Technology Upgrades in North Kansas City

Over the years, North Kansas City Schools had developed quite a collection of desktop printers and copiers. The school district counted 2,000 laser and inkjet printers and 90 aging copiers at its 32 educational sites.

So a couple of years ago, Richard Gentry, director of purchasing, spearheaded an effort to replace those devices with shared multifunctional products (MFPs) that offered printing, copying and scanning. As a result, the district added 167 Konica Minolta bizhub MFPs with advanced security features.

The change reportedly saved the district more than $100,000 annually. Waste was reduced through auto duplexing default settings on the devices, and Equi­trac Follow-You Printing capabilities allowed teachers to retrieve documents from any MFP using their building key cards. This reduced waste by ensuring that jobs are held on the server until picked up. To improve tracking of teacher and staff printing habits, the school district integrated Nuance Equitrac Express directly into the bizhub devices.

Recently, North Kansas City Schools also upgraded the technology in its two-employee in-plant when it installed a new Konica Minolta KPP C7800 wide-format color printer, along with a GBC Titan 1244WF laminator. The wide-format printer, which outputs 3,500 square feet per hour in color, employs four LED imaging heads for 600×2,400-dpi resolution. Its three integrated auto-loading media roll drawers provide fast switching between rolls.

“We’ve been very pleased with the quality of the image,” remarks Gentry.

The in-plant prints numerous posters for classrooms, he says. As the demand has climbed in recent years, Gentry has watched customers pay outside suppliers as much as $40 for printing and laminating. The in-plant charges only for materials—about $6 per poster.

Gentry is confident that the in-plant’s new wide-format printing and laminating capabilities will bring that work back in-house.

The in-plant is also rolling out RSA’s WebCRD Web-to-print system this fall. Gentry plans to introduce it gradually to each of the district’s schools, which serve more than 19,600 students.

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