Here at EcoPrinters HQ, we’re a unique bunch! We’ve assembled a crack team of passionate printing professionals who know everything there is about the school printing industry. If you don’t know your colorimeter from your pantone coverage, don’t worry because we’re here to help!
We know that the world of printing is full of technical, complex terms. Things get confusing quickly and you might well be asking why does a school need to know about printers - if they work, there’s nothing more to know surely? Well, just a little bit of knowledge about school printers goes a long way, and could reduce your bill by thousands of pounds every year.
Printers might not be the most exciting topic in education, but we think being able to put thousands of extra pounds into other curriculum resources is!
Measuring the true financial cost of school printing
“The price we were quoted wasn’t the price we ended up paying. Our school printing costs ended up being a lot more than what we budgeted for.”
Budgeting is a critical aspect for schools but unfortunately the excerpt above is something we hear all too often from business managers when they switch to EcoPrinters.
How is it that the actual school printing spend always seems to exceed the quote you received?
To understand this, we need to explore how traditional printer suppliers make money.
It’s all about consumables - replacement ink and toner cartridges, as these account for around 80% of a manufacturer’s profit. The printer itself is almost always priced low, sometimes even sold or leased to your school at cost, because manufacturers know that once you’re using their brand, you’re locked into buying their consumables. This is no different than the razor blade industry where the razor is often cheaper than the replacement blades.
Knowing that it is the ink, rather than the printer, that traditional print suppliers make their money, means you’re armed with knowledge that can help you unlock savings.
So let’s loop back to our original question - why does your printing spend always exceed the quotation you’re given?
How page coverage secretly blows school printing budgets
Now that we know it is the consumables which cost you the most money, print suppliers have a little trick up their sleeve to throw you off the scent of savings… page coverage!
When you receive a quotation for your annual school printing solution, you’ll be asked how many pages you expect to print each month. You’ll be shown various printer models which can print varying numbers of pages depending on the ink cartridge / toner they use (known as yield). Typically, you’ll opt for the printer that can print the most pages per consumable because this will be the most cost-effective surely?
Well not always, because the amount of ink used on each page (page coverage) is just as important as how many pages you’re going to print. If you’re feeling confused then this is no accident because print manufacturers benefit when you don’t fully understand how you’re going to be charged. It becomes almost inevitable that you print more than what you imagined you would.
This happens because yields, the amount a printer can produce on a single consumable, are calculated as text-only black ink print outs. This is because printing yields are calculated for the commercial sector where most printouts are black and white text-only. The problem for school printing is that classroom resource printouts often include imagery or are in colour which blows the average page coverage equation.
The result is that you use far more ink than you anticipated, leaving you with the difficult decision of imposing printing limits on your staff or overspending on replacement printer ink / toner.
The new way - a printing solution developed just for schools
From our decades in the print industry, we recognise that schools have different printing requirements in comparison to businesses. Your school printing solution shouldn’t dictate what you can print for the classroom so we came up with a new way.
We’ve developed unique printing technology that means page coverage and pay-per-page printing contracts are a thing of the past. Instead, we offer you unlimited full colour printing for a fixed annual price. No more going over budget. No more having to impose unpopular printing limits. All you need to do is pay once with us and print as much as you like!
Over 100 schools have switched to EcoPrinters and 95% tell us they have saved a significant amount of money as a result. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch and we’ll give you a quote for unlimited, full colour printing in less than 15 minutes.