A Business Service You Can Optimize, But Might Have OverlookedEthan Davis
This week L.A. Unified School District announce that it was considering “decentralizing resources to school sites and local districts” in an effort to reduce central administrative budgets. The cost vs. value is in question and the district, like most across the nation, is looking for creative ways to reduce spend while improving classroom outcomes. One way to do that is to closely examine how much you spend on classroom printers and copiers.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with a great number of school districts throughout the United States, and we find one thing in common with all of them. Most school districts overspend on their printers and copiers. Indeed, on average 42% more than they should.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of your printer/copier program and its impact to operating expense.
Too often, districts simply leave it to their current vendor to do an analysis of costs and equipment, pit two or three vendors against each other at RFP time, and then make due with a few percentage points of savings per page. But districts can achieve so much more savings and build much better programs with just a few changes in their approach.
Don’t Take Our Word for It
One good example is Visalia Unified School District. With 25 elementary schools, four middle schools, four high schools, an adult school, and a variety of other charter and specialty schools, Visalia is a classic example of how districts can gain a number of advantages by approaching their printer/copier programs differently.
The District, like most we work with, had not gone out to bid for their copier fleet for several years. They had instead simply re-up’ed with the same vendor and relying on piggyback contracts. But the time had come to do something different because they just didn’t feel they were getting the best deal. Visalia didn’t feel right about handing over the analysis to their current vendor, or any potential provider for that matter, because they felt that any recommendations were likely to be to the vendor’s advantage, not there’s.
An Independent Analysis Just Make Sense
That’s when we were called in to help the district with an outside analysis to provide them with the right information and expertise needed to make the right decisions. Optimizon is unique. We’re experts in printers and copiers, and negotiating the best agreements for our clients, but we do not sell any equipment and have no “skin in the game.” All of our recommendations are prepared independently, for our clients, much as would be provided by other professional consulting services like a CPA or an attorney. This appealed to Visalia, since they could trust our analysis and recommendations were not driven by any other factors.
What happened? We did a complete analysis thorough analysis that included the Visalia USD copier fleet, district-wide departmental desktop and workgroup printers, and the district’s centralized print shop. It was much more comprehensive than the district first imagined, but the resulting recommendations brought about quite a bit more comprehensive vision of the environment, programs and pricing as well. This enabled the district to make well-thought strategy, policy and planning decisions in preparation for a district-wide RFP.
Millions in Savings Would Have Been Overlooked
Armed with the findings from the analysis, Visalia USD is on their way to saving over $1.5 million over the next five years. That savings would have simply been overlooked otherwise. Indeed, there was a perception across the district that they simply needed to buy more copiers, but they were surprised to find that, in fact, the opposite was true. They had plenty of copiers and more capacity than we really needed. I doubt that would have been the findings of any analysis provided by their vendors.
Time to Act
Are you interested in doing something different this time for your district? We’d be pleased to discuss how we can help. For more information visit www.optimizon.com or call 1-866-389-1100 for a free initial consultation.