How a print solution can reduce costs for your school

Every industry is looking for ways to run their organisation more efficiently, and the education sector is no different. Changing your print solution and practices can significantly reduce costs for your school.

Printing is a necessity of school life. Students and staff alike create document after document in the name of administration, demonstration, and examination. And not only is it complex, but it can also be very expensive.

But how often do you really evaluate printing practices to ensure you’ve got the most effective – and efficient – solution? In this blog, we’ll offer some insight and advice on finding the right print solution to reduce costs for your school. 

School printing

How the size of your school determines your options

The size of your school is an important factor in determining the right print solution for you. 

Print management solutions have the ability to reduce costs for your school by automating efficient print behaviours, delete obsolete jobs, monitor and display costs, and reduce the number of devices you need on-site.

But you should only invest in these solutions if you’re already spending enough on print to justify the cost of buying them – if the cost exceeds 30% of your current print spend, it isn’t worth it. 

How small schools can save money on print.

If you run a small school that can’t justify the cost of a print management solution, it may be better to look at your current devices and adjust the practices of your staff to reduce costs for your school by maximising the device features. And this can be achieved without additional cost.

For example, limiting who can print in colour by creating two queues, giving each device a PIN number to measure their usage, and using ‘locked print’ – meaning prints only come out when you are at the device and have entered a code.

How large schools can save money on print.

If you run a large school, then print management solutions can deliver tremendous benefits to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of your print estate. 

One of the most valuable aspects – in addition to those mentioned previously – is the introduction of accounting for both staff and students. This allows you to monitor, measure, and control usage across departments, budgets, or even individuals, and determine how much each student can print before they have to add credit. Effective management and account of users in this way will control and reduce costs for your school.

How all schools can save money on print

Some software is beneficial regardless of your school’s size. One great example of this are products that enhance the scanning of your devices – especially if they feature Optical Character Recognition (OCR). 

This fantastic innovation means that scanned document files actually contain text, rather than just a picture, which can enable you to:

  • Search words within scanned documents
  • Find documents by their content using Windows search
  • Convert documents back into Word or Excel without losing format
  • Edit documents
  • Compare similar documents for differences

Look to the future and reduce costs for your school

New software may also enable you to print from your own devices such as tablets or smartphones. As more of the learning database is moved online, this may become a necessary utility in order for students to learn and staff to teach.

Picking the right print solution for you

So, what print solution is right for your school? These are some of the key categories you need to consider before you choose the solution to invest in and begin to reduce costs for your school.


There are significant peaks and troughs in print demand at schools. You have periods of intense requirement during exams, and almost no requirement during school holidays. You need a solution that can meet those highs, without being too costly during the lows.


One of the more complex factors in setting the right print solution for your school is how you distribute devices among your staff and students. Do you need them in classrooms, or do you have dedicated IT suites? How is education impacted by students or teachers leaving classrooms to pick up printed materials?


As with many aspects of your school’s infrastructure, accessibility is an important consideration for your print solution. All students need access to print, no matter what their physical requirements. You also need to consider the ability of IT support to fix any potential issues.

Learn more about print with Ricoh

Ricoh is a print specialist with years of experience in collaborating with schools and businesses to integrate more effective and efficient print solutions that will control and reduce costs for your school. We are also on the Crown Commercial Service [RM6174 MFD] framework to offer schools a no-fuss, compliant buying experience through the Ricoh Online CCS Portal.

Take a look at our in-depth guide on managed print and automated services and get in touch if you’d like to learn more about how we could help your school. Click here to visit our website to rethink what your print infrastructure can help you achieve.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak with a specialist, please feel free to get in touch.

Keith Stevenson

Government National Accounts Director at Ricoh UK

Read all articles by Keith Stevenson