Federal Government Could Save $1B Through Print Management And ECM
By Eric Palmer, Perceptive Software
A survey of U.S. federal agencies by printer and software company Lexmark this year found that by making simple changes in the ways agencies manage their printers, the federal government could save an estimated $1B a year. The good news, explained Brian Henderson, director of federal consulting at Lexmark Government Solutions, is that agencies can reach those savings without cutting any programs.
The White House, seeing the same savings potential, has responded in part by having the U.S. General Services Administration award purchase agreements to 11 suppliers so that federal agencies can buy in bulk and have access to fleet assessment services to improve their printer processes in ways like those suggested by Lexmark. With the changes, the GSA estimated the government would save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next four years.
But some federal agencies have found that if they marry printer management with enterprise content management (ECM) software, they can realize huge savings and leaps in efficiencies. By using ECM for their most paper-laden processes such as HR, accounts payable, or to capture and manage any information or data that is critical to their mission, they eliminate the need to print much of what they print now.
ECM can make processes faster while eliminating the need for paper records, which are easily misfiled or lost and too easily expose personal information to those not authorized to see it. With ECM, records can be automatically routed to the next person needing to handle them and authorization settings keep them out of general view. An electronic audit trail can easily let auditors see how records were managed.
And if you compound ECM technology and printer fleet management across multiple federal departments and agencies, said Thompson of Perceptive Software, then you begin talking about not only saving serious amounts of federal revenue, but, just as importantly, making these agencies more efficient so they can maintain high levels of service at less expense.