What UK Schools can Learn from Shelbyville

It might seem a long way away, but Shelbyville in the United States could well provide the template for many UK schools that want to find ways of reducing costs and leaving more in the budget for teaching and learning resources. Whilst the technology already exists for many schools and other educational establishments to not only reduce their running costs but also significantly cut their environmental impact, many are still not implementing the strategies that make a difference.

In Shelbyville the school got together with copier giant Sharp to explore new ways of reducing costs and managed to shave $4,000 off their operating budget. Catering to thousands of students, the school needed to find ways of bringing its archaic printing practices into the 21st Century. This began with Sharp representatives running an enterprise document profile, what we in the UK would call a full print audit.

The object of this was to look at how Shelbyville School actually ran its printing provision and to explore new ways of bringing it under tighter control. Whilst a large school complex, staff were still surprised to learn that some 360 devices, including fax and laser printers, were being used throughout the facility. The majority of these machines were outdated, costly to run and provided no alternative that would save on valuable resources such as paper or toner.

The change around for Shelbyville came when Sharp replaced some 120 devices which 43 Multi-Function printers that performed more economically and could be accessed through a managed print service. That meant the people in charge of printing within the school would have greater control across their devices and more chance of reducing the overall running costs.

The Sharp OSA Platform also allowed administrators in the school to begin digitizing student data and records, which means that staff could quickly access data at the touch of a button. Records have now been digitized to such an extent that they can be accessed for students as far back as the turn of the 20th century.

The Sharp solution has enabled Shelbyville to reduce its costs significantly. Prior to this important intervention they were paying a large amount for their copier contract and cost savings were only part of the benefits they achieved through an upgrade. Better document management and improved security meant that staff and students had easy access to all the information they needed.

The key to an effective upgrade of your printing processes is the full evaluation that comes beforehand. You can’t really decide what can be improved upon until you have looked at the whole picture and that requires undertaking a full audit by an experienced professional who knows what to look for.

Many UK schools face a similar situation to Shelbyville with an outdated printing strategy that could lead to a significant saving of money if updated. Simple changes and better technology can all work together to make the office environment a more eco-friendly and cost effective place that benefits both staff and students in equal measure.

To find out how we could introduce energy-saving and cost effective solutions for your school, call ISL Digital today on 0208 911 3780.