The payoff from the partnership between SMSD and Ricoh has been quite impressive. For starters, comments about the shift to a digital learning environment from faculty and staff have been overwhelmingly positive.
“95 percent of the comments have been positive. Our faculty and staff really like the convenience and how well all the technology works,” said Lane.
There has been an overall reduction in printing across the district since Ricoh helped SMSD make the transition to digital. Hard cost savings are real. Environmental benefits are evident. And the print center is now a thriving asset.
“Ricoh has aligned perfectly with our one-to-one initiative enabling electronic information in each school,” said Deb Zila, former school board president at SMSD. “And if something needs to be printed, we have a resource that teachers can count on.”
Less Printing, Significant Cost Savings
While becoming a digital learning environment was priority one, reducing costs placed a close second. Dramatic cuts in the printing fleet has led to dramatic reductions in print volumes throughout the district—as well as sizeable cost savings.
In the first year of the program, SMSD saw a nearly 50 percent drop in printing and Lane expects another 50 percent reduction in the second full year. There were more than 44 million fewer clicks during the first year. Hard costs savings in year one totaled $600,000 plus another $150,000 in paper savings.
“We know at some point the print reduction and cost savings will level off—or even tick up a bit as our student body grows or class sizes increase,” said Lane. “But we now have the ability to see where those clicks come from and make decisions based on that information.”
Reduced Print Support, Smart Labor Force
The year prior to the shift to the digital learning environment, there were 3,264 calls to SMSD’s help desk related to printers. Those calls have been reduced by 90 percent, as Ricoh provides full support for the MFPs. Lifting this burden has allowed SMSD’s IT department to shift its focus to supporting the digital learning environment and concentrating on student and teacher mobile device support.
“We’re still busy, but we’re not worrying about printers anymore,” said Lane. “We used to have 45 people in the department dealing with printers and now we have just two or three that make sure Equitrac and TRAC are working. They don’t even need to involve me anymore. They call Ricoh directly and any issues are resolved quickly.”
Environmental Advantages, Security Gains
While environmental and security gains weren’t primary drivers for the transition to a digital learning environment, SMSD counts them among the significant perks of the initiative. By reducing clicks and paper usage, SMSD estimates it has saved approximately 5,281 trees in the first year as well as reduced the energy required to process trees and paper. Also, there are far fewer printers consuming energy across the district, resulting in a 90 percent carbon footprint reduction.
Security benefits certainly can’t be ignored. Now that users have to badge into the MFPs to authenticate and retrieve printed materials, SMSD has greater assurance that sensitive district information is protected.
“If a print job isn’t picked up at the MFP of the user’s choosing within 24 hours, it gets erased from the system,” said Lane. “This greatly reduces the chance of information leaking out.”
Focused Print Center, Digital Learning
The revitalized, more focused print center stands out as a shining example of the partnership’s success. Prior to refocusing the print center, 70 percent of the district’s faculty didn’t even know the print center existed. Now, more than 70 percent of the faculty uses the center.
The district’s print center is now a centralized printing hub and vital resource for the district, run seamlessly by Ricoh Managed Services. It’s no longer operating at a loss and costing the district money. In fact, volume at the center skyrocketed from 1,700 jobs before the shift to more than 12,000 jobs in 2014. Turnaround times have also dramatically improved. It used to take the print center, on average, nearly 7 days to complete a job. Now, delivery times are two days or less—with 99.3 percent completed on time or ahead of the requested delivery date.