Vendor Accountability is a Top Concern for District AdministratorsEthan Davis
We’ve worked closely with over 100 school districts throughout the county and administrators tell us that holding their printer/copier vendor accountable is one of their top frustrations.
School district business leaders often struggle with problem resolution and declining performance, especially as their printer and copier contracts age.
The truth is that promises made by sales folks in the “honeymoon” phase of your agreement are not so easily realized in years four or five of your contract. As time goes on, more issues arise as the equipment ages and it becomes harder and harder to actually get providers to fix problems. Too often the response is “You wore out the device. We need to replace it early.”
As a result, school districts end up spending more; often exceeding the budget. Teachers and staff become frustrated with downtime and machine hassles, and spend more and more time in meetings where nothing really gets done. All the while, administrators complain that what they were promised at the beginning of the contract isn’t necessarily what gets delivered over time.
What can you do? Here are three best practices that can help.
Email is the go-to way to communicate with your copier and printer vendors because all parties involved have a written record throughout a process. Be sure to include identifying information in your email. Make the purpose of your email clear. And include enough information in so that the history of the issue is captured. Read more email best practices here.
Use a Performance Bond
If you are like many school districts currently, your printer and copier agreements are coming up for renewal in the next couple of years. Consider how a “performance bond” can make a difference in the amount you can save and the performance of your machines over time. With a performance bond, if your vendor doesn’t deliver you have insurance that covers the district. Read here how it works and why we believe it is the new standard for printer/copier contracts.
Get an Independent Assessment
You need true business intelligence to make the right decisions, but let’s face it; it’s not in your vendor’s best interest to uncover savings or recommend that you actually don’t need any more gear. 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. The difference is that we’re not copier/printer provider. In fact, we’re just the opposite; we work for you, much like your attorney or CPA, to find savings and negotiate agreements that benefit the district…not the vendor. Read more on how districts can act now to save more.
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