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Hardware Thread, Multifunction Photocopiers throughout the school in Technical; Hi all; Just wondering whether anyone has experience in this topic. My Bursar would like to reduce printing costs and ...
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    Multifunction Photocopiers throughout the school

    Hi all;

    Just wondering whether anyone has experience in this topic.

    My Bursar would like to reduce printing costs and is thinking of replacing conventional Networked / standalone printers

    The thinking behind it is to put multi function photocopiers/printers to cover several classroom.

    I can see a few challenges with this:

    Where to put the big copiers?
    Security?
    Fact students need to leave the classroom to pick up prints

    The positive side of this would be consolidation and less toner costs, what does everybody think?

    Many thanks

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    witch's Avatar
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    We have a large networked photcopier/printer for use of the staff - it has saved a huge amount of money as printing is so much cheaper. If you are thinking of the security of having printouts being left for all to see - this doesn't have to happen as you can set up so you have to go to the photocopier and follow a short set of instructions to retrieve your printouts - better than leaving important and sensitive data just lying on a printer waiting to be picked up. Students can just print straight away - we have ours defaulted to black.
    Do you have TAs in class? If so, they could pick up the print-outs - to save following the instructions for each child, you could set it up that printing is sent to a particular file and then those are printed out by one person - eg the TA.
    It seems a bit of a fuss but it is easy to get into the habit of it and the money saved is well worth it.

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    MrWu (20th March 2013)

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    We have centralised print, anyone can print to a central queue and then print out at any one of 18 copiers across our two sites.

    We use P-Counter to set limits and keep track of what people print .

    We use cards to identify them ( also used on catering, library, door access, laptop lockers )

    It's not saved us any money as they all now have access to fast quality colour printing in a4/a3 and double sided.

    Moral. Make sure you limit their use!

    Rob

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    MrWu (20th March 2013)

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    We did this a couple of years ago and haven't looked back since. Its massively cut printing costs, circa 10,000 per year. We have 7 around the site. All have thumbprint scanners to allow follow-me printing so correct person gets correct printout. We blocked students from printing in Colour altogether - very rarely does it give extra marks in coursework anyway. Areas where colour is necessary, eg Art, etc have their own desktop printer still.

    Regarding students leaving the room to get printouts, we were concerned at first, but its a non-issue really. Students leave sometimes to use the toilets and its treated the same way. From reaching the copier to getting the first page coming out is about 5-10 seconds, so its only a very quick trip outside the classroom.

    Meldrew

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    MrWu (20th March 2013)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I did it at my last place - from what i hear it works although i left before it quite got installed!

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    MrWu (20th March 2013)

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    ninjabeaver's Avatar
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    The school put this in to save money. Toner cost per year was just tipping the 30K mark, which was coming out of my budget. I'd had enough of that.

    We used a company in Norwich who do our photocopying anyway. They work with Altman who do PCounter. After lengthy negotiations the install happened just before the last Summer Holidays. There was the usual moans from staff, but after a month or so it settled down and works really well in school. There's little disruption of students coming out of lesson to collect printing. Strategically placing of the MFP's is essential though.

    Security is tied in with BioStore which was already in place for the Cashless Catering. This uses a finger print scanner on all the MFP's which connect to AD. It's all then logged and billed to departments. Students get a limit to work to as well.

    It also seems to be saving us 1,000's as well.

    Business printer & photocopier solutions in East Anglia | EBS
    Print Management Software | Pcounter | AIT Ltd

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    MrWu (20th March 2013)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWu View Post
    My Bursar would like to reduce printing costs and is thinking of replacing conventional Networked / standalone printers
    Are you currently responsible for maintaining those printers? The nice thing about large MFDs is that they generally come with a maintainance contract, and normally that includes toner, too, so you pay a fee (and probably a per-sheet printing cost) and everything else (repairs, toner supply) is taken care of - you just load more toner and paper as required. As already pointed out, the larger MFDs can do some snazzy things like folding and stapling - a reasonable-sized MFd these days can pretty much produce a full-colour A4 Big Issue style magazine. Our Ricoh devices can even print on Ricoh's Pro Media printable plastic sheets - you just print as normal and they come out tear resistant and waterproof. Our printer company is local, so they respond quickly, and if you need some smaller classroom printers they can generally be supplied on the contract, too.

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    MrWu (20th March 2013)

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    I would recommend this, the money that can be saved is alot!

    Papercut is another piece of software I would recommend as well as PCounter. Papercut is very similar to PCounter all be it a little more modern software wise.

    If you want some more information on this and follow me printing drop me a line, I have implemented this at some 5+ sites.

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    MrWu (20th March 2013)

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    Thank you everyone.

    Looks like a very prudent way to go.

    Our toner costs are ridiculous; although not coming out of my budget or under my management I will be line managing Repographics soon and associated Toners/cartridges budgets.

    So definitely looking at the multi function printers. We had Panasonic and Canon MFD when I worked in Corporate and they were really good, looked after by leasing company and all prints coded and audited.

    Teacher's objection will definitely need to be addressed, there will be vocal majority regarding issues with locating the Printers, a few are very protective of having their own in the classroom, but we cannot carry on spending 10k+ on toners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWu View Post
    Teacher's objection will definitely need to be addressed, there will be vocal majority regarding issues with locating the Printers, a few are very protective of having their own in the classroom, but we cannot carry on spending 10k+ on toners.
    Critical I would say is to get senior management behind you. Some staff here weren't happy about it, but it was made clear that any concerns were to be made to the senior manager in charge of finance (who was very happy to be saving 10k a year) who dealt with the concerns.

    We arranged that staff could use their printers till we ran out of toner stocks, but many after seeing how easy the copiers were to use, handed over their printers early and we ended up with toner stocks we had to sell on ebay in the end.

    Meldrew

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    MrWu (6th April 2013)

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    Love_Sausage's Avatar
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    We do this with students using their AD logins to collect prints, and staff using NFD cards to speed up the login. It's working really well for us - although staff took some convincing and we ended up just removing local printers in the holiday time in the end. We use Pcounter which has been a pain to set up but once you're there it seems to work. We don't set limits and so far, nobody has abused that. If they did, they'd show up on the reports soon enough. No more paper mountains of uncollected printing next to printers, and departments are really cutting back now they can control costs.

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    MrWu (6th April 2013)

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