Thursday, September 20, 2007

Printer, Copier, and Paper Operational Review

The final Operational Review Team report on Printer, Copier and Paper has been completed. The Operational Review Oversight Committee has yet to accept the report or make revisions, but the preliminary goals and recommendations are summarized below.

We all recognize that printers, copiers and paper are essential to government operations. At first glance, they might not sound like a major expense, but when you consider the number of printers and copiers purchased and maintained by the state and the amount of paper those devices consume, the cost adds up. Virginia departments and agencies currently have a printer inventory of 34,221 and thousands more copiers. In FY06 the state spent $7,499,837 on paper, stationery and forms (carbon paper, employment application forms, ledger sheets, letter sheets, mailing envelopes, other informational and record forms, other paper, and similar stationery items).

In addition to the printer, copier, and paper expenditures, the state spent $37,702,417 on printing services that include designing, printing, collating, and binding.

The Printer, Copier, and Paper Operational Review Team was formed to accomplish these goals:

  • Goal 1: Research and document the current environment as related to statewide printer and copier inventory, regulation, cost, and utilization within the state.
  • Goal 2: Research and document the current environment as related to paper standards, regulation, and cost within the state.
  • Goal 3: Research and document the current environment as related to print services and print management (outsourcing printers, copiers, fax machines, paper, and consumables) within the state.
  • Goal 4: Research and document best practices as related to printer, copier and paper procurement, utilization, and consumption within the state--best practices that can be leveraged across the enterprise to bring about operational efficiencies and effectiveness, bargaining power, and cost savings.
  • Goal 5: Document findings and make recommendations for achieving operational efficiencies and effectiveness and cost savings as related to printer, copier and paper procurement, utilization, and consumption within the state.

After completing the review, the team offered the following recommendations:


  • Recommendation 1: Promote a printer, copier, and paper savings awareness campaign—promoting print efficiencies, cost-savings, and best practices.
  1. promote print best practices,
  2. promote paper recycling and paper standards,
  3. educate the agencies and departments about print management,
  4. encourage agencies and departments to document their current print environment and to envision their future print environment,
  5. encourage agencies to develop and implement a plan for realizing their future print environment,
    reduce agency and state cost of print and,
  6. place the right printer and copier (or multifunction machine) at the right place, at the right time, and for the right purpose.
  • Recommendation 2: Implement print management best practices
  1. Replace standalone copiers, faxes, and printers with multifunctional products
  2. Rent copiers, printers, and multifunctional products (instead of purchase)
  3. Centralize the procurement of copiers, faxes, printers, and multifunctional machines
  4. Establish print manager roles (print output czar) in each agency
  5. Develop policy aimed at reducing paper consumption and printer/copier consumables
  6. Implement document management systems (electronic records) for reducing paper consumption and printer/copier consumables
  • Recommendation 3: Move toward phasing out fax machines. Personal computers and multifunction machines now have the capability to fax documents. Significant cost reduction could be realized by eliminating fax machines and performing these functions on personal computers or multifunction machines.
  • Recommendation 4: Move toward or transition to the implementation of managed print services--as appropriate for meeting agency and department mission and goals. Managed print services (MPS) are services offered by an external provider to optimize or manage an organization’s document output. A MPS contract can include assessment services, asset management, output management services, and support services. The external service provider either owns or leases the hardware, with the customer paying a monthly or quarterly fee—based on a cost per page or cost per seat. Gartner suggests that candidates for MPS are midsize or large organizations with 100 or more employees. Agencies and departments should document their print needs and determine if the use of managed print services would reduce their print cost.
  • Recommendation 5: Encourage agencies use of high-volume print shops for large print jobs. Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE), a printing service within the state, continues to demonstrate its ability to produce quality and timely print for state agencies and departments—at a cost savings. In addition, state procurement regulation mandates that goods and services produced or manufactured by state correctional facilities be purchased by all departments, institutions, and agencies of the Commonwealth (there are some waivers to this regulation).

Thanks again to everyone who contributed their time and work to this report. Participants included Senator Fred Quayle, Delegate Dave Nutter, Gwen Baily Assistant Clerk of the Senate, Linda Belflower of the Virginia Employment Commission, Paula Dehetre of the Office of Workforce Development, Fred Duball of VITA, David Nims of the Department of General Services, Tiffany Moklebust of Gartner Group, Stephanie Holt of Xerox, and Jim Dougherty and Tony Williams of Virginia Correctional Enterprises.

Efforts like this will ensure Virginia remains the best managed state in the nation. If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me at


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