Every penny counts in a school's budget. From textbooks to equipment, every expense matters, especially when resources are tight. But have you ever stopped to consider the financial impact of your school's print supplier? Amidst the more conspicuous costs, printing often slips under the radar, yet it might be silently draining your budget.
Almost every business manager and school leader I’ve talked to over the last couple of years has told me that their printing costs exceeded what they expected they’d be paying. I might sound like a broken record on this but that’s something I’m ok with, because I know that if you haven’t reviewed your print supplier in the last 12 months, then you’re overpaying!
Tallying the Costs of your Current Print Supplier
The costs associated with printing are far more complex than just paper and ink. Factors like printing limits (which are often too easy to exceed), downtime from maintenance and repairs, energy consumption, the time spent by staff queuing for their printouts, and even the wasted space occupied by bulky printers - all add up. If not scrutinised, these hidden costs can snowball into a significant drain on your school’s budget.
For example, consider the cost of ink and toner. While it may seem inconsequential when buying a single cartridge, the cumulative cost over an academic year quickly mounts up. Schools print a lot, from student worksheets to administrative documents, which can lead to a staggering amount of money spent on ink alone. If you didn’t catch it, check out my blog on how a primary school saved over £10,000 a year just by switching to Eco Printers.
The good news is that it has never been easier to switch to a different school print supplier. Many of these costs can be mitigated by reviewing and potentially changing your print supplier. A supplier that offers efficient, reliable equipment can minimise maintenance costs and energy consumption. At Eco Printers, we use the latest heat-free technology. Heat-free print technology makes printers 87% more energy-efficient and can reduce the number of breakdowns and even paper jams with many having less than half as many moving parts.
Furthermore, a school or academy trust print supplier that provides high-quality, cost-effective ink and toner can lead to significant savings. It’s not unusual for an average sized secondary school to be spending £20,000+ just on printer ink per year. A trade secret is that this is where the majority of a print supplier's margin comes from, so this is where you want to haggle hardest! But keep this secret quiet, we don’t want word to get out to the traditional print suppliers that you’ve got the upper hand on them. Rather than asking schools to haggle, at Eco Printers we give our schools unlimited full colour printing for a set annual price. It sounds like it would cost a lot more, but 95% of our schools tell us they’ve saved a significant amount of money since switching to us.
The Environmental Costs of School Printing
Finally, let’s not forget the environmental benefits to consider. The bulky copier scanner combos you find in schools across the country are incredibly energy inefficient when compared to heat-free printing technology.
Printing 50,000 pages on one of these will produce about 568kg of CO2, with around 460kg attributed to the energy usage (that’s 81% of the total CO2).
While many schools are looking to cut back on their printing as a means to improve their carbon footprint, a faster and easier way is to switch to heat-free printers. As this technology uses 87% less energy, printing the same 50,000 pages will only produce 105kg!
In the long run, saving money and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive goals but can go hand in hand with the right print supplier.
So, it's time to ask: Is your school's print supplier a silent budget drain? If you're not sure, it might be time for a review. Take a close look at your current print expenses, including those hidden costs like maintenance, energy, and additional ink. Consider reaching out to other suppliers to see what they offer. By making a conscious, informed decision about your print supplier, you can potentially save money, reduce your environmental impact, and invest more resources into where it matters most: the education of your students.
In conclusion, while the costs associated with printing can be significant, they are not unavoidable. By taking a proactive approach and carefully considering your choice of print supplier, you can turn a potential budget drain into a source of savings. So don't let the hidden costs of print catch you off guard - take action today and ensure your budget is being used most effectively.