by Cortney Kasuba
Although the educational services vertical market comprises only a small fraction of the businesses in the United States (see Figure 1), companies from this market are very prevalent in Lyra’s Office Print Monitor (OPM) service. Educational services accounted for less than 1 percent of the employees; establishments; and sales, shipments and revenue in the U.S. in 2007 (0.5 percent, 0.8 percent, and 0.2 percent, respectively).
However, 5 percent of the companies, 9 percent of the devices, and 11 percent of the output in the OPM panel belong to the educational services vertical market (see Figure 2). This indicates that educational services companies—which include elementary and secondary schools; colleges, universities, and professional schools; libraries; and vocational schools—rely heavily on the printing and distribution of documents.
On average, each company in the OPM panel has 49 devices installed (see Figure 3). A typical company in the services industry has more—66, on average. The educational services subcategory has even more installations overall. Nearly 100 machines are installed in each educational services company in Lyra’s OPM panel—98 devices, on average.
Measuring Tracked Devices
For all subcategories of the services market in Lyra’s OPM panel, hardware installations grew by 44 percent, and page volumes grew at a similar rate, by 42 percent, from August 2008 through August 2009. Among educational services companies, however, both installations and print volumes grew at a lesser rate—27 percent for installations and 18 percent for page volumes—during the same period of time.
Examining Hardware Installations
Overall, the types of hardware installed in educational services companies in Lyra’s OPM panel are much the same as those installed in the entire services market and in the OPM panel overall (see Figure 4). More than half of the hardware installed (63 percent for educational services, 60 percent for services overall, and 56 percent for the entire OPM panel) consists of monochrome printers. Monochrome MFPs and copiers account for the next-largest category (16 percent for educational services, 20 percent for services overall, and 21 percent for the entire OPM panel).
Inkjet and laser technology, including solid ink machines, are segmented by hardware size: A3 (or B-size) and A4 (or letter-size). More than two-thirds of the ink and laser devices installed in the educational services companies in the panel are A4-size (68 percent), and the majority of these devices are monochrome laser machines. A4 inkjet machines, including liquid and solid ink devices, account for 2 percent of devices installed in the educational services market, 2 percent of devices in the total services market, and 2 percent of devices in the entire panel.
A3 monochrome devices account for about one-quarter of the devices installed in educational services companies, the services market, and the entire OPM panel (23 percent for educational services companies, 23 percent for the services market, and 26 percent for the entire panel). A3 color laser and LED machines account for about the same share of devices among all three categories (9 percent for each category).
Workgroup monochrome laser printers, which are defined as monochrome printers that cost between $500 and $1,499 at introduction, are the most prevalent category of monochrome printers installed among companies in the educational services and all services segments in the panel and the entire OPM panel overall. Workgroup printers account for 64 percent of the monochrome printers installed in the educational services market, 71 percent of the total services market, and 69 percent of the entire panel.
Personal monochrome printers, or those that cost $500 or less at introduction, are slightly more prevalent in the educational services market than they are in all of the services markets or the entire panel (25 percent, 19 percent, and 17 percent, respectively). This is perhaps a result of the small-office setup of administrative departments and faculty suites in schools and universities, where a small department may share a personal printer, or faculty members and administrative employees may have their own machines in their offices.
Companies in the educational services market have a higher proportion of high-end devices compared with companies in either the services market or the entire OPM panel. This is primarily the result of installations of A3 Segment 4 (41 to 69 pages per minute), 5 (70 to 90 pages per minute), and 6 (91 pages per minute and up) monochrome MFPs in educational services companies. These three categories collectively contribute to nearly two-thirds of the monochrome MFPs installed in this vertical (63 percent). These same machines account for less than half of the devices installed in all of the services companies (41 percent) and only one-third of the devices in the overall OPM panel (35 percent).
While educational services companies have a higher incidence of low-end monochrome printers compared with all companies in the panel, these companies also have a higher incidence of high-end MFPs. This suggests that educational services companies have two very different printing requirements. On the one hand, there is a great need among employees for low-end devices, perhaps within arm’s reach, for confidential or short-run documents. On the other hand, these companies also need to mass-produce documents such as exams, coursework and other handouts, for which fast, high-end hardware is essential.
In terms of color hardware installations, the type of hardware installed in educational services companies is much the same as it is among all services companies and all companies in the OPM panel. Personal color laser and LED printers account for 18 percent of the color printers installed in educational services companies, compared with 16 percent for all services companies and 19 percent for all companies in the entire panel.
Ricoh Green Reports Help Schools Manage Devices—and Save Money
Ricoh America says that by using its new @Remote Green Reports, a school district in Maryland has dramatically reduced its paper consumption and eliminated hundreds of thousands of dollars in paper costs. According to a press release published by the firm on August 4, the Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) leveraged the Green Reports generated by Ricoh’s @Remote Product Suite, which ran on the district’s networked Ricoh devices, to achieve a significant reduction in the amount of pages it printed.
The @Remote Green Reports technology is a recent enhancement added back in the spring to Ricoh’s @Remote Product Suite. Using a hardware appliance, @Remote technology captures and transmits device data to a secure, web-based reporting portal, where the data is collected and used to generate reports on a machine population like the AACPS fleet. It also provides other benefits, including the ability to receive service and toner alerts, and enable remote firmware upgrades. The new @Remote Green Reports allow users to monitor energy and paper consumption trends of networked @Remote-compatible machines on a month-to-month basis. The firm says its @Remote Green Reports can be customized with local data to estimate more accurately what organizations save on paper and device utility costs.
The results of the @Remote technology implementation at the AACPS sites have been impressive. By monitoring the data in the @Remote Green Reports from July through December of last year, Ricoh says the school district was able to reduce its paper usage by 20 million sheets, which saved the district almost $116,000. AACPS printed nearly 76 million sheets of paper during that period on the fleet’s 180 Ricoh networked print devices. By printing 44 million of those pages as duplex, the school district achieved a 60 percent print reduction. So far this year, Ricoh claims AACPS has saved approximately $108,729.
What This Means for Your MPS Program
Overall, companies in the educational services market are not dramatically different from all other services market companies or all the companies in the OPM panel. A closer examination of this market, however, reveals some unique attributes that you can take advantage of when constructing an MPS package for a client in this vertical market.
Educational services companies have a higher incidence of low-end monochrome printers compared with all companies in the OPM panel and also have a higher incidence of high-end monochrome and color MFPs. Although specific usage would need to be analyzed at the individual client level, in terms of the confidentiality, page length and frequency of print jobs, it is possible that there is an opportunity to move pages from low-end devices to existing high-end machines. This strategy would allow the total number of devices to be reduced without introducing new hardware.
Color devices tend to be the newest type of machine installed among educational services companies, which is consistent with installations in other verticals markets. More than half of the monochrome devices installed in these companies were introduced in 2004 or earlier, which makes them prime targets for replacement in an MPS contract. There are some requirements for color in the educational services market, primarily in school arts departments. These niches represent potential early adopters. Most other departments have little need for color, and continued pressures on school budgets will inhibit further color penetration.
Compared with all the other companies in the OPM panel, educational services companies have twice the number of device installations. They have 98 print devices per site, compared with 66 devices per site among all services companies and 49 devices per site among all companies in the OPM panel. Given the large number of devices installed in educational services companies in the OPM panel, it is likely that some of the machines are not being used to their full potential. Companies with underperforming or overused devices will benefit most from managed print services. Because there is great potential for hardware consolidation in this vertical market, the educational services industry represents a growth opportunity for managed print services.