Leasing has changed – use a reputable provider to make leasing easy and worry-free. Read on to learn why now is the time to consider the leasing route and what an honest leasing company will provide for your establishment.
The current state of education in the UK
Budgets face extreme pressure …
School governors have pointed to a “catastrophic” squeeze on budgets, as the government prepares to introduce a new funding formula for schools.
Schools and academies want to provide their students with the best possible tools to help them achieve the grades and skills they require before heading on to the next stage of their lives. Yet, with budgets tightening and teachers’ time becoming even more stretched, it can be hard to provide all of the assets (computers, vehicles, catering equipment etc.) you’d like for your pupils’ individual needs.
In this age of computing ambition, tight budgets, technology advancements and sustainability expectations; how can you maintain your excellent educational standards?
Schools and academies need to make the most of their current assets and acquire new ones using the most efficient methods and one way to do this is to take out an operating lease or rental agreement that enables the institute to ‘rent’ an asset for a part of its lifecycle. The school or academy only needs to use the asset for as long as required, and if an upgraded version is released, it can be acquired and implemented quickly.
This is an attractive proposition for many educational establishments but there can often be uncertainty about how leasing works or whether it is the right thing to do. Read our top 10 questions about leasing.
It all depends on the company you choose. Like anything, doing your homework is key to finding a good leasing provider. You need to look for someone who has evidence of honest, transparent and straightforward dealings.
2 How much support will I get?
Again, that’s dependent on which company you decide to choose, but look for the provider who gives you proven evidence of excellent customer support services, and who provides you with a named contact. Ensure that the company is looking to create a long-term relationship with you rather than just making a lease agreement.
3 Will I make savings?
With leasing you only have to put a little of your budget aside – rather than ring-fencing a sizeable chunk for purchasing equipment outright. This gives you the freedom to use your money to make other improvements such as building renovations or upping your staff quota. Selecting a shorter term lease also means that you can choose to upgrade your tech when it’s time to renew, meaning that you can keep up with advancements without the hefty price tag.
4 Will it be eco-friendly?
Good leasing practices should comply with the WEEE directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and with the Eight Doorways sustainability policy.
5 What happens to our data?
Secure leasing companies ensure that when it comes to end-of-lease, all the data contained on any leased device is completely erased before reselling or recycling.
6 What’s the minimum contract length?
You can pre-agree the contract length but typical leases range from shorter term (up to 3 years) to longer term leases. With trustworthy leasing companies, they will inform you well in advance of how much the rental will be if you extend beyond the initial contract.
7 What can leasing provide for my school?
Leasing companies like Maxxia don’t just provide funding for ICT equipment (such as desktops/laptops/tablets, servers, networking equipment, phone systems, interactive whiteboards etc.). There are many other funding opportunities we can help out with too. Just contact us to discuss your requirements.
8 Will it support teaching and learning?
Better equipment and technologies can really propel learning and teaching forward. It can open up new ways of engaging with students across all your subject areas through a whole range of modern teaching tools. Enabling your staff to teach through more interactive and interesting ways will really help to keep your students motivated; as well providing them with the tools to succeed – and while satisfying the ICT curriculum requirements.
9 What happens at end-of-lease?
Look for a provider who can give you a clear understanding of what happens at the end of your lease. Consider the better leasing arrangements that give you the option of free collection, data cleansing and recycling – all of which comply with UK laws and directives.
10 What are the legalities? Finance vs. operating lease
According to the Education Act of 2011, many schools do not have the authority to borrow money. Finance leases are classed as borrowing so to fully comply with the law, you need to enter into operating lease agreements instead. Look for an operating lease provider who is fully up-to-date and compliant with all laws and directives across the UK.
Your leasing journey: from beginning to end
Reputable leasing providers want to develop a long standing relationship with their customers. From the very first meeting onwards, good leasing companies should demonstrate honesty, transparency and straight forward business practises.
This means that you can expect:
complete understanding of your requirements
a detailed calculation of every single cost of the lease before you sign up
comprehensive briefing on any scenarios that may affect the lease
a named contact to help you through the whole process
Ensure that every aspect of your lease is laid out and explained up front before you sign anything
Change of staff? – don’t worry
Good leasing companies understand that your personnel may change – and any new staff that the lease affects need to understand the agreement.
Your lease company should be able to explain your terms to anyone new, like Maxxia did for the Green School in West London:
“For Maxxia, and unlike some rivals, this is an ongoing commitment: when changes in personnel led to the school hiring a new business manager and new ICT staff, Maxxia came back to ensure that these people too were familiar with the ins and outs of the agreement.”
Asset management at the click of a button
If you have a lot of resources across several buildings and/or campuses it can be a challenge to keep track of everything. Choosing a leasing company that provides you with asset management software means that you can manage all your equipment from one central hub.
Someone to talk to
If something happens during the lease, it’s important to be able to contact a customer support representative as soon as possible. Ensure that your chosen company has a good reputation for customer service, with a helpline and further assistance when needed.
When it’s end-of-lease time, ensure that your returns policy has the following and is adhered to:
Free collection facilities
Customer service to talk you through the returns process
Complete data erasing as a matter of course
Green credentials – so that where possible they recycle and reuse the equipment in compliance with WEEE and the ‘Eight Doorways’ directive
No sudden end-of-lease fees or surprises – once the lease ends, your commitment ends
It’s vital that your leasing company sees your educational establishment as a business that needs supporting every step of the way – making everything simple, clear and open from the outset.
There are many reasons why now is the time to consider leasing but mainly you should focus on the fact that it is cost-efficient and it will prepare you for the tech educational challenges that lie ahead over the coming years.
It’s imperative that you choose a reputable leasing company at this juncture, they will provide you with the transparency and support you’ll need from beginning to end.
At Maxxia, our ethos is to create long-term relationships with our clients based on honesty, transparency and openness in everything we do. From the very first meeting, we have our client’s interests firmly in mind and we make sure they understand everything about their agreement and relationship with us before they sign.
To see how asset leasing could help you achieve academic excellence, contact Maxxia