Macon County Schools, located in southwestern North Carolina near the Appalachian Trail, serves over 4,400 students across 11 accredited K-12 schools. After years of unreliable service and a copier down for over three months, the school district decided to place its trust in Sharp to turn things around.
Macon County Schools’ aging fleet of copiers and printers was plagued with issues. Frequent and prolonged downtime was exacerbated by vendor supply chain shortages on service parts. “Out of Order” signs and productivity bottlenecks became commonplace, leaving principals, teachers and staff at their wits’ end. The existing print management software was also cumbersome to use and did not provide sufficient security features.
Each school had key staff handling service issues and troubleshooting over the phone. Service calls were often transferred overseas and lasted about 30 minutes before a technician would be dispatched.
The non-standardized fleet was a burden to the IT department. The outdated printer fleet consisted of 24 model types from various manufacturers, each requiring a different toner cartridge. Keeping track of print-related costs and supplies for this disparate fleet was extremely challenging and print quality was inconsistent from model to model.
Sharp specialists conducted a print environment assessment across the 11 schools. They mapped all multifunction printers (MFPs), printers and fax devices; determined monthly print volumes and interviewed employees. Sharp also consulted with stakeholders to ensure the Managed Print Services (MPS) program for ongoing fleet management and support met Macon County Schools’ desired outcomes.
The outdated fleet was refreshed with 80 MFPs and 53 printers from Sharp to match output volume needs. MFPs were strategically placed to ensure best access and printer models were narrowed down to two toner types, for color and monochrome.
Their legacy print management software was replaced with PaperCut. It will provide deeper insight with reporting on print usage and added security features such as user authentication and Find-Me printing for easy tap and release of print jobs at a device nearby.
After switching from reactive service to proactive MPS support, device uptime has increased in tandem with productivity. Schools are receiving fast, courteous service without delay due to Sharp’s reliable supply chain. “I have received nothing but positive feedback from school members. I think the Sharp team did a really good job at getting the school staff trained, which was missing the last time around. Also, Sharp supplies have been arriving on time, and the whole process has been streamlined,” said Tim Burrell, IT Director at Macon County Schools.
Today, teachers quickly print classwork and go on their way; and IT and key staff are no longer responsible for fixing faulty equipment. Tim added, “IT has seen a dramatic drop in calls for printers. Our previous provider only came when they were called. Sharp has saved us a lot of time, as we no longer need to address those calls and follow up to ensure those issues were resolved. My team has had more time to focus on IT projects for the school district.”
Ever since the upgraded fleet was standardized, the school district has better control over operating costs, service and supplies. Using data-driven insight from PaperCut reporting, faculty and staff have been coached to print more conscientiously to have better outcomes and more efficient waste reduction. Additionally, employees are using existing RFID cards to authenticate access to MFPs and printers, further protecting student information.
“I have received nothing but positive feedback from school members. I think the Sharp team did a really good job at getting the school staff trained, which was missing the last time around. Also, Sharp supplies have been arriving on time, and the whole process has been streamlined.”