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How to buy printers and copiers for your school

May 3, 2019, 8:19 GMT+1
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  • Replacing your fleet of photocopiers can be a daunting task – especially when you don’t have the technical expertise to know which photocopier is best for your school’s varying needs, says ESPO procurement officer, Krishna Mistry...
How to buy printers and copiers for your school


ESPO, in conjunction with CCS (Crown Commercial Service) and YPO (Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation), has put together framework RM3781 Multifunctional Devices, Managed Print and Content Services. The framework covers a wide range of requirements, from basic A4 desktop devices to large reprographic devices, but there are several key considerations to check first.

First, examine the volume of copies you’re printing each month, rather than focusing on how fast your existing machine prints. This will ensure that any new photocopier is properly fit for purpose, and won’t be put under strain by large volumes of printing throughout the day.

If you’re unsure as to which photocopier is most suitable for your requirements, the suppliers listed under ESPO framework RM3781 will be able to conduct an audit of your existing arrangements before recommending an appropriate device.


The framework also allows schools to customise photocopiers with extra features they might need for their setting, such as a stapling function or a supplementary paper tray. It can also help schools acquire more streamlined, feature-light photocopiers to help keep costs down.

Lot 1 portal of the ESPO framework is a single supplier arrangement with Canon, designed for schools looking for a small range of devices and basic print management software. The user-friendly portal has a built-in comparison tool that assists schools with comparing the costs of their existing photocopier with those that a new device would entail, and can calculate any savings achieved over the lifetime of the contract.

There are two purchase options available under the ESPO framework to suit all budgets. Option 1 is for the outright purchasing of photocopiers, for those with the necessary capital. Option 2 is for leasing a photocopier over a period of three, four or five years.

Lease or own

There are benefits to both options. For those leasing a photocopier, there’s the lack of any upfront expense and the flexibility of being able to spread the cost of the machine over that three-, four- or five-year period. Those leasing also have the option of updating their fleet of photocopiers and swapping out older devices more frequently than might be the case otherwise.

On the other hand, schools purchasing a photocopier outright will get to enjoy full ownership of the device, without having to plan around the ongoing payments leasing arrangements that typically accompany a fixed contract. Once the machine is yours, you’ll effectively only have to pay for quarterly copy costs over the machine’s lifetime.

For further information on the framework, the suppliers available and how to access quotes, email the ESPO Resources team at [email protected], quoting ‘PSM3781’ in the subject line.

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