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Managing print costs in education: a guide to print charging

Staff and students need to print. But your school doesn’t need to cover all those costs for consumable expenses like paper, ink, toner, and electricity. A simple way to prevent out-of-control print costs in education is to recover said print costs by implementing a print charging system. 

Print management software in conjunction with payment gateways ensures users pay for the printing, copying, and scanning services they use. They can cover the costs with a familiar payment platform like PayPal or Authorize.Net. They can even load funds by cash, bank account, or debit/credit card using payment kiosks and lock boxes.

Before you implement a print charing solution, it helps to build a solid understanding of the benefits it provides, how to side-step any potential challenges, then assess how to choose and implement an efficient and reliable solution.

Implementing print charging in your institution

Before selecting a print charging solution for your school, assess your printing environment and behaviors, taking your infrastructure and software needs into consideration.

Assessing print needs: Begin by analyzing your institution’s print requirements. Consider factors such as the number of users, average print volumes, and types of print jobs. This audit will determine the most suitable print charging model for your institution.

Selecting print charging models: There are several print charging models to choose from, including per-page charging, user-based charging, and departmental charging. Each model has pros and cons. Selecting the option that aligns with your school’s goals and budget is crucial.

Infrastructure and software considerations: Evaluate your current printing infrastructure and software capabilities. Ensure your printers are equipped with the necessary print management software that supports print charging features. If needed, upgrade your printers or invest in new ones that align with your chosen print charging solution.

Payment options and gateways: The “pay for print” strategy with online and on-premises payment gateways is a tried and tested method of immediately recovering print costs. Users are responsible for loading their accounts with funds to access printing services. When assessing print management software provides with print charging solutions, you want to assess the integrations for payment gateways and hardware kiosks. Students want to use payment systems they’re already familiar like PayPal, Blackboard,, and RBS World Pay. Ensure the solution you choose has compatibility with payment avenues your students and staff will already be familiar with.

Overcoming challenges in print charging

Print charging provides clear benefits like taking control over your printing costs, but there are some obstacles to overcome when dealing with your print environment and users. 

Resistance to change: Implementing print charging may face resistance from certain student and staff users who are accustomed to unlimited or unmonitored printing. Address these concerns by emphasizing the financial and environmental benefits of responsible printing practices. Offer training and support to help users adapt to the new system.

Technical complexities: Print charging systems can be complex to set up and maintain. Seek assistance from experienced IT professionals or consider outsourcing the implementation to a reputable print management provider. They can help you navigate technical challenges and ensure a smooth transition.

Monitoring and enforcement: Monitoring print usage and enforcing print charging policies can be challenging. Invest in print management software that provides detailed reporting and analytics to track print volumes, costs, and trends. Additionally, establish clear guidelines and policies regarding print usage and communicate them effectively to all users.

Choosing the right print charging solution

How do you find and select the best print charging solution for your school? Prioritize the scalability, user experience, and financial implications.  

Scalability and flexibility: Look for a print charging solution that can scale with your institution’s needs and accommodate future growth. It should be flexible enough to adapt to evolving print requirements and integrate seamlessly with your existing infrastructure.

Cost-effectiveness: Consider the total cost of ownership, including hardware, software, and ongoing maintenance. Compare different print charging solutions and assess their long-term value, taking into account factors such as ease of use, reliability, and support.

User experience: Prioritize simpler and user-friendly interfaces and intuitive workflows. An easy-to-understand and easy-to-use print charging solution will encourage user adoption and minimize support requests.

Top-of-the-class, cost-controlled printing 

Implementing print charging in educational institutions is a strategic approach to managing print costs, promoting responsible printing habits, and reducing environmental impact. By understanding print charging, selecting the right model, overcoming challenges, and choosing a suitable print charging solution, your organization can effectively optimize your print resources, allocate budgets wisely, and foster a sustainable printing environment.

Searching for a print charging solution? Have a look at our product suite for a range of print management features and tools to control costs in your school.


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