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General Chat Thread, Printing costs in General; Hi all, This is a cheeky request but I'll ask never-the-less! We manage our printers on a shoestring. No, not ...
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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Printing costs

    Hi all,

    This is a cheeky request but I'll ask never-the-less!

    We manage our printers on a shoestring. No, not quite a shoestring, those can be quite long. We manage it on dental floss!

    Would anyone be able to share rough pupil & staff numbers and annual printing consumable costs?
    Feel free to PM if you don't want public. We're basically facing a small conundrum in that we manage because we have some stupidly low running-cost printers that are no longer viable (the new versions are unreliable cack) meaning future printer purchases are likely to be twice the cost to run. And some like for like figures might help various people rethink; either more budget (unlikely!) or allowing more control with Papercut!

    many thanks

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    FishCustard's Avatar
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    I can't really help with figures, as we're in the process of standardizing our printers to reduce costs (costings from last year would be abnormal, way more than they should be). However, there's nothing wrong with running old, cheap-to-run printers. If the ones you've got are at the end of their lives, buy 'new' oldies from eBay.

    I've been replacing toner-eaters like Samsung ML-5510s with HP LaserJet 4250s - less than half the running cost and more reliable to boot. Sure they might not be 'ooh, shiny new' but they work, and that's all that matters.
    Last edited by FishCustard; 20th June 2013 at 10:01 AM.

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    synaesthesia (20th June 2013)

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    Sunnyknight's Avatar
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    Use papercut.

    Also, we spend in the region of £££££.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We do use papercut but there's only so much we can control without some proper backing from SLT.

    The printers we use are Xerox Phasers, half the running costs of anything with a HP label on certainly. This is hence the concern.
    We can't and won't buy printers from eBay, and new models are crap. The ones we have are very much aging and showing it.

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    hallb15's Avatar
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    Install the free version of Papercut which allows you to monitor print usage and identify who is printing what, i.e. documents type, colour or mono, paper size, etc...

    We don't use desktop printers anymore, we have several multi-function photocopiers around school which we pay a fixed quarterly price for rental and service, then a per page cost for pages printed.

    This works out cheaper for us (although cheaper is still a lot of money given the amount printed!)
    I can PM you more details if you like.

  7. 2 Thanks to hallb15:

    Novalee (20th June 2013), synaesthesia (20th June 2013)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I shall hasten to highlight that in the first post I did say *we do use Papercut*

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    RichB's Avatar
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    we spend 40k a year on toner, 5k on printers, 2k maintaining them. We use PCounter to manage the "credits" however this system is useless without SLT backing.

    1400 pupils, 230 staff.

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    synaesthesia (20th June 2013)

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    hallb15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    I shall hasten to highlight that in the first post I did say *we do use Papercut*
    Sorry - I missed that!
    PM coming your way...

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    No worries fella, you weren't the only one

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    Yes, once your printers are a sunk cost, and you are able to run on recycled/re-manufactured toner it is very very difficult to replace without a substantial jump in costs. That is what happens when an organisation sweats its assets to get the very last drop of value from them.

    We now charge full cost recovery for our devices (Hardware, 3 year warranty, per page toner, paper) we could tell how much each printer was being used, and worked out that in order for a printer to be able to recover costs without making charges unreasonable each printer needed to do a minimum of 20K pages per year. If a team/individual wanted a printer and the volume was going to be substantially less than 10K we now put a £100 pa service charge against their account (£300 for colour).

    800 Students
    40 printers (including some MFDs/Photocopiers on lease)
    1.5M Pages per year
    3.5p A4 Mono
    7p A4 Colour
    7p A3 Mono

    (A3 Colour is charged outside of this process - art and dt have specialised inkjets, SLT use a MFD on a separate contract) We chose best value printers to match our volumes. Some consolidation was necessary.

    Over three years we are able to replace all printers and toner through a zero balance account. Departments were initially unimpressed with the increased costs to them, however a perfectly working print system has won them round.

    We replaced the oldest/most troublesome devices and set the universal charging in year 1, and then replace remaining devices as needed/through a rolling programme over the next few years.

    While in theory we now replace all printers every three years, the printers look very likely to be good for 5+ years at the current volumes, which will provide a little war chest to fund, say, a few Riso's which will in turn bring costs down again.

    Again also in theory the increased cost to the departments will encourage them to think carefully about printing and look for alternatives (supporting the VLE and digital learning tools).
    Last edited by psydii; 20th June 2013 at 10:31 AM.

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    synaesthesia (20th June 2013)

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    I agree with Halb - also this way all departments are responsible for paying their own copies as you can bill back to them - all comes from the same pot at the end of the day but if they are using their own departmental budget they will soon start to cut down a bit.

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    EDIT:
    we have several multi-function photocopiers around school which we pay a fixed quarterly price for rental and service, then a per page cost for pages printed.
    My primary schools are looking at replacing all printers with MFP under contract.

    Colour print cost of single page on a hp 3600 printer is about 40p per page. MFP = 5p + quarterly cost.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    This is where we struggle to understand the pricing of contracts/management. We pay circa 0.6p per page regardless of what's on it

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    This is where we struggle to understand the pricing of contracts/management. We pay circa 0.6p per page regardless of what's on it
    You won't get anywhere near that per page cost with a managed service. Best I have seen is 1.25p per colour page and that was a big RISO Comcolour (inkjet) printer.

    What you get with a managed service though is just that - they supply all toner and replacement parts on an 'on demand' basis. The newer models feed back to the supplier via the internet so you automatically get toner supplies or engineers on site without having to ring them.

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    I'm guessing that 0.6p per page does not include covering lease/capital costs, maintenance plan or paper?

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