C. 8. a. RFP No. 11-11 District-Wide Imaging Solution Contract Extension Approval
Question (From a school council)
As some of you may recall, I sent an email about this 2 years ago, shortly after the new Board was appointed and this contract came up. At the time, I shared my concerns that the copiers are constantly broken and in need of repair and the impact this has on teaching. I asked if there was any data on number of service calls, turn around time, etc.
Now the item is on the agenda again and I have many of the same concerns. While I appreciate that a survey was done on satisfaction, I would like to point out several items:
- The survey was sent to principals/their administrative asst.
- The survey was not sent to the daily users: teachers
- Only 67 people responded to the 2 questions – If you assume there are roughly 140 schools and centers, less than half responded.
- The survey is opinion based – there are no facts
- Of the 46 that took time to write comments, only 2 were positive
Is there data available to evaluate this service? Examples of important facts would include:
- How often does each school call for service? Is there a record by month for each school? Given that the schools call Milner directly, how does the school system know what challenges the schools are having?
- What is the average turn around time from call to repair? Have the schools been asked to track this? Does Milner provide the data?
- Is there an inventory of copiers for each school?
- Has there been an assessment to determine if each school is equipped with the number of/size copiers needed for their enrollment? An elementary school of 500 students does not have the same needs as a middle school with 1600; likewise a 2 or 3 story building has need for more than one on 1 floor
- Does the contract include replacing copiers when they reach their life expectancy/maximum number of copies? Who is monitoring this if it does? Are the replacements new? Many schools have refurbished, refurbished copiers that are well past their useful life.
- Does Milner identify and provide feedback about the need for replacements?
- Have teachers been asked to track their experiences with copiers or at least asked to complete a survey about their experiences? If not, why not?
- What is the maintenance agreement? How often does Milner provide routine service – is there a rotation among schools?
It is quite possible that Milner provides adequate service when called. In fact, most schools/parents around county seem to think they respond in a reasonable time so service isn’t the issue. The issue is the frequency of the breaks and inability of teachers to rely on a copier working for their lesson plans. This is pretty clear in the survey comments. Is this because Milner doesn’t inform DCSD of the repair records and when schools need new equipment, because Milner/DCSD haven’t done an assessment to ensure that the copiers in each building are designed to handle the workload being asked of them, because DCSD doesn’t want to pay for new copiers, etc? It is critical that the copier issue be resolved. It has gone on for far too many years – it would be an easy morale booster to minimize this aggravation in daily staff life. What are the district’s plans to resolve the frequent copier breaks throughout the county as identified in the survey comments?
Anecdotally, I asked a school to track their calls when I knew this item was coming up soon. They tracked from March 11 to March 23: they made 6 calls for repairs to 3 machines. That’s 1 every other day.
Lastly, can you please explain what the “Green Print” program with Xerox is that is being implemented and how that impacts this contract with Milner?