Giving our children the very best education possible is a priority for most parents and teachers alike.
However, sometimes schools simply don’t have sufficient funds to invest in the very latest technology or state of the art teaching aids.
As a result, some School Leaders chose to buy cheap and then keep their fingers crossed! However, you may have heard of an old saying which goes “Buy Cheap, Buy Twice”
This old saying is very relevant to the world of xerox printers, especially when buying or leasing photocopiers, printers, scanners, franking machines and even interactive digital TV systems.
Since starting to work in the Copier industry, (back in 1990) I have heard of many Horror stories where School Business Managers have been tasked to buy the “cheapest” new digital photocopier or printer.
Sometimes, these purchases have proved to be a great asset to the school or college, however, on occasions, expectations and promises made by the salesman have not been met and this simply adds to the stress and pressures faced by many teachers throughout the UK.
Document XL to the Rescue!
We were recently invited in to a local primary school in Manchester, which had been placed in to “Special Measures” by OFSTED. A new leadership team had been appointed, to help turn around a school which was struggling to reach its basic targets.
The new Headmaster and Finance Manager had to overcome so many different challenges, from Improving Staff Morale, to Improving SATs results, whilst at the same time reducing costs and improving unauthorised absenteeism (by both pupils and staff alike) for the Manchester based school.
Along with half a dozen other local Office Equipment suppliers, we were asked to Tender for their business, which was to replace two unreliable Sharp copier- printer- scanners with more cost effective alternatives.
Here’s what we did to help them:
1/ We ran a 30 day Print Audit which identified who printed what, where, when and at what cost
2/ We reviewed their current Lease agreements and Service contracts
3/ We mapped out where all the desktop printers were and also established the Actual running costs for these so called ”Cheap” machines were.
4/We looked at some of their “Hidden” costs with regard to their printing habits, (things like PAT Testing, Electricity charges, Printer Repairs, Fees to shred and dispose of old documents, External storage costs for all the pupils personal data, etc,)
5/ We compiled a Spreadsheet of all their costs for buying Paper, Inks, etc which for the first time they could see exactly how much the school was spending on printing, copying, distributing, scanning, archiving and disposing of their documents.
What did we establish?
Well, within 30 days, we had a much better understanding of the Manchester schools’ printing habits.
1/ We compiled a list of exactly how many copiers, printers, fax machines they were actually using throughout the school (we even found a couple of machines that they did not know they had!).
2/ We identified all the Makes and Models (as they had a mixture of Sharp, Toshiba, Ricoh, Brother, Kyocera, OKI, Canon and HP devices… all from different suppliers, all on different types of service agreements)
3/ We completed a Stock Take of all the different branded printer consumables they had bought over the years. (They still had toner cartridges for machines which they scrapped years ago)
4/ We mapped out their offices to show where each photocopier was located, where each desktop printer was situated and it soon became clear that they had more printers than staff!
5/ Our PaperCut MF Software quickly produced several fantastic reports which clearly showed who was printing the most documents, so that comparisons could be made and a proper printing policy could be introduced.
6/ We understood the Terms of their previous Service agreements and realised that the Supplier was charging the school for £9.50+ vat each time they delivered toners, drums, fusers, waste toner bottles, etc.
7/ We noted that the Supplier had been charging the school double each time they produced a page larger than A4 (so for every A4R document, A3 document & SRA3 document, the Supplier charged the school Twice)
8/ We noted also that the school was being charged for three different types of staples for their Booklet Maker (at an average cost of £90.00 + vat per box)
9/ We noted that after 36 months, one Supplier could charge the school for certain parts if/when they needed to be replaced by their engineers
10/ We noted, hidden in the small print, that the Supplier would charge the customer £75.00 + vat a quarter (£300.00 + vat a Year) for Software Support.
11/ We noted as well that the Supplier could increase their copy charges each year by 15%, which would mean that if this increase was applied throughout a five year agreement, the schools’ copy charges could have increased by around 75%!!
12/ We noted that the school was being penalised by not paying the Supplier by Direct Debit which was costing the school an additional £472.00 a year in Admin fees.
13/ We were shocked to see the amount of paper in the waste paper bins next to each printer. We found evidence of the same document being printed several times and other examples where a document had been printed but never collected and so just ended up in the Recycling bin.
14/ Some classrooms had numerous copiers and desktop printers, which took up valuable space and were all eating up electricity 24 hours a day.
