Located less than 20 miles from midtown Manhattan, the Roslyn Union Free School District encompasses several upscale residential communities on Long Island’s north shore. The district operates five schools under a $96 million annual budget and employs 272 teachers who serve 3,400 students.
Roslyn Union Free School District tosses copiers in campaign to rethink paper use
Managed Print Services (MPS), Printers & Multifunction Devices
Like other districts facing challenging financial times, the Roslyn Union Free School District system sought out places to reduce expenses. Printers and copiers quickly emerged as a prime target, prompting officials to launch a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis that called into question the longstanding practice of leasing its copiers. “These copiers were standalone units that were not networked and not accessible through a computer,” said Roslyn’s assistant superintendent of administration.
Already spending $23,000 every month for leases and maintenance, the actual outlay was higher, due to frequently incurred usage overage charges. Already deemed excessive, these expenditures omitted an essential ingredient—paper—which the district burned through at more than 1.5 million sheets every month. In total, Roslyn’s printing and mailing expenditure for just five schools exceeded $676,000.
After analyzing the TCO study, officials concluded the time had come to terminate its copier leases in lieu of a plan to purchase and finance its own equipment. The lease versus buy study also identified other savings opportunities, most notably consolidating the print, copy, fax and scan capabilities currently delivered by dozens of single-function devices into a small number of networked, remotely managed multifunction products (MFPs). “Clearly, we needed to eliminate leased single-function devices and instead purchase networked multifunction devices,” the assistant superintendent of administration said.
Yet retiring its copiers and modernizing its hardware fleet was just the beginning. The Roslyn study also proposed two far-reaching changes targeting paper consumption. Restricting device access would cut the number of people who could print and implementing electronic document technology would drastically cut paper use.
After weighing the benefits of lease versus buy, the Roslyn school system launched a three-year phased plan to toss out its copiers, along with their non-co-terminus leases. Roslyn officials are purchasing Lexmark MFPs in three waves, including a series of three-, two- and one-year service agreements that will all come up for common renewal after their initial terms conclude.
Assistant Superintendent of AdministrationThe Roslyn school district racked up savings exceeding $148,000. Paper consumption plunged by 81 percent, to just 273,000 sheets monthly
Combining printer, copier, fax and scanner into a single, compact unit, networked MFPs help recover desktop real estate, reduce electrical consumption and are managed remotely via the network. “We’ve integrated fully with Lexmark and we are very happy with their service and their level of customization,” said the assistant superintendent of administration. The district also implemented card-based access control for every student, teacher and staffer, using MIFARE™ embedded RFID smart card technology and ScholarChip® tracking and control software linked via the network to Active Directory. These cards are used in many aspects of academic life—to take student attendance, check out library books, purchase lunch, open secured doors and even for printing and copying.
By outsourcing fleet maintenance back to Lexmark, the district has largely replaced the practice of responding to unit outages with proactive, preventative oversight. “The Lexmark MFPs communicate with Lexmark’s fleet management division, allowing them to diagnose and respond to alerts right away,” said the assistant superintendent of administration. From the Lexmark network operations center, engineers can initiate diagnostic tests and dispatch a field engineer if an issue cannot be resolved remotely.
“We are making these Lexmark MFPs an integral part of daily life in our schools,” said the assistant superintendent of administration. In addition to copying accountability, document archiving and teacher copy center portals, the district is investigating integration of MFPs and teachers’ web sites to meet Individualized Education Program mandates related to providing notes and homework via Microsoft® SharePoint® server, and Cisco® unified fax server integration.
The Roslyn school district racked up savings exceeding $148,000. Paper consumption plunged by 81%, to just 273,000 sheets monthly from 1.5 million. The MIFARE/ScholarChip solution is prompting users to be more prudent when deciding what to print or copy. Scanning paper documents and attaching them to email messages is also contributing to paper savings and is reducing the workload on the district’s centralized copy shop. As the district gears up its plan to email documents to parents, its $100,000 annual bill for printing, envelope stuffing and postage is expected to drop by 40%.
Assistant Superintendent of AdministrationThe Lexmark MFPs communicate with Lexmark’s fleet management division, allowing them to diagnose and respond to alerts right away.
With its forward-looking paper-reduction and electronic document imaging strategies in place, Roslyn is reaching far into its past, readying plans to scan 2,500 boxes of paper records. “We want to catalog and index them, then get rid of the paper so we can reclaim the space,” the assistant superintendent of administration.
What started as a desire to jettison expensive leases for its standalone copiers has evolved into a sweeping plan to slash costs and improve productivity, while significantly reducing paper. The ultimate goal is for students to each have a digital portfolio that follows them from kindergarten through high school.