To simplify purchasing, fulfilment and ongoing support, the University offers a limited menu of two laptop models and up to four printer models. Students arrive for orientation and their computer technology is handed out in a convenient and efficient assembly line fashion, including laptops, printers and accessories.
Choosing the right product offerings is essential for the initiative to succeed. Products selected for this coordinated technology plan must be affordable and reliable. Printer drivers must be “plug and play,” and the printer must be capable of producing high-quality text and photo-quality color output.
The Organization. Chartered in 1789and opened to students in 1795, theUniversity of North Carolina atChapel Hill holds the distinction ofbeing the first state university in theUnited States. Today, its expansive729-acre campus is home to a facultyof 3,100, educating a currentenrollment of more than 27,000students from all 50 United Statesand 100 countries.Through the University s coordinatedtechnology plan, the CarolinaComputing Initiative, the Universityensures that students, faculty and staff have easy access to high-quality,affordable technology. To fulfill thismission, the University sells laptop andprinters to incoming freshmen throughthe RAM Shop, UNC s on-campus,self-supporting technology retail store.The RAM Shop is a member of theCampus Computer Resellers Alliance,whose mission is to provide andadvocate programs and services thatcampus retailers need to sustainviable businesses volumes whileeffectively supporting the academicobjectives of their colleges anduniversities.The Challenge. Each of the nearly3,750 incoming freshmen at theUniversity of North Carolina atChapel Hill is required to own alaptop computer. More than 90Success StoryUniversity of North CarolinaUniversity offers Lexmark printers to incomingstudents through unique distribution programHigherEducation We have unique challenges that make selecting the rightproducts for this program a very important decision.Seemingly simple things such as the length of the warranty,printer drivers and having a USB cable in the box make abig difference when serving such a large number ofstudents in such a short window of time. John GorsuchManager of the RAM ShopUniversity of North CarolinaSummary. Lexmark meets the unique needs of incoming students at UNC by teaming with the University s bookstore tooffer an affordable and reliable all-in-one printer selection. The approach is convenient and efficient for students andminimizes technical support requirements for students and University staff. Keys To Success.inkjet all-in-onegenuine lexmarksuppliesUntitled Documentpercent of them opt to purchase onethrough the RAM Shop. Many alsopurchase a printer at the same time. Lexmark understands theunique business of sellingto a large universitypopulation. In ouranalysis, we determinedthat Lexmark has the rightproducts to fit ourtechnology program. Moreimportantly, Lexmark waswilling to be flexible in itsoffering to meet our needs,such as including a USBcable in the box andextending the traditionalwarranty to three years. John GorsuchTo simplify purchasing, fulfillmentand ongoing support, the Universityoffers a limited menu of two laptopmodels and up to four printer models.Students arrive for orientation andtheir computer technology is handedout in a convenient and efficientassembly line fashion, includinglaptops, printers and accessories.Choosing the right product offerings isessential for the initiative to succeed.Products selected for this coordinatedtechnology plan must be affordableand reliable. Printer drivers must be plug and play, and the printer mustbe capable of producing high-qualitytext and photo-quality color output. Ease of use also is essential, said John Gorsuch, manager of the RAM Shop. With about 3,750students arriving each fall, it s vital to minimize the impact to our smalltechnical support staff, he said.Complicating matters is scheduling.Unlike a typical store that sells itemsthroughout the year with a peak atChristmas, the RAM Shop distributesnearly all of its technology products inJune, July and August, as incomingfreshmen arrive on campus for theirfall semester orientation sessions.Availability of adequate inventory inthis narrow window is crucial.Price is critical as well. The RamShop competes with computerretailers so the products it offers mustbe priced competitively. According to Gorsuch, many printermanufacturers don t understand therequirements of a collegeenvironment. We have uniquechallenges that make selecting theright products for this program a veryimportant decision, Gorsuch said. Seemingly simple things such as thelength of the warranty, printer driversand having a USB cable in the boxmake a big difference when servingsuch a large number of students insuch a short window of time. The Solution. For its primary printeroffering, the University s RAM Shopselected an inkjet all-in-one solutionfrom Lexmark. The product combinesphoto-quality color printing,document scanning and copying in asingle unit priced at less than 60. Capable of printing at speeds up to 17pages per minute in black and white,and up to 15 pages per minute incolor, the Lexmark printer also offersPictBridge capability, allowingstudents to print photos by connectingtheir digital camera directly to theprinter. The built-in flatbed colorscanner is perfect for handling books. In addition, Lexmark s printer driversare pre-loaded onto the University slaptops, making printer installationfor students a snap. We ve found Lexmark tobe very responsive andreachable, a distinctadvantage. Some ofLexmark s competitorsoffer a one-size-fits-allsolution and that just won twork for us. John Gorsuch Lexmark understands the uniquebusiness of selling to a large university population, said Gorsuch. In our analysis, we determined thatLexmark has the right products to fitour technology program. Moreimportantly, Lexmark was willing tobe flexible in its offering to meet ourSuccess StoryUniversity of North Carolina2Untitled Documentneeds, such as including a USB cablein the box and extending thetraditional warranty to three years. Beyond product capabilities, theUniversity maintains high expectationsregarding the relationship with itstechnology suppliers. We ve foundLexmark to be very responsive andreachable, a distinct advantage, said Gorsuch. Some of Lexmark scompetitors offer a one-size-fits-allsolution and that just won t work for us. The Results. How well is the affiliationbetween Lexmark and UNC working? We ve had quite a few majoruniversities send representatives hereto study our program, Gorsuch said. Our relationship with Lexmark is amodel that is being replicated byother universities nationwide. For the University, choosing a reliableLexmark product minimizes the needfor ongoing support. Responsive to theRAM Shop s schedule of distributingnearly 1,500 printers in June, Julyand August, Lexmark s flexibilityguarantees product availability. We ve had quite a fewmajor universities sendrepresentatives here tostudy our program. Ourrelationship with Lexmarkis a model that is beingreplicated by otheruniversities nationwide. John GorsuchStudents who might find even thediscounted price of a laptop computertaxing quickly snap up Lexmark shighly affordable multifunction inkjetprinter at the same time. They nowprint projects in their dormitoryrooms, eliminating trips to the libraryand reducing traffic on theUniversity s campus network.Pre-selecting the Lexmark printersfor the program also makes it easierfor the Ram Shop to stock the rightsupplies so that students can alwaysget the ones they need without makinga trip off campus.As thousands of students useLexmark printers throughout theircollege years, Lexmark s reputationfor quality, reliability andaffordability are continuallyreinforced, making it more likely theywill purchase and recommendLexmark well after graduation.The unique needs of offeringthousands of affordable, reliableprinters to a university campus andsupporting those products is achallenge that not all vendors areequipped to meet. For the RAM Shopand John Gorsuch, choosing Lexmarkis a decision that puts the University ofNorth Carolina at Chapel Hill and its27,000 students at the top of the class.www.lexmark.comLexmark and Lexmark with diamond design are trademarks of Lexmark International, Inc. registered in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respectiveowners. 2006 Lexmark International, Inc. 740 W. New Circle Rd., Lexington, KY 4055071k7315Success StoryUniversity of North Carolina3