Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One Organization's Paper Operational Review

In Virgina, they even got a Senator to participate

"...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..."

The article is here.

Some of the items I found of interest -

Current Costs -

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..."

"...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 Recommendations

The reports puts forward 5 recommendations, but I like number 4:

"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."

Seems the Great State of Virginia "gets it".


  1. Greg, I would like to point out that while this report offers some sound advice, it is my experience government offices are long on recommendations and short on commitments... Until they enact a plan, I would chalk this up to tax payer dollars being spent on high-priced consultations - to which they nod their head but behind their back, cross their fingers.

  2. Ken - yup.

    I have never really worked with governments but the little exposure I have had lately bears out what you say.

    Lots of planning and little "doing".

  3. Thanks for the post.

    Ken, I appreciate your thoughts on government offices- sadly it is too often the case. Actually though, this review was initiated by members of the Virginia legislative "Cost Cutting Caucus." It was conducted by volunteers- from the legislature, from the Administration, from the agencies themselves, as well as volunteers from the business community- not "high-priced consultations" (for once!). You can learn more about the operational reviews on the Cost Cutting Caucus's blog: www.vacostcutting.blogspot.com. The legislature and the administration have been working to implement the recommendations suggested in all of the operational reviews.

  4. VACostCutting - thank you for your comment.

    I had no idea that volunteers were in the analysis - very good.

    It's strange, over the last couple of months, I have been involved with 3 separate RFP's for cities and county entities -

    My exposure to this segment leaves me stunned.

    All good people, with the right ideas, but an absolute "cluster" when it comes to knowing what they have, how much it's costing and how to change...

    The best I can do is implore with each to slow down, evaluate, move intelligently and with purpose; not in response to a "lease termination date".

    It is quite challenging.

  5. Greg- you're absolutely right- that's the big problem- many folks do want to "do the right thing," but sadly the information needed just isn't there (ie what they have, what it costs, what is needed to change). That was part of the idea behind Virginia's Operational Reviews- it was a chance for everyone to try and come to the table and take a much-needed thorough examination of what all was going on and what could be done to do better.

    Here's more on the whole process:

    Certainly it won't all change overnight, but the hope is that at least we now will have a better place from which to start to change.