Two Full Calendar Years of the Printing System are in the Books

We have just finished our 2nd calendar year of the Pharos Printing System and that has given us a great view of the trends and successes of our conversion to the automated system.

First, some ancient history….23 years ago  when I first came into the Libraries Photocopy unit… we made 6 MILLION copies a year!  With revenues of over $400,000 per year!  The photocopy unit was able to reimburse the Library for services that were ‘related’ to the photocopy use, rebinding, Solinet etc.

Then the digital age came upon us….

Copying began dropping by an average of 18% per year over a number of years.  We were forced to reduce the number of copiers and add printers.

Over the years, copy volumes continued to drop to less than 100,000 per year.  Printing was increasing and was actually keeping the unit solvent, but just barely.  We were only bringing in roughly $75,000 per year in actual copier/printer revenues (excluding the ILL billing or Library contribution).  Due to the ‘cover page’ that was required for our photocopy desk system we wasted 20 cases of paper per year.  We maintained the Photocopy desk all hours the library was open, so we were spending $35,000 per year in wages.  I generally knew all the copier users by name and research because there were so few users.  I got to know a lot of the printer users because they were spending so much time in front of me while I counted out their printouts, charged them a dime per page, took their money and tended to my paper cuts!

We installed the Pharos system in January 2012.  We replaced all of our copiers and printers with multi-function devices (machines capable of printing, copying and scanning).  We also added the Pharos copy control system which took us out of the cash handling business for printing and copying.  We invested nearly $150,000 to do this.

I was able to cut the wages in half and use the remaining wages in other ways.  Copying still decreased but printing nearly doubled.  The volume of Photocopy ‘jobs’ increased 84%—far exceeding what we could have processed by hand using our old manual system.

We finished Pharos-Year 1 by raising our revenues by 33% and had over 14,000 unique system users.   We saved 45 cases of paper the first year alone, even with the increase in printing due to the 2-sided print option and no more need for cover pages.  We finished the year in good financial shape and actually overpaid our repayment on our outlay for the new equipment and control system.  230,032 jobs;  898,623 pages

During Pharos-Year 2 , we added mobile printing and a wide format plotter printer.  Our overall page volume has increased another 13%, jobs increased another 9%.  We have added 5,000 new users…which almost equals the incoming freshman class this year.  250,249 jobs;  1,014,811 pages

As I start into Pharos-Year 3, I will be adding our 20,000th user the first week of classes.  The Plotter has started to take hold as more and more class and department presentations are being printed here.  Mobile printing is gaining traction as more and more users see the simplicity of emailing a document when not in the library.

I am very much looking forward to attending my 1st Pharos users group conference next month.  It will offer a wealth of information and demonstrations of new Pharos controlled equipment.  I am looking to add self service FAXING as soon as it is available. We will be adding additional print/copiers as well as beginning the process of rotating the older equipment out for new.

Thanks for your time.  I wanted to share!

– Mark Robertson

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1 Response to Two Full Calendar Years of the Printing System are in the Books

  1. Thanks for the great information! CS

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