As the nation heads back to school, it’s time to take stock of the technology students and teachers will be returning to. After a long period of remote learning (in many cases), there will need to be some readjustments—potentially including the print resources that are available.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with many students and teachers off-site many print, copy, and scan devices were underused. As such, it may be wise for school districts transitioning back to the physical classroom to assess the condition of the printers, scanners, and MFPs (multifunction printers) that have been dormant for many months. Their office products dealer can help them with this task.

Some machines will be ready to use immediately. Others may have to be cleaned of caked toner and dried ink before they can print or copy again.

Back to school is also a great time for districts to consider their overall print and document capabilities. In many instances, students will return to paper-based homework and assignments, report cards, and communications for parents. This return to the physical world opens up many opportunities to upgrade old equipment and change the way printing is used in the classroom and building.

For example, districts (and higher ed institutions) may decide to print books in-house under a license; in this case, purchasing one or more production printers may make economic sense. A4 printers and MFPs can be a great addition to a district’s print arsenal, and roll printers may also be desirable if the district or building doesn’t already have one. And bulk-purchasing supplies makes sense if the use-by date is far enough out that the supplies won’t expire.

School IT decision-makers are also encouraged to think about adding dedicated scanners to the network mix. Students are likely to be returning with documents that should be added to their records, and many teachers will have accumulated print resources during the pandemic that should be scanned and shared. Dedicated scanners are relatively inexpensive and typically can handle a greater volume of documents than the scanners within MFPs.

Now is also a good time to take a close look at the current document management system and capabilities of individual schools and the district as a whole. Your office products dealer can help you with these audits and make suggestions for improvements and upgrades.

And for higher educational institutions, it may make sense to add pay-per-copy/print capability to offset costs. Payment devices are plentiful; to a great degree, they are easy to add to new and existing equipment.

Time to Outsource Your Print Environment?

Now may also be a good time to consider managed print services (MPS) if your district or educational institution does not already participate in an outsourced print engagement. New equipment, especially higher-end devices, may be difficult to justify given the state of the economy and/or budgetary restrictions.

An MPS contract can help convert a variable cost to a fixed one. This is certainly something to think about, whether the district needs just a few new machines or a considerable number of them.

MPS is also a terrific way to add print and document management capabilities without a large upfront investment. For more information on MPS and the other print and document resources discussed in this article, speak with your office products dealer today.

« Return to the Blog