Looking to control the cost of printing without hindering productivity, one college found huge success with a print management solution from Canon.
The print management solution has saved nearly 500,000 sheets of paper and an estimated 16,293 pounds of greenhouse gases per year, officials say.
The Commonwealth Medical College needed a way to control the cost of printing for staff and students without hindering their productivity. Officials found what they were looking for and more with a print management solution from Canon that has solved all of their needs—while saving nearly 500,000 sheets of paper and more than 16,000 pounds of greenhouse gases per year in the process.
With three regional campuses across northeastern Pennsylvania, The Commonwealth Medical College was formed in 2009 to address a projected shortage of physicians in the area. During the accreditation process, it was discovered that the school’s fleet of multifunction devices didn’t meet its security and usability needs. For instance, the devices didn’t support authentication using their Active Directory domain, leading to problems with access permissions—and making an already complicated print and scanning process even worse.
College officials wanted devices that would integrate easily into their existing IT infrastructure, require little maintenance, and be highly intuitive for students to use with minimal training. They also wanted to give students a print budget for each semester, plus a way to replenish funds as needed.
“We needed reliable devices that could be available 24-7 for students and faculty, and that would minimize the amount of staff time necessary to manage them,” said Doug Carroll, IT director for The Commonwealth Medical College. “We also wanted to automate the way students could track the balance in their [print] account, provide estimated costs for output, and a dependable process to pay for additional output from anywhere, at any time—whether it was late at night, a weekend, or a holiday.”
College officials considered installing coin-operated devices; however, they determined these wouldn’t be sufficient, because they would require continual servicing and cash would be the only means of payment. If the payment device was full, out of service, or sufficient change wasn’t available, students wouldn’t be able to print what they needed—especially during off hours.
“After careful consideration, [we] determined that a solution [consisting] of Canon imageRUNNER [and] imageRUNNER ADVANCE multifunction systems and uniFLOW [print management] software was the most flexible,” Carroll said. “It aligned perfectly with our core mission of educating aspiring physicians using innovative techniques and cutting-edge technology.”
Officials decided that a diverse mix of eight imageRUNNER and imageRUNNER ADVANCE multifunction systems would address the print, copy, scan, fax, and send needs of the college most efficiently. Canon’s comprehensive lineup of multifunction devices made it easy to identify the ideal device for each location, based on anticipated volume and required capabilities.
To facilitate walk-up operations, students and staff are issued a proximity card to identify themselves. Users swipe their cards at the device for secure authentication by the uniFLOW print management software’s log-in application, providing access to the set of features they’re permitted to use. Within the uniFLOW application, users can view all their pending print jobs, review the cost to be applied against their budget for better visibility and spending control, and release each job as needed.
When a student’s print budget reaches a low threshold or has been exceeded, uniFLOW immediately sends an eMail to the student with a direct link to PayPal, letting the student add additional funds 24-7, without requiring any staff intervention. Once payment has been successfully processed, the student’s account is credited, and he or she can resume printing or copying.
The solution has provided an easy way for students and staff to manage their print needs securely, while also cutting costs. In fact, Canon’s uniFLOW Printing Intelligence Reports demonstrate that students and staff have embraced the new technology and are helping the college achieve its “Go Green” goals.
The college’s newsletter highlights users who have made the largest contribution toward becoming a paperless environment—and when printing is required, the most recent report showed nearly 75 percent of all print jobs were done as double-sided pages. This has saved nearly 500,000 sheets of paper and an estimated 16,293 pounds of greenhouse gases per year, officials say.