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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Outsourcing printer management in Technical; Hi folks, we're considering outsourcing printer management (hardware and consumable supply, support, etc) to one of those printer management companies ...
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    Outsourcing printer management

    Hi folks,
    we're considering outsourcing printer management (hardware and consumable supply, support, etc) to one of those printer management companies that deliver it as a service to your site. We're hoping to both manage the costs of printing and also to reduce the amount of time our staff spend fiddling with printer fixes beyond the basic "change toner, fix paper jam" level.

    Does anyone have any opinions on this? Recommendation for good people to speak to? Good ones to avoid? (In either case, reference sites I can give to the powers that be would be ideal).

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    teejay's Avatar
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    I wouldn't call it a 'fully' managed service, but with Ricoh when you buy their printers they provide a box which sits on the network and does the ordering of required consumables, books engineer for callout if there is a fault. They also supply and install print management solutions, the only bit I'm not sure about is if they do full management of your print server. Definitely worth speaking to as you only get charged a 'per copy' print charge, no management fees and the cost per page is competitive.
    You want to consider though, if you outsource part of your job, is that grounds for management to review your payscale in the downwards direction?

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    Roberto (11th February 2011)

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    It's one of the best things I've done. So far it seems to be working out cheaper (as I'd forecast) which is good (well, based on the number of printers we originally had, we now have 4 more).

    I used Total Digital Solutions - Digital Office Solutions and Document Management and they have been more than helpful. The only thing I would point out is Little Miss' thread on printing and make sure you get the right thing for your school. I have similar printers (as you'll see if you read the thread Printers again - not printing large image files) to Little Miss and they can print a bit slow at times, but I seem to be working in the right direction ..

    In terms of cost and support though, it's a brilliant idea. I've implemented it on a number of previous employers sites too and they still love it to this day.

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    Roberto (11th February 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    I wouldn't call it a 'fully' managed service, but with Ricoh when you buy their printers they provide a box which sits on the network and does the ordering of required consumables, books engineer for callout if there is a fault. They also supply and install print management solutions, the only bit I'm not sure about is if they do full management of your print server. Definitely worth speaking to as you only get charged a 'per copy' print charge, no management fees and the cost per page is competitive.
    You want to consider though, if you outsource part of your job, is that grounds for management to review your payscale in the downwards direction?
    Thanks for the reply teejay... We'll take a look at the ricoh gear, though it might not be what we were thinking of. And as to your final point, I appreciate the concern but I don't think its something we need to worry about (our team would still be responsible for the printers, we're just using a 3rd party to discharge some of the work related to that).

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    Quote Originally Posted by aptproductions View Post
    It's one of the best things I've done. So far it seems to be working out cheaper (as I'd forecast) which is good (well, based on the number of printers we originally had, we now have 4 more).

    I used Total Digital Solutions - Digital Office Solutions and Document Management and they have been more than helpful.
    {SNIP!}

    Thanks, Andy, I'll take a look.

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    @Roberto
    Thanks, I've just PM'd you some contact details as I've a feeling they may actually do what you need, but didn't want to put contact details on here.

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    Im also looking into the possibility of Manage Print Solutions. Currently we have 45 HP printers (mono and colour) and i only buy remanufactured tones which are unreliable.
    So far to date ive spent 6050 on toners since april 2010. Half of our printers are out of warranty and slowing but surely going wrong.

    Not sure though if the figure we spent so far is about the norm?

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    Best advice to all those looking at print managed solutions, do your own working out on what you currently spend on printing (try to get a cost per copy cost for mono and colour printing) and work with that based on the number of copies you average over a year. That way, when you contact the print management firms, you have all the information already and you can do a genuine cost comparison .. Also factor in the cost of replacing equipment and expected life spans of the various printers and costs of any spare parts that you may need to purchase to keep your current fleet going ..

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    I'm in the process of auditing, in half term we are taking second reading from printers and than the company which we contacted will give their proposal. The only worry for me is, they still did not said if they will support our existing printers etc. I had another company here and they said, most of our printers had to go, and the contract price per page will include cost of new printers - not something we were prepared to do. We still use old HP printers like Laser 4100 and 4250 - which are great build quality printers, going strong all the time and with big cartridges (like 61X) I don't think we need to replace toners more than 3 times a year.
    Can you share what happened with your printers when the third party company came in to manage your printers?

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    We still have the printers sat in school, but they are offline and in my store. Basically, it was costing too much for toner on them. It actually worked out cheaper for us to replace all the printers (some were starting to break down anyway) and take on the new contract than to pump the money required into the existing printers (all of which were HP).

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    We put our 7 biggest usage printers on a managed service using Ricoh (Nashuatec) printers. Printers are good, but i would heavily recommend making sure that you correctly anticipate your usage, as we entered a deal based on our existing usage, and then our ICT course changed, and printing doubled (#planningfail) and now we are looking at renegotiating or switching supplier.
    As for the machines, they are good with no problems and having an engineer on call out was useful as we have called on them 3 or 4 times this year at no cost to us.
    We are actually looking at whether we can extend our managed print service to more printers across our site, but are having to consider whether we are happy to replace printers - which in some cases are pretty new.

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    @cmd.exe
    Don't know who you went through for your Ricoh printers, but going direct to Ricoh there are no usage level agreements, just a cost per page and also no minimum copy count.

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    We're on a contract with Ricoh too - its quite convenient from a toner point of view and shuts up the cold call toner sales people - but its not been any cheaper for us - without some sort of management of costs within the school - theres no incentive to reduce the actual cost of printing. Oh and get some ear plugs too - to ameliorate the amount of moaning you get when everyone doesn't have a printer within 2 foot of their PC...

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    Thanks teejay

    unfortuantely we are going through a reseller, not direct, which does sound better!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    We're on a contract with Ricoh too - its quite convenient from a toner point of view and shuts up the cold call toner sales people - but its not been any cheaper for us - without some sort of management of costs within the school - theres no incentive to reduce the actual cost of printing. Oh and get some ear plugs too - to ameliorate the amount of moaning you get when everyone doesn't have a printer within 2 foot of their PC...
    Yes, better printers = more printing lol! We haven't implemented print management software yet, looking into it. What we have done though is set up access codes for each department on the printer and the departments get the cost per page for their departments printing charged back to them.

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