Print Management in Government Offices Key to Savings and Compliance

on May 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM


Automated Methods Increase Security and Reduce Total Cost of Ownership

Federal agencies spend close to $1.5 billion annually on employee printing, equating to about 20 billion printed pages a year, according to an industry report.  These statistics alone justify a close look at how to better manage print budgets by automating the print environment.  In fact, industry analyst Gartner predicted that by implementing a managed print environment, organizations could save 30 percent or more in print costs.

Key Areas of Focus Impacting Printing Costs

Four areas have the most impact on print costs:  page volume; number and type of print devices; and labor and back-end architecture for printer support.  An effective print management solution will address these four costs at the enterprise level.

Output Management Solution with Established Print Policies

Organizations have a responsibility to support compliance with government directives, including the 2012 GSA “PrintWise” campaign that aims to change employee print behavior and that, if followed, could save taxpayers more than $330 million by 2015.

Relying on employee behavior is a well-intentioned, impactful cost savings come from an enterprise solution to systematically administer change in all four cost areas identified.

Creating a framework with specific outcomes and measurements is the first step.  A best-in-class solution features integrated print management capabilities, including secure distribution of documents to printers, control of output, and real-time monitoring of device status.  A systematic and automated method to reduce print costs provides robust printing metrics and advanced rules-based printing across an entire fleet of print devices.

One company offering a comprehensive output management (OM) solution is Notable Solutions, which has developed and matured a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software product, NSi™ Output Manager™. The following recommendations for implementing an OM solution are based on best practices established by Notable Solutions in cooperation with some of its largest enterprise customers.

Centralized Tracking & Reporting

Detailed metrics on print output provide insight into print behavior such as content and origin of printed documents, by user/department; time/day printed; application printed from; document name, document page count and file format.  With this data, trends can be identified at the user, department and enterprise levels.

Pull Printing

User identification at the printer to output jobs enables cost savings by eliminating desktop printers and a reduction in page volume.  Analysis indicates that pull printing can reduce total page volume by 20% as well as eliminate the costs associated with handling sensitive data exposure and security breaches from unclaimed documents.

For U.S. federal agencies, improved security and regulatory compliance can be supported with pull printing integrated with government issued Common Access Cards (CAC) or Personal Identification Verification (PIV) cards, which support compliance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) by requiring two-factor authentication to access network data.

A secure pull print capability enables users to submit print jobs which are held in users’ queues until they sign in and release the job from any integrated networked multi-function device (MFD).  Configuring queues to automatically delete unprinted jobs after a specified period of time can be reported to show reduction in page volume.

Rules-Based Printing

Rules established at the enterprise level control output by analyzing print jobs and are enforced based on the user, the application printed from, and attributes of the print job itself like number of pages, single-side/duplex, or color requirements. Rules can be established for redirecting large print jobs to a production printer; re-routing to a lowest cost networked printer; or if the document contains words like “confidential or classified” the job is directed to an authorized printer.  Rules can leverage any attribute of the document to enforce a specific print policy.


Eliminating the printed page is a method used when working with specific types of data systems in place within the organization.  By capturing and converting data from mainframe systems and routing it into an electronic delivery workflow, a print copy is not needed.   Print streams are converted into PDF format for electronic delivery to a user or application.

Centralized Management

Centralized management includes proactive monitoring of all networked devices as well as tracking the status of desktop printers.  When printer problems occur, pro-active notification is delivered to the IT staff to alert them of the problem and to re-route print jobs and notify the user of the new print destination.

Long-Term, Sustainable Cost Savings

The extensive amount of industry research and corresponding government policy provides overwhelming justification for paper-intensive organizations to investigate and implement an OM strategy to realize long-term, sustainable operations and print costs.

Based on experience with enterprise customers, a three-phase approach is recommended with the first phase dedicated to tracking print output; the second to deploy pull print; and the third to implement full enforcement of rules-based printing.


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