School printer upgrades
Each school year there are new printer upgrades which can drive down operating costs while maximising efficiency. Is now the time to upgrade your school printer? Should you be investing in a brand-new machine which will save you money, increase productivity and help you and your staff utilise new technology?
With the cost of printers at an all-time low, in many cases it’s cheaper to buy a new printer than it is to repair your old one. At Ebuyer, we supply over 23,000 schools in the UK and we know our printers. We are also aware of the pressure on school budgets, and so can point you in the right direction for efficiency and savings.
School printer warning signs
Firstly, if you are having problems with your current school printer, check your warranty, as you might be able to have it fixed without any additional cost. Also, check that you have all the latest upgrades installed. Outdated software can cause slower printing and affect the quality of prints. There’s no point spending money if you don’t have to.
If your printer seems to be printing really slowly you may need a new printer. If you’ve gone through the manual and cleaned the printhead and you’re still unhappy with its performance, then it’s probably time to bid your printer farewell.
Older printers really do use excessive amounts of ink and toner – they go through much more than the newer models. If you’re spending a lot of your budget on ink and toner for an old model, then you’re probably ready for an upgrade. And it will save you money.
Sometimes, you just outgrow your printer. If you find your school needs a higher volume of printing, it may be that your current, old printer just isn’t up to the task at the speed you want. Most printers launched in the last three or four years offer touch-screen operation, near-photographic print quality and wireless networking. You can print from mobiles, tablets and other devices.
Many new printers allow pass-codes to be allocated to staff members, which means that sensitive documents, data or test results cannot fall in to the wrong hands.
Generally speaking, printers have quite a short lifespan. The consulting firm InfoTrends say the average printer lasts 4 years, but other industry retailers will tell you that the typical inkjet printer will last 2 to 3 years, and a laser printer will average 5 years.
Basically, they are not going to live too long, so don’t hang on to a printer which is getting to the end of its life, it’s just not worth it, and at some point, it will just fail. Probably at a very important time.
Efficiency and savings
There are lots of ways to cut costs when using your school printer. Many people never really bother to explore the on-screen menus when setting up a new printer. If you take a closer look you’ll find options such as ‘low-power’ or ‘sleep-mode’ that can dramatically lower energy consumption when your printer is idle.
Also, printing double-sided and moving the print setting to ‘draft’ if you’re not printing anything that needs to be presentation standard, will save you money. You can easily switch back to the high-quality settings when needed.
Ink and toner cartridges are now also much more cost-effective than they once were. And companies such as HP have a special Ink replacement programme which makes it much easier for schools and organisations to budget for their print. A monthly fee saves you up to 50% of normal printing costs, plus you get inks delivered free, you can print in black and white or colour all for the same low price, and there is no contract to worry about. This is perfect for business, and over 2 million customers are already signed up, and saving money.
Most major printer companies have a free recycling service for cartridges and old printers, they have also built-in several eco-friendly features to make their printers more energy efficient, and to encourage more efficient ways of printing.
Which to choose?
There are two common options when you are looking to buy a new printer. Inkjet or laser. While both are great options, you need to choose the right one for what your school needs.
Laser printers tend to cost more upfront but are cheaper to run. So, if you tend to print higher volumes in black and white and colour, then a laser printer is probably the best option for you.
Inkjet printers are much cheaper to buy, but more expensive to run. An inkjet is better equipped for printing photographs, and better for smaller amounts of printing – so Keep in mind what you need your printer for. Is it more for documents, newsletters, school projects or individual letters? How many pages per day or week do you print approximately?
Printers have improved massively in the last few years, and they now have functions that seem unbelievable to what was previously available.
What do you use your school printer for? All-in-one printers will also scan, copy and fax. Wireless models operate via Wi-Fi and you can print remotely from your mobile devices. If your school is part of a group for example, other school heads can send things to print on YOUR printer from THEIR mobile!
Photos of school trips, sports teams and more can all be printed in real time without fuss, giving you up-to-the-minute information. Imagine if one class is out of a field-trip and sending images back for another class do make a presentation with. It uses technology in a very positive way and can shape new school projects. And it doesn’t cost anymore than a standard print sent from your computer.
How to buy your new printer
As a business, your school can not only buy at the best prices with Ebuyer but can also use business credit to manage your budget easier. Add to this the HP ink replacement program and you’ll find that you are saving money every way you turn.