Local colleges and universities throughout the U.S. rely heavily on their campus printers. However, these printers are not just for generating printed documents anymore. Instructors use them for digital document storage, copying, scanning, and sharing to the university’s cloud for staff-to-staff or staff-to-student collaboration.
Consider the traditional university setup, for example. Most universities have dedicated departments, and each department has printers assigned to them. Professors may have printers in their private on-campus offices, and administration likely has multiple printers in use. Arkansas State University, for example, found that they had a total of 1,665 printers on campus by summer 2015, which equates to a printer ratio of .88 staff members to 1 printer.
Colleges and universities could greatly benefit from managed print services (MPS). A MPS program not only helps manage multiple devices on-campus, but also improves efficiency, reduces waste, and optimizes the school’s print environment – ensuring every printer on-campus is a profitable, not wasteful, purpose.
Challenges in the College and University Educational Printing Sphere
Colleges and universities face unique challenges. Whether private or state-funded, a university deals with fluctuating enrollment numbers, which affects how many professors, aides, and administrators they need on-site each year. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that 19.9 million students will attend universities and colleges for the Fall 2019 semester – 5 percent lower than the peak of enrollment seen in 2010 at 21 million.
Likewise, these facilities are constricted by budgets, reduced funding, and limited resources. Colleges and universities around the country are continuously facing pressure from students and their community to reduce waste, encourage recycling, and go “green,” but doing so requires a significant upfront investment and addressing budgetary variables like printing.
Moving to digital is not always easy for higher education, especially on a limited budget. Not only must a university manage hardcopy documents, but digital versions too. They also have confidentiality risks, including protecting student data and personal identification information while storing student documents digitally.
With a MPS program in place it can address all of these challenges.
Improved Savings Across the Board for Universities and Colleges with Limited Budgets
Educators are given budgets based on their department’s demand and student enrollment each year. When educators overspend on supplies, it creates unnecessary overhead for that department. Alternatively, when they spend too little supplying their department, it generates a workflow bottleneck.
An MPS program will help colleges and universities avoid the overspending/underspending conundrum by not only monitoring each printer on campus but automatically ordering and shipping toner based on supply and demand; rather than educator or administrator guesses.
Opening the Door for Universities and Colleges to Support Go Green Initiatives
Clark University, located in Massachusetts, found that their university averaged 100 cases per month of recycled paper from 2000 to 2005, which averaged 20 pounds per staff member per year on staff. Clark, like many other universities, has started keeping themselves accountable for paper use and making efforts to reduce paper waste and use more recycled paper.
Even with recycled paper use, Clark University’s numbers highlight just how much paper is used on an average campus each year.
Campuses can engage in more eco-friendly printing habits when they utilize a MPS program. Managed Print Services offer cost-per-page analyses, which help campuses identify leaks. Administrators can monitor how printers on campus are used daily, see which departments or employees are using these devices the most, identify and reduce wasteful printing, and look for opportunities to reduce unnecessary printing equipment.
Printing Services that Scale to Fluctuating Enrollment
Campuses experience dramatic enrollment fluctuations not annually but by semester. Those offering summer sessions, for example, will have a decrease in students on campus but still need printing services despite having fewer people using those devices daily.
MPS scale up and down, making it easier for a campus to overcome enrollment fluctuations. Before MPS, schools looked at printing as a variable cost. With a Managed Print Service program, they have a stable, monthly subscription that tailors to their demands, creating an easier-to-budget expense on a semester by semester basis.
Unlock Managed Print Services and Their Benefits for Your Campus with Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises
Printing doesn’t have to be a rogue budgetary issue for your campus. Regardless of your size, adding managed print services to your program can help you optimize devices you have, decrease campus printing costs and increase efficiency campus-wide.
Unlocking savings and making your campus more efficient is what we do. DME offers managed print services for colleges and universities throughout the country. Speak with our MPS professionals today about implementing a program for your campus today.