The education system is yet to go paperless—which is why printing for schools remains as a fundamental element in learning. It is used to disseminate information and create valuable teaching materials.
It’s also crucial to this industry’s daily operations. From school printing materials like newsletters and reports to class schedules and permission slips, a school prints hundreds, if not thousands of documents every day.
So when something goes wrong in the printing department, it causes widespread disruption.
When it comes to printing for schools, what problems are most likely to occur? Here they are.
A school has a lot of departments—admissions, registrar’s office, not to mention the different academic departments. And all of them have needs that require printers.
Usually, when a new school year comes in, many districts acquire new printers without knowing how many they already have. This makes managing the printers complicated and a lot harder than it should be.
On top of the variety of people that use the printers (teachers, staff, and students), the BYOD (bring your own device) trend adds more complications to the print environment of schools.
When you have many disparate devices in your network, it’s easy to lose sight of how much time you’re really spending, or rather, wasting on printing.
School-wide printing issues are time-consuming. IT people need to run from printer to printer to troubleshoot problems, deal with repairs and maintenance, connect staff to devices, create GPOs (Group Policy Objects) to make printing seamless, and replace and order consumables on top of their main tasks.
But it isn’t just time that’s wasted in a chaotic printing environment—it’s a waste of resources too. When printing is mismanaged, the chances of misprinting documents are high.
We’ve all seen bins brim with paper caused by printer jams, misprints to wrong locations, and duplicate prints, among other errors. That’s money that could’ve been saved if printing for schools was streamlined with managed print services (MPS).
Misprints don’t just result in wasted funds, but they negatively impact the environment as well. According to Environment Canada, paper waste accounts for over one-third of all waste in the country—and only 25% of it is recycled.
All schools keep sensitive student information and proprietary course materials. When documents with confidential data are left on printer trays, anyone can get their hands on them.
Network printers that are unmanaged are also at risk of being exploited by hackers.
These five pain points experienced by schools with unmanaged print operations can easily be solved with managed print services. Here’s how it can simplify printing for schools:
The first step to managing your school’s print environment is to conduct an assessment.
Based on the answers above, your MPS provider will recommend the best mix of equipment that would suit the school’s needs.
Once the assessment is complete, all your equipment—from printers to multifunction devices—will be connected to one common platform. This way, all your printing equipment is easily accessible.
Your MPS provider will manage, repair, and maintain all your devices, freeing up the time of your IT personnel. All of this is done in a timely manner because MPS solutions allow for alerts to be sent to your provider whenever there are issues. This means less downtime and reduced maintenance.
School printing needs won’t be jeopardized again—you won’t run out of paper or have too many unused supplies sitting in cabinets. Your MPS provider will keep track of toner levels and paper fills. They will also ensure your equipment is always up-to-date.
With a centralized print management system, the right users will automatically be assigned the most suitable printers for their devices (desktops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.) to reduce print errors.
MPS enables secure access and data retrieval from multiple applications, devices, and locations.
For example, when a school staff member prints a document from their computer, the printer will hold the information in the queue and wait until the school staff swipes an ID. Only then will the document be printed. This ensures that sensitive information only ends up in the right hands.
MPS also has the latest authentications, encryptions, and virus protection to prevent hackers from infiltrating your system.
A school with unmanaged print environments has different brands, models, and ages of printers and copiers configured differently in its fleet of devices. These inconsistencies can make the devices hard to use.
It’s easier for printers of the same brand to be linked across different locations via the network.
So what MPS does is automatically create consistency with the school’s printing devices by eliminating unnecessary ones and replacing some with the right brand.
With this method, anyone can remotely send a print job through the internet, and then it can be retrieved from any printer by logging in securely with credentials. This maximizes accessibility and productivity.
If the challenges we’ve mentioned above are eating your time and resources, it’s time to overhaul your school’s chaotic print environment!
Integr8 provides the best practices in managed print services for educational institutions in Canada. We help schools reduce costs, enhance document security, improve productivity and efficiency, and minimize environmental impact.
Contact us to know more about how you can get started!