15/ We reviewed their agreement with a local document shredding company and established they were being charged some £4,700.00 a year for simply shredding their waste paper.
16/ The school was also paying another company £2,400.00 a year to collect and recycle their waste paper
17/ A further £1,200.00 a year was spent on ad hoc call out charges to repair broken printers, which were no longer covered by a warranty.
18/ We also found that the school was paying for 2 fax lines which were no longer in use and could be cancelled to give immediate savings.
19/ We found that the staff were confused when it came to placing a service call on a faulty printer, as they had a myriad of maintenance companies and no one really understood which maintenance company was responsible for which machines.
What did we Recommend?
1/ Our first main recommendation was to reduce the huge fleet of office photocopiers and desktop printers employed throughout the Manchester primary school.
We agreed that it was OK (not to mention Healthier) for staff to go without a personal printer on their desk and that they could all print to more centralised multi-function machine with much lower running costs. The school decided that Stage 1 would gradually reduce their printer fleet from 84 assorted machines to 22 more productive Business machines.
2/ We then agreed to “Walk in and Take Over” the ongoing maintenance of their entire printer fleet, so staff simply had one number to call as and when they either needed a printer fixing, or they needed to order replacement consumables.
3/ Using the School Framework pricing, we supplied two new Xerox Workcentre 7845 and the Workcentre 7845i colour copiers with printer and scanners under Stage One, which instantly gave the school more robust, faster centralised print stations, with greater productivity, increased reliability and much improved staff morale.
4/ Another major improvement was to finally introduce a proper Print Management software package called PaperCut MF.
PaperCut MF is an amazing piece of software which puts schools, colleges and businesses alike in control of their print budgets.
Here are some of the many benefits of introducing a Document Management Policy in to your organisation:
- Identifies who prints the most documents on a daily, weekly basis, as everyone is given a secure password which they must enter in to the printer, before their print jobs are produced.
- Reduces wastage, because any documents sent to print, but not collected within an agreed timescale are automatically deleted from the print server, reducing wastage and saving paper
- Controls print volumes, as individual limits can be set which encourages staff to be more thoughtful about what they print and encourages them to think “Do I really need this in colour?” or “Do I really need 30 copies of this document”
- Saves paper, as most print jobs can be double sided, which halves the amount of paper needed.
- Eliminates duplication, as frequently staff print off a document, forget it and then re-print the same document. PaperCut MF can identify when the same page has been printed off by an employee and delete the duplicate.
- Improve efficiency and reduce costs, because PaperCut MF can display a message on the user’s PC screen which advises a member of staff that “it will cost 66 pence to produce this document in colour or only 4 pence if you print it in Black & White. Please select the cheaper option before you print your document”
- The PaperCut MF software can also direct a print job away from a desktop printer (which is very expensive to run, and advise the user that their print job has been sent to another local Business Machine, as that machine has lower running costs and will save the organisation XX pence/ pounds.
What did the staff have to say about their new Xerox Copiers?
“Most of the other Salesmen were just interested in selling us a couple of new copiers. Document XL were different. They looked at our situation from a holistic perspective and helped us to save money in lots of different areas, not just printers”
“Document XL were extremely thorough and paid a great deal of attention to all areas of our expenditure. They were able to prove what our costs had been and for the first time we had a comprehensive review of exactly where our money was going.”
“I was tasked to save the school money and yet I didn’t know where to start, as we really had no idea how much we really spent on printing. The detailed reports produced by Document XL were extremely helpful, because we could then identify where savings could be made. The Governors are extremely happy with the savings we have made”
“I have found in previous roles that most Photocopier Salespeople are only interested in winning a sale and maximising their commissions, wherever possible. Document XL were different. They knew exactly what to do and where to look for savings. They are clearly a company looking to develop long term relations with its clients and we will gladly seek their advice in future”
So, if you want Honest, Open advice on which Office Copier or Printer offers best value for money for your company, then you know who to call:
DocumentXL on 08456 448 600.
If you demand True value for money, ongoing reliability and stunning high definition print quality, then we can deliver all of these important factors with confidence, as both Document XL and Xerox have the experience needed to support your organisation whether you’re a school located in Lancashirelooking for photocopiers in Manchester, Halton or Malton, Adlington, Bridlington or Bollington, we can support your company anywhere throughout the UK, across Europe and indeed throughout the world.
To see how we can help you and your business, then please contact us today!