Georgetown Day School (GDS) is a progressive, private, pre-K through twelfth grade school in Washington, DC, teaching over 1,000 students on two campuses. Prior to proposing and implementing a managed print program, Meridian supplied GDS with multifunctional copier equipment, as well as related supplies and ongoing maintenance. In addition to the copiers Meridian provided GDS, the school had an assortment of Hewlett Packard printers sprinkled throughout their two campuses.
There were no research requirements or formal purchasing processes for printers. If a new printer was needed, it was generally selected based on the upfront cost, with little consideration of other ownership variables. An assessment identified 95 printers with 32 unique models, each requiring different supplies. Many of these printers were beyond their useful lifecycle.
GDS’s IT department encountered challenges managing and servicing printers across two campuses. Managing printers required considerable time from IT staff, also responsible for supporting IT needs of
the faculty and students, in addition to managing an online system for parents. If printers went down, IT handled first tier troubleshooting, but would often enlist outside vendors for repair. It often took up
to 48 hours to receive service and since GDS would be charged on a time and materials basis, invoices could equal or surpass the value of the printers.
Different printer models meant there were just as many drivers that needed to be managed by IT. If a printer couldn’t be fixed immediately, IT would set up an additional, interim printer driver for users. The ability to print was mission critical; to avoid disruptive downtime, mass inventory was stocked to ensure teachers and students did not run out of toner, with no budgeting considerations. In some cases supplies would become obsolete, but would still be sitting on the supply shelf. Overall, GDS had no control over their fleet, and no understanding of what they were spending.
Meridian provided a comprehensive assessment to identify GDS’s unique printing needs. For one month, Meridian gathered data using remote monitoring software and thoroughly analyzed the printing metrics. In addition, Meridian specialists analyzed and mapped out the layout of the printing devices to identify ways to make the existing equipment more useful. Devices being used significantly under or over their recommended volumes were reallocated to more appropriate locations.
There was no requirement to purchase new hardware with Meridian; the COMPLETE Program took over management of GDS’s legacy fleet. With ongoing remote monitoring, Meridian is able to resolve many issues with printers before they go down, which decreases disruption for the end-user. If a device does break down, Meridian technicians provide an 8 hour response time for printer assets and 4 hour response times for copiers.
Meridian’s Specialists keep an eye on printers remotely using automated status alerts, and issues are usually addressed before they become a problem for the end-user. Downtime has decreased and they have extended the life of machines through regular maintenance. More uptime for end-users means less disruption for the GDS IT department, and more IT time can be spent on core capabilities.
Costs are now transparent and can be accurately budgeted for all printing hardware. In addition, Meridian assists GDS with researching and budgeting for future printing device purchases. When new devices are required, Meridian works with the client to understand what their needs are and what the most appropriate and cost-effective device will be.
Meridian’s standardization strategy will ensure that—as GDS’s older equipment is phased out—the replacement devices will not only be more reliable and energy-efficient, but will include fewer device models, to streamline service and supply fulfillment. In addition, because the high school students
attending GDS print in high volumes, a software solution will allow GDS to route high-volume print jobs to less expensive devices. Thus, the students can continue to print and GDS can reduce their costs.
Meridian works with GDS to provide quarterly reviews of their printing process, to identify changing needs and corresponding suggested technology changes. The process of managing printers has become entirely hands-off for GDS, which has freed up their time to focus on core competencies.