Schools (like any business) are budget-conscious, but their reliance on government funding makes them especially cautious in their spending. Funding reforms and spending reviews squeeze finances, meaning that managed document services can provide an ideal solution to managing print costs and resources.
There have been mixed reports in the press about the latest 2015-2016 spending review and its impact on schools budgets, but whatever the outcome of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, cost management is certain to continue in future.
One area where schools can make significant savings is in their office equipment infrastructure. The cost of maintaining printers and scanners with their associated paper, ink and toner expenditure can add up to a substantial sum for these vital pieces of equipment, which is where the benefits of managed digital services become evident.
Managed document services offer an opportunity to cost-effectively streamline resources, ensuring that a chosen supplier provides all printing, copying and scanning equipment along with excellent backup by way of support and servicing.
ICA Digital has over 20 years' experience in the education sector and our dependable managed document services have been successful across the education spectrum, from state schools to fully independent schools.
Even in our digital age, schools still rely heavily on printing technology. While end of term reports, for example, may be produced electronically, teachers make frequent use of printers to produce work sheets for pupils. In spite of a great deal of learning taking place on computers, it's been proved that the human brain responds better to the printed page, so printed materials in schools are certainly here for the foreseeable future.
Another example is examination classes using previous papers from the exam boards as preparation for the official exams. Previously examination boards would send out the papers; now the papers are bought under licence and it's the school's responsibility to print out out the required number of copies.
There is of course a cyclical element to a school's requirements and managed document services allow a single point of contact for all print services, managing costs and enhancing user satisfaction.
Clearly reliability is a key factor; teaching relies on effective class preparation and the school's hardware needs to be dependable to aid the planning process.
Flexibility is another consideration and means that your supplier must respond quickly to a change in demand or an unforeseen emergency (and can manage the cyclical nature of demand throughout the school year).
Managed document services also need to demonstrate value for money: cheapest isn't always best and there's a balance to be struck between costs, reliability and quality of service.
Clear communication: Clear and concise communication from a supplier will ensure that they keep abreast of your current as well as future needs.
ICA Digital has a wealth of knowledge and experience with a clear understanding of the issues faced by schools, coupled with Local Education Authority-approved rental agreements.
Their bespoke solutions include an established IT support service which provides ongoing assistance, either via a helpdesk manned by experienced and friendly engineers, or by co-ordinating with a local engineer for speedy onsite assistance.
An all-inclusive package, managed document services provide a complete method of controlling costs from the initial equipment and consumables' procurement through to a streamlining of resources.
Dedicated and pro-active support means that there's never a scenario when 'someone' has to remember to order toner or ink cartridges; they will be delivered before anyone even realises that stock is low. It's infuriating to find that the printer would be working, if only there were consumables!