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In any educational institution, whether it be a school, a TAFE or a university, printing is key to daily operations both in the classroom and in administration. From lesson worksheets and student reports to parent newsletters and permission slips, your institution is likely printing hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of pages each day.

So when school printing services aren’t running smoothly, this can cause widespread disruption – and the last thing you need are missed deadlines and frustration amongst staff due to device malfunctions and unexpected downtime.

That’s why your school printing solution needs to be streamlined, user-friendly and reliable.

Here are some of the common challenges you may be facing with your school printing services – and how to solve them.

6 common challenges of school printing

1. Too many printers to manage

Some institutions have had to take an ad hoc approach to printing, depending on the fluctuating needs of their organisation. Perhaps your staff members have their own desk printers while others share common printers and photocopiers. Or maybe you’ve had to add different devices to the network over time as printing needs changed or certain devices were replaced.

This can cause all sorts of complications as you try to manage devices from different providers, with different methods of operation, service contracts and consumables. Not only are you wasting your own valuable time, but your print network is also likely to be less user-friendly and more expensive.

2. Uncontrolled printing costs

When you have lots of disparate devices in your network, with different consumables and varying levels of efficiency, it can be difficult to maintain oversight of your printing costs. Without good oversight - including consolidation of your devices and contracts - these costs can quickly spiral out of control.

3. Difficulty managing consumables

When managing multiple printing devices, it can also become difficult to manage consumables, particularly when multiple providers are involved. Stocking too much toner for one printer takes up storage space and leaves less money for your other operational needs, while stocking too little results in inconvenience and downtime when consumables run out.

4. User issues

Having different devices across the network can cause all sorts of issues for users. Staff may have difficulty connecting to individual devices across the network; they may struggle to use certain devices, as they all operate slightly differently; and you may find staff gravitating to the one or two ‘good’ printers in the network, causing bottlenecks and long wait times.

Additionally, using different printers and providers can drive costs up as staff and students may print more on higher cost-per-print devices without realising it.

5. Device issues

If you’re managing old and inefficient printing devices, you’ll know first-hand how many frustrations these can cause. You may be dealing with slow print times, meaning staff are spending precious time waiting for their print jobs rather than fulfilling their roles. You may also be dealing with breakdowns, causing unacceptable levels of downtime and long service wait times, resulting in yet more downtime and long queues at other devices on the network. And once you add in the challenges of multiple service contracts, different maintenance cycles and service requirements for different printers, and varying levels of reliability between devices, the potential for disruption only grows.

6. Overworked IT team

Whether it’s staff issues or device issues, your IT team is the first port of call when things go awry with your printing. This means they may be spending an inordinate amount of time connecting staff to devices, teaching them how to use different printers, troubleshooting issues they may be having, and replacing and ordering consumables. This takes up valuable time that could be spent on more strategic tasks, such as digital transformation projects.

How you can solve your school printing challenges

Switch to a Managed Print Service (MPS)

A Managed Print Service (MPS) is offered by an external provider and takes a holistic approach to your document and print operations. It focuses on optimising print devices, improving workflows and processes, and enhancing document security, while reducing costs and your environmental impact.

Your provider can help you monitor your end-to-end print operations – maintaining printers, implementing the necessary technology upgrades, and tracking users and usage.

An MPS can solve many of the pain points outlined above by:

  • Having one provider for all your needs: With a single contract and provider, you will no longer need to manage multiple types of devices by yourself.
  • Standardising all the devices on your network: By investing in devices that all use a common interface, connecting to printers becomes a breeze and training staff becomes much easier as they only have to learn how to use one type of device.
  • Managing consumables for you: Your MPS provider will track your consumables, such as toner, and top up your supply when you’re running low, taking this task off your extensive to-do list and limiting downtime.
  • Lowering costs: Your MPS provider will give you complete visibility over all your printing expenses and propose a customised solution to reduce your costs.
  • Maintaining your devices: Your MPS provider will look after the maintenance and repair of your devices in a timely manner, so you can free your IT team from the burden of fixing printer issues and keep your devices at peak performance.

With a Kyocera Managed Print Service solution, you will also have the added benefit of being able to:

1. Set ‘print profiles’

With Kyocera devices, you can set ‘print profiles’ for users; for example, you may want to update the default user settings so students can only print double-sided and/or in black and white. Setting print profiles means you’ll use fewer consumables, dramatically reducing your costs and lowering your environmental impact.

2. Implement Kyocera’s 3-tiered printing plan

With a three-tiered printing plan, you only pay for the colour toner that you actually use, enabling greater control of your printing costs. Instead of paying the same price for a full-colour page and a page with just a simple colour logo, Kyocera multifunction devices automatically track the percentage of colour toner used on a print and then assign it to a pricing tier. By moving away from the traditional single cost for all colour printing to the 3-tiered model, you can see drastic savings across the life of the device - allowing you to use your budget more efficiently and effectively to support your school.

3. Implement Kyocera’s ‘follow-me’ printing

With Kyocera’s ‘follow-me’ or print-release technology, the printer ‘holds’ print jobs on a server until the user identifies themselves at a device using a secure ID card or code, at which point the job is released. This means staff and students can easily use the device most convenient to them. This means users will no longer send a job to a printer only to discover there is a queue or it's stuck behind a large job – they can simply walk to another device in the building and release the job from there.

‘Follow-me’ printing is also much more secure, as sensitive documents, such as those containing students’ personal information, aren’t sent to incorrect printers or left unattended on devices.

4. High-speed, reliable and user-friendly printing

The new range of Kyocera TASKalfa devices have been completely redesigned with standardised icons, easy navigation and fewer steps for key tasks, making them incredibly user-friendly.

Our TASKalfa devices also have a higher printing yield, meaning more pages per toner cartridge, lowering consumable cost and waste. Plus, with high-capacity, high-speed scanning and printing and a save to folder option, wait times can be dramatically reduced, allowing your staff to get on with the more important task of educating your students.

Does your school printing service need an overhaul?

Printing is essential to the smooth, stress-free operation of any educational institution, so if any of the challenges outlined above seem all-too familiar, it may be time to consider overhauling your school printing service.

There are numerous ways in which Kyocera can help you reduce costs, improve efficiency and productivity, enhance document security and minimise environmental impact.

Learn how to save on your school’s printing costs. Take our 2-minute Print Value Challenge and let our expert knowledge find the best printer for your institution!