The prestigious Christian school for boys, St. John’s College, has achieved significant cost-savings and boosted the performance of its printing environment since it appointed Itec Connect to provide it with a complete managed solution for its document output environment.
The college – based in Houghton, Johannesburg – embarked on a drive to reduce its printing costs about five years ago, when it sought out a single supplier to replace the multiple vendors it had servicing its print infrastructure.
After considering proposals from a number of vendors, St. John’s appointed Itec as its printing partner and tasked it with rationalising its print infrastructure and reducing costs.
The college prints and copies around four and a half million monochrome and colour pages a year, making printing one of its most significant operating costs.
In addition to serving the college’s back-office needs, the multifunctional peripherals (MFPs) that Itec has supplied are used by the schoolboys to print out their projects and assignments, as well as by teachers to copy and print teaching materials, exam papers and so on.
The scanning function of the MFPs is also extensively used by pupils, teachers and admin staff.
“About five years ago, the college had a situation where we had printers and service contracts with multiple vendors. Many of the machines we had in place were not appropriate for our needs, and we decided to seek out a new partner to help us streamline our infrastructure,” says Alistair Dry, business manager at St. John’s College.
The college evaluated proposals from a number of vendors and was most impressed with the work that Itec invested in understanding its environment and proposing a solution that minimised costs and optimised productivity.
“There was real value-add in Itec Connect’s proposal. Itec conducted a thorough analysis of our environment and helped us to uncover opportunities to consolidate and centralise printers,” says Dry.
“It also put us in contact with a financing company that helped us to structure a contract that met our needs.”
Itec helped St. John’s to identify opportunities to centralise desktop printers and to replace older machines. By consolidating its print infrastructure, getting rid of older equipment with high running costs and eliminating wastage, the college has achieved cost-savings of around R8,000 a month.
Dry says that one of the most powerful features of the Itec solution is the Print Director software, which enables the school to correctly bill departments and staff members for the printing and copying they do.
Users identify themselves with a student number or PIN, preventing abuse of the printers. Students are allowed a set number of prints per month and are charged for prints and copies they make above this allocation.
Itec has come on board with St. John’s social responsibility programme, showing further evidence of its commitment to the relationship, Dry says. St. John’s College partners with Masibambane – a school in Orange Farm which has over 700 pupils – in a social outreach programme.
It helps Masibambane with administration, equipping and fundraising of capital developments and other projects. Itec has assisted by agreeing to implement and support copiers that St. John’s has donated to Masibambane for free.
Organisations such as St. John’s are looking for printing partners who can provide them with complete managed solutions that encompass upfront cost-analysis, on-going service and support and a transparent cost per page for their printing, says Nic La Mura, account executive, at Itec Connect.
By opting for a managed solution, they can be confident that they will enjoy the benefits of a reliable, cost-effective and optimised document infrastructure that allows them to focus on their core business.