Schools and other educational establishments are under increasing pressure to use their budgets wisely. So when Warrington based Toshiba TEC authorised dealer, Sharples Group, approached St Alban’s Catholic Primary School to discuss how it could enhance the efficiency of its printing and copying operation, cost savings figured high on the agenda.
An award winning, independent office equipment company, Sharples Group has supplied and maintained a range of Toshiba TEC multifunction products (MFPs) to organisations throughout Cheshire and Lancashire since 1989. The company believes that the right product, integrated and managed in the right way, can impact positively throughout an organisation and this ethos has led to a reputation for excellent service, backed up by a highly trained sales and maintenance team.
Also located in Warrington, St Alban’s is a slightly smaller than average sized primary school with just over 200 pupils ranging from 3-11 years of age. The school has achieved national Healthy School status, a programme that promotes the wellbeing of its pupils and staff through a well planned and taught curriculum that focuses on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Explaining how the two organisations came together, Jason Wright, sales account manager at Sharples Group, said,
We believe the way that many schools operate their printing and copying function is inefficient and ineffective. We approached St Alban’s with a view to implementing a system that could offer a higher quality printing and copying facility which could also save them money.
The School had previously used a system comprising of two photocopiers along with a separate non-networked printer in each classroom. After carrying out a print audit Wright concluded that the most appropriate solution would be to install two centrally located MFPs – a Toshiba TEC e-STUDIO2540C along with an e-STUDIO355.
Toshiba TEC’s marketing manager, Jeremy Spencer, explained,
The e-STUDIO2540C MFP offers high quality colour productivity at up to 45 pages per minute. It combines copy, print, scan and optional fax, while also providing St Alban’s with the option to produce professional finished documents. Meanwhile, the e-STUDIO355 MFP can print at 35 pages per minute, offering reliability and exceptional ease of use.
Sharples Group set up the e-STUDIO355 as a high-speed black and white machine, which is primarily used as a copier. This prevents print jobs interrupting any high volume copying jobs and also allows the fully networked e-STUDIO2540C to be used mainly for printing.
Like all modern schools a great deal of the teaching is based around ICT and the pupils at St Alban’s use a range of educational software in class and like to print out their work afterwards. This means that although the volume of printing can be very high, it is something that the e-STUDIO2540C is easily able to cope with.
For such a small scale environment facilitating the use of biometrics was not considered necessary, however, in order to restrict the amount of colour printing carried out the e-STUDIO2540C has been programmed to accept four separate PIN numbers for designated members of staff to use.
St Alban’s has already noticed the benefits of its new printing and copying facilities. Previously, one of the biggest issues was the sourcing, ordering and cost of consumables such as toner and ink. The School found that the price of these could fluctuate quite considerably, which made controlling costs difficult. The agreement with Sharples Group means that all consumables are ordered from one source and a regular monthly invoice has made budgeting easier. Also, when the time and effort that is saved by not having to source these items is factored in, the benefits are even greater.
Elaine Bush, the headteacher’s secretary at St Alban’s Catholic Primary School, concluded,
Having decided that it would be a good idea to have all the printing and copying carried out from two central devices I can only say that I’m extremely pleased with the results. It has saved the school a considerable amount of money and Warrington Borough Council is also extremely impressed with this achievement. Dealing with Sharples Group is a pleasure and the MFPs from Toshiba TEC are a very welcome addition to our infrastructure.