Printing and copying of documents are one of the NWU’s largest operational expenditures.  To contain this expenditure, shared network printing was introduced that allowed more than one person to have easy access to the same printing device.  Another technological development which had a positive impact on the printing and copying costs was the convergence of the printer and copier into one single device, the so-called multifunction device.  Scanning was added as a bonus.

Supplier contracts

To minimise the expenditure of printing and copying, the NWU embarked on a road of fixed contracts with suppliers for all departmental printing and/or copying devices.  The current contracts are with NASHUA and XEROX.  This implies that all departmental printers and/or copiers must be procured through these suppliers.

To limit support costs NASHUA and XEROX models are tested by ITC and may be added to the network for use by groups of users.  These tested models are referred to as ‘standard’ models.  Future updates in applications will also be tested for these standard models, and new models may be added from time to time. 

All other printers and/or copiers are referred to as ‘non-standard’ and may not be connected to the network.  Should such a need occur, a well motivated request must be addressed to the Campus IT Manager who will review and forward the request to the Institutional IT Director for a decision.  Appeals may be addressed to the Executive Director:  Finance and Facilities.  Requests must be admitted and approved BEFORE purchasing the printer and/or copier for it may be that the request will be denied.

The cost of printing and/or copying

The total cost of printing and/or copying consists mainly of two components: 

  • Capital expense:  This is the smallest contributor to the total cost although it may seem the largest.
  • Operating expense:  To limit the operating costs, the contracts with NASHUA and XEROX state that the suppliers are responsible for the maintenance as well as all the consumables (excluding paper) on the device at a fixed cost per page.


It is everyone’s responsibility to minimise the operating costs by:

  • Using only the contracted suppliers to provide printers and/or copiers and thus transferring the maintenance cost to the supplier.
  • Using only standard devices.
  • Optimising the usage of these devices (procuring the correct size device).
  • Minimising the number of printing and/or copying devices in the department.
  • Taking the total cost into consideration and not only the capital cost when procuring a device.
  • Minimising the number of paper documents.


Contact the Campus IT Service Desk for assistance in selecting a new printer and/or copier.