Netherlands - Comprehensive school group, Pantarijn, has recently started using several Sharp Multifunction Printers (MFPs) to optimise its staff and students’ print jobs. In addition, the educational institution uses accompanying software to arrange payments for print jobs.
Pantarijn was looking for a document solutions supplier that would not only deliver the best-quality products but would also be able to integrate its equipment with Pantarijn's existing payment solution to offer students and staff a perfect experience.
Comprehensive school group Pantarijn
Comprehensive school group Pantarijn is a secondary education institution that offers different types of schooling, from practical education to college-preparatory school, distributed across five locations in the Wageningen region. Over 350 staff are employed to teach a total of 3,000 students. In their day-to-day activities and courses, they use printers extensively, e.g. for printing homework or scanning and copying literature.
Same system, different locations
Pantarijn uses various MFPs and printers to carry out the necessary print jobs at its five locations. It has also set up a software link to Inepro, a system that consists of a payment solution and an automated “follow-me system”. Wilfred Hanekamp, Service Manager at Pantarijn, illustrates the advantages that this link offers: “All students and staff have a card that lets them print documents at any MFP. The printer recognises the user and then determines whether the user has the rights to perform the task.”
The payment system has been designed specifically for students and staff. They are assigned an annual balance to carry out their print tasks. Pantarijn staff can make unlimited use of their card on all print solutions within the school group. Their printouts are registered by the administration system.
In the past, printers at Pantarijn processed 5.5 million prints a year. This figure has dropped to 3.5 million. The vast majority of jobs are black & white prints on A4 sized paper. During the collaboration, it was decided that Sharp would monitor the use of the printers remotely. This allows the company to check whether there are any problems with the MFPs and to take immediate action when necessary. Sharp also measures cartridge use and sends new cartridges when the toner runs out. Hanekamp: “This means that we have all but nothing to worry about when it comes to managing the printers and that Pantarijn is assured that consumables are re-stocked in time. This works nicely.”
The best combination
Pantarijn was looking for a supplier with solutions that could be linked to their current systems. “When our contract with the previous supplier ended, we decided to issue a European call for tenders, because we wanted to see what possibilities other suppliers offered,” says Wilfred Hanekamp. “During the tender procedure, Sharp was among the best options. One of
the requirements was that the technology could be integrated perfectly with the existing Inepro solutions. Apart from this, the price was also an important factor. In the end, we spoke to four parties, of whom Sharp offered the best value for money and flexibility.”
Proof of concept
Andy Papenhuyzen, Sharp Account Manager, recalls the implementation: “We started by building a Proof of Concept. During this stage, we linked the payment solution to our systems and tested it extensively. This enabled us to solve a number of existing problems in advance.”
“We have had very few problems with the system since we implemented it,” Hanekamp adds. “We agreed that major defects would be reported, but none have occurred. Minor issues could be resolved immediately using the manuals or by calling an expert at Sharp.”
Sharp is in charge of managing and securing the printer fleet. The MFPs are equipped with a Data Security Kit, which protects them against cyber attacks. In addition, mandatory authentication and passwords ensure that print jobs are only visible to the authorised person.
Perfect results and happy users
“We have noticed that our staff and students are very satisfied with the system, the printers and the MFPs,” says Hanekamp. “Generally, you will hear users complaining immediately if the technology is not working properly, but our service desk rarely receives any questions about the functioning of the printers and MFPs. That is a good sign.”
“We are happy with this collaboration. Since the system was implemented, new printers and MFPs have already been ordered”, Hanekamp concludes. “We replaced all old equipment with Sharp products during the implementation and we are very satisfied with this. The products are good quality and hardly ever malfunction.”