At the moment in this school we handle all the toner cartridges centrally, ordering them for all the printers in the school, and changing them where required. The problem with this is that some departments go printing crazy, and have no consideration for the amount of toner they are using, there's one department having a new toner cartridge for their B/W laser prtinter ever 2 weeks roughly at the moment (no I'm not joking)
We need to change this so different departments are accountable for the amount of toner they use. The idea being they may be a bit more economic with it if it's coming out of their departments money. (At the moment our annual toner bill is astronmical!)
There's 2 ways we thought of doing this.
1. Carry on ordering them centrally, and book them out internally whereby the department will effectively buy the relevant cartridges as and when they need them from ICT services.
2. Allowing departments to order their own toner and letting them manage their own stocks of them. ICT services would only be responsible for admin offices, and the main ICT rooms.
Theres different advantages and disadvantages to each method. Peoples ideas on this, or any other ways people manage toner in their school?
I think option two is the direction to take. However I suggest you combine the suggestion with giving the departments the option of using some sort of quota system. That way they can set a limit on the printing costs and thus budget for it. Department heads hate not knowing how much things will cost.
I have looked at doing a similar thing, but it is not easy. Many of our IT suites, although owned by one department, are often used for different departments lessons (and that is the way it should be to maximise the use of the equipment). This means that a department could be paying for a cartrdge that another department is then using.
I decided that as long as there is enough money available to keep it going, and any particularly heavy use is reported to the SMT / Bursar for them to make a decision whether to do anything about it or not then why bother.
It is quite possible that all the printing taking place is legitimate if it is hand outs for students, 30 copies at a time, 25 times a week. I agree not necessarily the best way, but that is another point. In many schools now there is the crazy situation where photocopying is charged back to the department but printing is not - and a good HOD will realise that it is a much better idea to get staff to print handouts rather than photocopying leaving the department capitaion in tact for other things.
Just make sure your consumables budget is different from your everything else budget so it is not eating into it.
We currently run option2 and its a nightmare. Teachers have no idea when it comes to toner replacement. They order when its run out, don't keep stock and moan when they can't print for two weeks while we wait for the goods to be delivered. The only people that suffer are the kids when they can't print out course work etc.
They then go to other depts room and print there, the knock on effect is that depts stop other kids using their room sto print Crazy i know but this is what happens.
Go for option 1 every time, i have a meeting with SLT to get this changed for the next academic year.
I haven't got an exact answer yet, but food for thought....
I've just been looking at this problem myself...currently in our school as a whole there is no way of statistically showing costs per dept etc. In order to run it properly, it needs a way of centrally managing as a whole. I have spoken to a printer company a couple of days ago who have gone away to look for software solutions for us, and apparently have just the thing (although I've yet to see it).
Using this software, every single print job will require an access code (either on the printer or the teachers PC), so in other words, come the end of the lesson all the printouts can be done in one go if necessary. The access code is unique to the department, therefore at the end of each month I will be able to see who is using what. By doing it this way, it doesn't matter if it is a history class in IT, it is just the code that I am interested in which will give the statistical reports that I need.
Worth a look I think, especially in a larger school
We have cross curricular money that funds IT suites and specific departmental printers get charged to the department.
This is the system we currently run. I order all consumables for both departments and the central ICT Consumables budget. We keep all stock and replace as and when necessary.
The ICT Consumables budget covers all ICT Suites or rooms with 10+ PC's. Departments fund their own offices and smaller clusters of computers i.e. 2 or 3 in a classroom out of their own budget. I order and inform the Finance Assistant to charge the relevant department.
All toners / carts are purchased centrally be me from a consumables budget, getting the best price by shopping around and bulk buying. We also source all printers to ensure the minimal number of different models.
We then log all toners / carts fitted or issued. From this I generate a monthly bill for each department. The bursar transfers funds back to the consumables budget from the departments.
Any toners / carts going into bookable ICT rooms are totalled up every term. The costs of these are split between the different curriculum areas, according to the percentage of periods they have used the rooms.
So if English use IT4 10% of the time, they are billed 10% of the cost of the toners put in IT4 that term.
Its not perfect but with some clever purchasing and rationalisation of printer types I cut the costs in half in 18 months.
Hope to cut cost even more next year by expanding our papercut software to staff.
Option 1 here, but at the beginning of every school budget year, 10% is taken from all departmental budgets. That goes into a Toner fund and everything is bought from there. IT sounds unfair, but it does even out over time.
maniac: I do exactly what Sylv3r does and it does seem to work. I have all staff on printer credits of 200 per week and only in special circumstances do i allow more.
I am at the moment looking at a central printing system through reprographics which costs for colour ¬£0.5p per page including toner and maintenance and mono at ¬£0.3p all inclusive. This will allow teachers and other departments to print collated docs for pupils and it will cost them accordingly to their department, when they have used their budget they then have to apply for more. This will free up the reprographics technician for other duties.