Districts Must Act Now to Save on Printers and CopiersEthan Davis
Don’t let a 6-figure savings opportunity slip by…and not return again for five years
If your district is like many that we work with, your printer/copier contract is coming up for renewal in June. Before you simply re-up with your current vendor you should consider a different approach; one that could potentially bring significant savings to your district.
We’ve performed over 100 independent program assessments for CBO’s and school district administrators all over the United States and have uncovered a surprising fact: most school districts overspend on their printers and copiers by an average of 32%. For districts over 10,000 students, this equates to a six-figure savings opportunity, or more, each year.
Districts Save with a Different Approach
Capturing that savings requires a different approach than most districts use today. Instead of leaving things to the last minute and letting their vendor provide the data for analysis, districts perform an independent analysis of the environment and let that business intelligence drive their strategies and requirements prior to issuing an RFP. Districts that have used this approach have saved a lot. To learn more, read my blog post here that breaks down some our current research.
Texas District Assessment
One example of a district that has saved significantly is a district in Texas that has approximately 20,000 students. We recently worked with school administrators to undertake a complete assessment of their printer and copier environment, and it was clear from the outset that there was a great deal of untapped opportunity to save. Indeed, so much so that the district extended their vendor agreements on a month-to-month basis after their agreements had expired in order to complete the assessment and properly understand the potential opportunities. In the end, armed with real data and a better visibility into the environment, the district created a strategy that drove pricing down through more thoughtful load balancing and by combining network printers and workgroup copiers within one agreement.
The result? A 28% reduction in spending overall amounting to about $150,000 per year. Without an assessment a savings of ¾ of a million dollars over the life of the agreement that would have been completely missed.
Good Data = Good Decisions
How can you capture savings in your printer and copier program? The old adage good data equals good decisions holds true. Here are some areas to include in your analysis:
- Usage – Do you know exactly just how many pages are printed and copied each month?
- Volume Balance –Where are pages printed…and why?
- Deployment – Are machines over or under-utilized?
- Feature Set – Are you paying for features you don’t need?
- Performance – What guarantees do you have for up-time and service?
- Pricing – What is the actual per-click cost?
If your lease agreements are up for renewal in June it’s time to get started. We see many districts fail to act in time only to discover that it’s too late to really save. A thoughtful assessment with at least three months’ worth of verifiable data is essential to inform the competitive bidding process, give structure to requirements for any RFP moving forward, and ensure that the right level of visibility and business intelligence is applied in order to capture the savings opportunities. You must act now since the decisions made today will ultimately drive the financial performance, cost-efficient or not, of your district-wide printer and copier program over the course of the next five years.
It can be tempting to simply let your current vendors and providers do the analysis for you, but that approach comes up short. It is not in your suppliers’ best interest to uncover flaws in the program and reduce your spending (e.g., their revenue stream). Let the data you collect and the assessment perform drive your vendor expectations and dictate the requirements for your RFP… not the other way around.
How can you move forward quickly and productively? An independent assessment of your district printer/copier fleet brings the business intelligence back to you so that you can make the appropriate decisions. We can help. Optimizon is a professional business consultancy that specializes in K-12 as well as the intricacies of a district-wide printer/copier environment. We know the machines, the measurements, and most of all…the game. Indeed, we’ve seen just about every kind of vendor proposal in the books. The difference is that we don’t sell anything. Instead, we work for you to ensure that you get the right pricing, the right capabilities and the right programs in place to optimize your environment and enable continued savings district-wide. We’ve worked with some of the biggest districts in the West, and we’d be pleased to explore how we can help you too.
Find out more at Optimizon.com. And just click here to schedule a free consultation.
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