With the academic semester ending, now is an excellent time for schools to plan for next year. Of all the devices in educational institutions today, one still reigns supreme: the copier.
A single school with 100 teachers can process up to 250,000 sheets of paper each year, many of which come directly from the copy machine. Schools rely heavily on copiers to meet needs at every level of the organization, from students, to teachers, to administrators.
Choosing the Best Copiers for Schools
In a busy academic environment, there’s no room for error in choosing the right printer or copier. Administrators need to select the machine that fits the needs of the school and the specific environment, whether it’s a back-office device or a busy library printer. This guide helps schools weigh the options for purchasing a printer outright versus a managed subscription service, and the functionality to look for.
1. Purchasing vs. Managed Services
Budgets are always in sight when the discussion of a new equipment purchase comes up, especially when it comes to new equipment for schools. Even when a new printer or copier is necessary, the budget may not allow for new equipment purchases. Or, if there is room wiggle room in the budget for purchasing new equipment, oftentimes compromises must be made on features and functionality to stay within budget. Not factored into the purchase price are extra costs like the setup, any maintenance required on copiers and printers, or any training needed to properly utilize or secure the new printer.
Managed Print Services offers breathing room on the budget, a guarantee of reliable equipment, and maintenance and security come built-in, oftentimes for a flat, monthly fee that’s easy to track.
2. Expert Consultations & Service
Another unique feature of utilizing Managed Print Services is that you receive a full assessment of your current print environment from an expert print consultant. After the assessment, you’ll receive a full report of suggestions on utilization of current devices, security concerns, as well as the best machines and software for the job, regardless of brand.
With a managed print service provider, maintenance and upkeep stays with your service provider and saves a school’s IT or office staff from the hassle of troubleshooting copier issues. A whopping 23% of help desk calls are printer related. Managed print service providers apply universal print drivers, secure print, and print driver management solutions, which cuts down on IT burden and simplifies the printing experience for school staff.
3. Selecting a Copier by Function
Depending on its placement and purpose in a school, the right copier is going to have a plethora of different features depending on the use. Do teachers or students need to make color copies, or only black and white? Does the copier need to collate, fold, and staple documents in production? Is a laser or an inkjet model a better fit for the school’s needs?
A managed print service provider will complete an assessment on each department or area in need of a copier within the school and offer suggestions of different copiers based on the features needed. And best of all, ImageNet consultants are brand agnostic, meaning you’ll received recommendations based on the copiers that offer the necessary features rather than brand loyalty. Multi-function copiers are essential in today’s educational institutions, particularly within high schools and higher education. Here are a few common functions designed to meet those needs:
High Volume Printers & Copiers
For high-volume environments, such as a library or staff office, a consultant will likely suggest a copier with faster printing speeds, higher capacity, and functionality that can keep up with high demand of multiple users.
Access Control Options
Equipment in other areas may require compatibility for access control systems, such as pay-per-print, student ID authorization, and network security features. A print expert will review the needs of each device and make recommendations based on functionality.
Planning for the Future – Security, Maintenance, and Administration
Getting the copier is only the first step. Schools and administrators also need to consider the ongoing maintenance and administration of these devices, particularly for those on large networks or that serve multiple, complex functions. For lots of schools, there’s no in-house IT department capable of managing these tasks, which is why many choose to outsource these services.
Managed print services are an excellent way for schools to ensure that their copiers continue to run smoothly all year long, that their network remains secure and stable, and that users have a reliable source for troubleshooting. With varying degrees of management and equipment leasing options, schools can pick the right MPS to fit their needs and tight budgets.
Choosing the right hardware to fit your school’s needs is easy when you work with the pros. At ImageNet, we’ve been a leader in print and network support for over 50 years. To learn more about our print services and exclusive pricing, contact us today!