stevenlong1985 (11th June 2009)
I was recently asked what have I done to save the school money.
Well .. my pet hate is printing waste. And the amount that gets printed that goes straight in the bin.
This is compounded by the fact that it is the teachers responcibility to moderate and control printing costs. The cost of printing is covered by an extra subject budget called printing that gets its money like all other departments and this is shared out to the students using papercut NG (excellent tool btw)
All staff need to do is put in there own paper.
We have 9 colour laser printers.
They NEVER clear the print cue, most I think dont know how.
They never control what comes out or if it really needs to be in colour.
So the kids can happily print, with no paper in printer it builds up. Then a member of staff puts half a ream of paper in and before you can blink we have half a ream of waste.
All I ever get from the ICT Co-ordinator is .... Its our job to print, kids need to print ... you cannot stop it.
So .... After an huge amount of waste I decided enough was enough.
All printers are now paused unless it is lesson time.
Printers are unpaused 5 mins into lesson and re-pauses 5 mins before lesson ends.
All jobs are deleted before printer un-pauses.
All printers are denied colour printing unless it is booked.
This small change has cut the printing in half, and looks like it has the support of SMT.
stevenlong1985 (11th June 2009)
You can increase your productivity by scripting that (I think....)
We went down a cost involvement route for kids & printing and we just did it with SMT backing. We give kids some free credit at the start of the year (not termly) and anything on top of that, they have to negotiate with teachers or put in themselves. Staff also have the same system and that comes out of their budget... works very well.
If you can get staff to stop photocopying, sending paper memo's and the such, that would also help reduce costs
Although the cost to setup would be high, you could even look at virtualised desktops as a way of 'upgrading' older PC's to be able to deal with more of today's bloated software. Something we'd like to do one day...
I did an audit of how much printers are used in areas and have replaced some printers to reflect on the usage. This will save money in the long run.
I've also started a spreadsheet to keep track of how much printing is done each year, this allows me to advice each department on how much they use so they can plan toner costs into the budget each year.
printer repairs and drum units come out of my budget.
I put an elastix VoIP phone system in this year, which will save us £5000 a year in line rental compared to the existing phone system, and is about 50% cheaper in call charges.
If anone wants to do the same, its all done with scheduled tasks on the print server, i can post the commands if interested so pm me. Took 10 mins to setup using dos commands.
Part of the saving was made by stopping kids printing during break and whenever they felt like it. Now they print when they need to ... when staff bring paper. No paper, no printing. I dont pay for their text books, so why should I pay for their paper.
Staff printing is billed to the departments, so if they can't pay for it they dont print.
We implemented moodle as a VLE and integrated with AD and our MIS for parental access. Saving at between £10k - £15k a year.
We implemeted an open source virtualisation solution (proxmox) saving at least £6K
We support the MIS system in house (no LEA) saving £5k a year.
Have a full open source monitoring, VPN, helpdesk and website - saving at least £1k a year.
We support the phone system saving £2k a year.
Removed ranger and wrote in house tools and scripts to manage the network.
Of all the projects we implemented I enjoyed moodle and proxmox the most. Moodle has direct impact on teachers and learners and proxmox is great to play with (I mean work with!)
I could go on but sure you get point we use open source a lot, I am in process of writing more of this up to make a presentation to SLT and governors.
There are 3 people on team including me. So we are keeping pretty busy.
replaced all ball mice with opticals, saved a fortune and never hear from staff complaining about dirty mice or kids showing frustrition against one
Surprised no-one's mentioned power saving and turning computers off when not in use. The amount you save will depend on how many PCs and how long the building is open. If everyone has to be out of the building at 5pm but loads of computers are left on then you can save more by shutting them all down then than if the building closes at 10pm and most people turn off before they go home.
If you have a script to shut the machines down then make sure it logs the fact the machine was shut down - you've then got access to some numbers (eg an average of 20 machines shut down at 5pm; not used until 8am the next day means you're saving 300 computer hours worth of power Monday to Thursday and about 1260 hours over the weekend. If the PC uses about 200W then that's over 300 units of electricity or about £30 a week. In reality, you've likely got a lot more PCs so you save much, much more!)
You may not be able to charge end users for printing but you really need to log who prints what and how much it costs - that at least lets you go to management and show them where the money goes. It's up to them to say "umm; maybe we could save money by restricting printing".
If your print logging system logs the document name and you use Outlook then look for documents with names starting "Outbind:" - these are email messages. Give management the cost of printing email - it can help them to put pressure on staff not to print email!!
We bought print manager to save on printing costs - I set up quotas and such - there will obviously always be a few teething problems initially, but the big boss had about 4 complaints re print quotas and instead of sitting down with IT to decide who should get what, he just told me to take all the quotas off!!!
We still save money as I don't let them print web pages and repeat prints have been stopped, but not as much as we could have done *sigh*
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