Sir Tom Finney Community High school (STF) is a secondary school based in Preston, Lancashire. The school, rated outstanding by Ofsted in its latest inspection report, caters for around 140 students and employs approximately 85 teachers and support staff. The students are aged 11-19 years with a wide range of special educational needs.
Sir Tom Finney Community High School’s plan to move across the city to a new £5.5m school building brought excitement and trepidation in equal measure. A new environment for teachers and students alike would take some getting used to, but the potential benefits greatly outweighed the upheaval to unfamiliar surroundings.
It was here that the school saw its opportunity to transition to a new generation of printers for its print, scan and copy requirements; looking to save costs, improve quality and speed-up processes in the bargain.
Midshire Communications Ltd (MCL) have a good relationship with STF stretching back nearly 15 years, and have been instrumental in evolving the school’s print estate in line with its changing needs. Prior to the relocation in September 2015, this process had involved steadily replacing slow and inefficient Infotec/Ricoh devices to unlock performance gains and cost savings using KYOCERA technology.
“When we informed MCL about our plan to move the whole school site to a new location, they sat down with us to understand how our needs might change and what options there were for a more intelligent approach to print,” said Jen Bugler, School Business Manager.
Before its relocation, STF had never previously operated print management software with its estate. As well as requiring secure hold and release printing, the school also wanted to incorporate its existing keycards and fobs with the new MFPs. Without this facility, the school lacked the visibility and control it wanted over print usage to prevent waste and reliably identify cost saving opportunities.
“We shared the planned layout of the school with MCL who were able to make some really useful recommendations for positioning MFPs in certain areas for maximum efficiency, and this even influenced where electrical power sockets were placed. They also arranged for us to see demos on the KYOCERA booth at the annual BETT show, and later at KYOCERA’s Technology Suite in Manchester, so we could gain a greater understanding of the latest generation of print technology,” added Jen.
STF also had a specific printing need for iOS devices, such as iPad tablets, which are frequently used in the classrooms. The requirement was for iPads to print through a print queue based on the server which could then be tracked and logged to monitor print volume.
Another key consideration for STF was integration with its SIMS information system. As the central database for all pupil information at the school, the security, efficiency and accuracy advantages of SIMS were being limited by the lack of integration with paper processes.
Prior to the deployment of the new print solution at the new school site, MCL undertook a proof of concept at the original STF site. This involved one of the proposed KYOCERA MFPs, complete with PaperCut software and a card reader – essentially a replica of the approach proposed across the estate. The device was set up with one central print queue for hold and release, making deployment and management of drivers and queues as simple as possible. The self-association programming for all staff keycards was also completed, which sped-up the final project implementation when the new site was later opened and all devices installed.
This proof of concept helped project savings, bench-test performance, and demonstrate security and flexibility of the solution.
Applying this, together with its knowledge of current/ projected print volumes and the planned school layout at the new location, MCL recommended a total of five colour MFPs to be strategically positioned throughout the school.
The orientation and speed/scale specification of each device was carefully considered to afford maximum queue efficiency and print capacity for STF staff.
The new fleet incorporates one KYOCERA TASKalfa 5551ci and four TASKalfa 3051ci devices, each equipped with PaperCut print management software to enable auditing and monitoring of print usage and spend, and card readers for secure access. MCL invested considerable time identifying Presto by Collobos as the ideal software solution for the iOS requirement. This is now used throughout the school and is tracked through the PaperCut Windows Print server.
“We’ve found exactly what we were looking for – a far more efficient, secure and cost-controlled way to manage our print volumes, with superior print quality and finishing too,” said Jen. “MCL and KYOCERA have ensured that the transition to a complete print solution when we moved was as smooth as possible and took away any staff worries about difficult new processes, at a time where everything around them was changing.”
STF has already reduced staffing time and consumables costs through features like ‘FollowMe’ printing and remote management tools. And because MCL has integrated each of the five new devices’ security controls with STF’s existing door-entry cards, it is now easy to prevent unauthorised printing and copying.
The classroom environment at STF has also benefited from the new KYOCERA technology, with staff able to spend less time producing better quality teaching materials, and seamlessly integrating these with a variety of iOS devices.
Looking forward, MCL dynamically monitors STF’s ongoing print usage to ensure the printer fleet continues to meet its evolving needs.