printers are in use, or how they are used. Providers of these services can provide regular information on printer usage, consumables used, and maintenance required.
Get Managed Print Services from Virginia Business Systems
Virginia Business Systems (VBS) is a premier resource for implementing managed print services. We provide a total solution that provides high-quality MFPs from leading manufacturers. Managed print services from VBS will help your educational institution:
- Reduce the number of printers and other devices
- Consolidate maintenance and save money on consumables
- Optimize business processes with digitized documents and automated workflow
- Improve security and privacy compliance
At VBS, we listen to our clients, then structure a print audit with a complete plan for print management and network infrastructure that supports the solution.
Contact VBS today to schedule a comprehensive print audit for your educational institution.