Farmington Area Public School District in Minnesota realized the need to reassess its print operations to address issues of lost productivity and overspending for eight schools (one high school, two middle schools, five elementary schools) and two office buildings. Relying on a combination of mid-sized, mid-range copiers located throughout the 10 buildings and part-time print staff that traveled throughout the buildings to support these devices, it became apparent that print volume could be better managed, as well as time and cost savings realized, by directing all output to a centralized print center.
In 2010, the school’s centralized print volume had increased so rapidly that an RFP was developed to address the growing demand with hardware capacity, rather than by increasing staff hours. With the Web-to-print software already well adopted by users, Farmington needed to find a partner who would also work with Rochester Software Associates (RSA) (Booth 646) to make the hardware transition seamless.
Finding a solution
Advanced Imaging Solutions (AIS), an authorized Konica Minolta (Booth 2227) dealer partner, proposed a complete solution that saved Farmington close to $144,000, covered the document center and the MFPs in the buildings and all of the network/workgroup printers.
Impressed with the speed and performance of the suggested hardware configuration from Konica Minolta, Farmington decided to install a combination of production print systems, including a bizhub PRO C5501 and two bizhub PRO 1050 systems. Additionally, 18 Konica Minolta bizhub 421 monochrome MFPs, including eCopy software, were installed throughout the buildings to replace some of the existing hardware and further streamline the electronic document distribution process.
Farmington concurrently embraced Web-to-print and scan-to-print solutions from RSA with Nuance’s eCopy software connector, enablng teachers and staff to submit jobs electronically 24/7 via the Web or directly from several remaining MFPs.
AIS worked closely with RSA to ensure that the new Konica Minolta hardware would integrate seamlessly with the existing front end, so that the document center and users would not experience downtime during implementation.
Nuance’s eCopy software also helps the teachers easily access, modify, distribute, and send documents faster and better than before. Paper documents can be scanned into electronic format on the bizhub 421 MFPs, a recipient selected, subject lines and cover notes added, and a copy transmitted directly to the document center via the Internet. Teachers are no longer standing in line waiting to prepare documents; they have more time to focus on the classroom. Further, duplexing and the wide variety of finishing options, such as perfect binding and booklet finishing, offered by the new Konica Minolta digital presses now allow the document center to quickly create high-quality, classroom-ready documents for the teachers.
As the transition to electronic print jobs was adopted by users throughout the district, teachers were very pleased with the Web interface, ease of use, quick turnaround, and variety of finishing options offered.
With the new solution, the document center quickly increased its in-house productivity. In addition to increasing print volume from eight million to 15 million impressions annually, staff overtime as well as turnaround time for job requests were significantly reduced. Jobs no longer need to be held for operators. Instead, they can be routed to the appropriate production print system, based on the job criteria, and released for print without wasting any additional time. The document center can deliver jobs submitted by 12:30 pm to the teacher prior to class the next morning.
In addition to reducing overtime hours, Konica Minolta has also helped Farmington realize print cost savings across the school district. Higher quality output has reduced the reliance and spending on external vendors for much of the outsourced print work. Farmington estimates between 60% and 80% cost savings on outsourced black-and-white or color printing that used to cost in excess of $50,000 annually, as well as $26,000 by switching to a document center and $67,000 in printing costs.
AIS continues to manage the entire fleet, including service and maintenance on the Konica Minolta print systems whenever necessary, and also helps ensure that they are optimizing performance of the new print fleet in the document center to its maximum capability. The support from AIS also helped enable a seamless transition from the previous hardware models and permitted the staff to decrease the amount of overtime spent in the document center and increase the volume of print produced.
Konica Minolta’s products and solutions have brought enhanced overall productivity and efficiency to Farmington’s document center.