Lynwood Senior High School
We were able to bring those numbers to staff meetings and make everyone aware of how much they were printing and how much it was costing. That was something that staff had never really thought about but once it was brought to their attention, it helped us change the culture and work practices at the school.
Lynwood Senior High School makes its print costs sustainable
Lynwood Senior High School (Lynwood) is an independent public school in Western Australia, catering for 1200 students from Years 7 to 12, supported by 150 staff. It is one of the few schools in the state to be registered as a sustainable school, and has won national awards for its sustainable operations and ethos.
For Lynwood, sustainability is a varied concept. It means maintaining a strong focus on building respect and concern for others through the school’s culture. It is also about understanding the physical environment and the role students will play in the world of tomorrow.
Three years ago, the school’s IT department underwent a significant personnel change, and with that change came fresh eyes and ideas for improvement. Though sustainability was intended to infuse all aspects of school life, it quickly became clear to the new team that printing practices were not as sustainable as they could be. A project was launched to reign in print costs and to have staff print with sustainability in mind.
When the new IT team arrived, they found a print environment consisting of 10 multi-function devices (MFDs) and 65 local printers. There was a huge variety of printers, with various toner requirements and no central tracking of how the devices were being used. In addition, paper wastage and costs were high.
“We noticed paper on the printers would pile up, often resulting in print jobs being redone.”
Looking to make its printing ecosystem more sustainable, Lynwood undertook a full site print audit carried out by Ricoh Australia. The audit revealed key findings that provided the IT department with the support and evidence they required to pursue a technology infrastructure upgrade alongside a shift towards a more environmentally sustainable way of working.
With the audit complete and a better understanding of the opportunities available to Lynwood with an improved print infrastructure, Corporate Services Manager, Cecilia Douglas, went to market for proposals and quotes. At the conclusion of that process, Lynwood opted to work alongside Ricoh Australia in upgrading their print ecosystem.
The school decided to cut the number of local printers from 65 down to 15, and leased a number of new Ricoh MFDs instead. Ricoh also supplied PaperCut print management software, which can be used with any vendor’s printers. The new technology was installed and ready to use by February 2018.
The use of follow me printing and release queues has enabled the school to reduce costs and usage.
“We were able to bring those numbers to staff meetings and make everyone aware of how much they were printing and how much it was costing,” Jonathan said.
“That was something that staff had never really thought about but once it was brought to their attention, it helped us change the culture and work practices at the school.”
For example, staff were largely unaware that cost per page varied between printers. For example, a colour page on an MFD might be printed at a different cost to that on a local desktop printer. “Staff didn’t realise that. They just thought all printing cost the same,” Jonathan said.
Data collected through Ricoh’s print audit helped the IT team assess usage across the school and recommend cheaper digital or cloud-based alternatives to view large documents instead of running heavy print jobs.
The IT team at Lynwood was pleased to observe that implementing changes that meant adopting a more sustainable print culture was met with staff support. “When we presented the data to staff, it went down really well and there weren’t really any complaints at all. I think it’s because people could understand why they needed to change, so everyone accepted it.”
Now, the IT department can show each department in the school its printing costs on an annual, term-by-term and even individual staff member basis. That allows each department to manage its costs and stay within budget.
“Each department is allocated a budget each year which they have to run their department on. The cost per term for printing gets charged back to them. It’s pushed accountability to the department heads and staff to keep track of print costs,” Cecilia said.
The school worked with Ricoh to decide where to locate the new Ricoh devices. Each learning area and administrative area got its own device, though the capabilities of each varies depending on usage requirements. The school’s front office and library see higher print volumes than student services, for example, meaning they received devices capable of a higher page-per-minute (PPM) performance.
“We worked with Ricoh to understand the usage in that area and that’s how we worked out which MFD to purchase and lease,” Cecilia said.
Jobs can be printed and picked up at any device. Staff are able to use “follow-me printing” where they simply swipe their card at any printer to release their print job. Jonathan said this had resulted in time savings and greater efficiency for staff.
Working with Ricoh Australia has been a productive experience. From the audit through to implementation and maintenance, Lynwood found Ricoh to be helpful and its devices reliable, even exceeding expectations on occasion.
“The printer in my office started playing up at 1.30pm one day so I called Ricoh’s contact number to log a job,” Jonathan said. “We finish at 3pm so we were expecting someone to come in the next couple of days. As we were heading out the door, someone arrived to service the printer. It was fixed in half an hour. We couldn’t believe it.”
Lynwood achieved a substantial saving from the project and has seen positive developments. “This is the first year we’ve been able to keep a proper record of actually what’s being used,” Cecilia said.
The project also met the school’s expectations in being a catalyst for cultural change and for the application of sustainable thinking to the print environment.