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Entrust's best practices to prep for card issuance this fall

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   Jun 14, 2023  ||   

The summer months are a chance to unplug for most students, but for campus card offices it's a time to start prepping for card issuance. In particular, card offices can start to get their ducks in a row for student orientation and the massive influx of card office traffic that goes with.

An easily overlooked aspect to the preparation process is card printer maintenance and cleaning. In a recent blog post, Renee Henry, Product Marketing Manager, Instant ID Issuance at Entrust, discusses the most important printer cleaning considerations for card offices.

Entrust estimates that some 80-90% of all campus cards are printed during the brief start-of-semester registration period. Moreover, many card offices are inundated by long lines of students all waiting for their credential to be printed.

Ensure proper card printer maintenance

To ensure optimal printer performance, it’s crucial that the printer is cleaned according to manufacturer recommendations. Henry says that Entrust typically recommends cleaning after every 500 cards are printed or after every ribbon change.

Regular cleaning helps ensure that a printer consistently prints high-quality cards every time, but that's just the start. Henry says there are a number of benefits to a routine printer cleaning.

"From a hardware perspective, regular cleanings can lead to less printer downtime, as well as prevent damaged print heads," says Henry. "But more than that, issuers can expect a reduction in service request calls — which can be costly — as well as an improved user experience."

Service requests can add up, so doing the upkeep before a problem arises can save a card office significant money.

"We recommend testing your card stock and card technology to ensure they are compatible with your printer," says Henry. "Another thing to look at is your supplies inventory to prevent last-minute purchases."

Henry also suggests consulting the printer's user guide for storage and shelf-life recommendations to extend the life of a printer.

"Ultimately, the big advantage to routine cleaning is that it can lower cost and expenses associated with repair and replacement, and can maintain the optimal performance of the printer," adds Henry.

Security should also be a consideration as card office prep for orientation. Specifically, card office admins should be on the lookout for any software updates.

"Don’t ignore them; they are there for a reason," stresses Henry. "It’s also important to follow through with any recommended software driver and firmware updates to minimize the possibility of security breaches."

It's no secret that card offices are busy places come orientation season, and it can be difficult to carve out time for printer maintenance. For this reason, Henry suggests getting out in front of the project early.

"We recommend doing a printer cleaning at least two months before your peak season," says Henry.

Finally, Henry offers a helpful maintenance checklist to run through prior to the start of an orientation rush:

  • Schedule times to clean card printers
  • Schedule times to order supplies
  • Schedule times to remove printers from storage
  • Schedule times to train staff
  • Ensure software is up to date
  • Check user guide manuals and warranty.

For more on ways to prep your card office for orientation, visit Entrust.com.

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