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CHIPS Articles: The Department of the Navy and Defense Logistics Agency Partner to Deliver Savings

The Department of the Navy and Defense Logistics Agency Partner to Deliver Savings
By DON and DLA Print and Imaging Solutions Team - April-June 2013
A new cradle-to-grave approach to manage unclassified networked and stand-alone copiers, printers, fax machines and scanners (CPFSs) and multifunctional devices (MFDs) was established Jan. 25, 2013, in a policy signed by the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (DON CIO).

The policy, which applies to all DON commands and activities, is effective immediately. It improves how the department manages and uses its CPFSs and MFDs, resulting in substantial savings for the DON. The enterprisewide contracts will include related consumables and support services.

The overall objective is to achieve cost savings by leveraging the efficient procurement and managerial capabilities of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Document Services, according to the memo signed by DON CIO Terry Halvorsen.

The new policy is “a low risk, high payoff opportunity,” Halvorsen said. “We are getting great support from senior leadership who have been willing to give up their own printers and walk the extra steps to a shared printer or look at data on the screen.”

Halvorsen’s initiative lead, Don Reiter, confirmed a dual focus of the policy.

"This DON-wide effort is a good example of how we can partner together with a well-established team of subject matter experts," Reiter said. "These SMEs will leverage their tools, experience and economic order of quantity agreements to improve how the DON acquires and manages its copiers, printers, scanners and multifunctional devices, and more importantly, [it will] save dollars."

Best Practices
Departmentwide savings are achieved by reducing the number of total devices and implementing best practices procedures in addition to cultural change management. These changes include making smart choices about what is printed and how it is printed.

Paper and color toner and inks contribute greatly to an organization’s overall printing cost. To optimize the cost savings in this area, documents should be printed in black and white and on both sides of the paper. Typically, organizations print in black and white 70 percent of the time and in color 30 percent of the time. The Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Print Management Commodity Team has set new printing targets at 90 percent black and white and 10 percent color printing. Standardizing printer settings will help the DON to achieve this performance goal. DLA will ensure all CPFSs/MFDs are installed with these default settings already established. Users may override these settings for the occasional single page and color prints.

DLA Document Services will also help the DON implement best printing practices by ensuring all appropriate devices are set at the factory, and are monitored in offices, to print two-sided and in black ink to achieve additional savings, explained Steve Sherman, director of DLA Document Services.

Assessments help an agency manage resources by first identifying current requirements and assets and then performing an in-depth analysis. The analysis matches the current staff and its printing requirements to an optimal shared-resource environment. DLA Document Services offers three assessment models — a physical on-site inventory, a Web-based data collection, and a customer-assisted inventory. The model employed is matched to the organization’s structure, size and preference.

DLA Document Services plans to execute strategies to enable DON cost-savings, according to Michele Spiro, deputy director of operations for DLA Document Services. A significant part of the DON’s savings will be achieved by eliminating and consolidating costly single-function desktop devices and replacing them with fewer, more-capable networked multifunctional devices.

DLA Document Services’ expertise in conducting assessments will be used to determine the near optimal device configuration for DON commands and component organizations. This will ensure requirements are met, noted Spiro, who is responsible for the equipment management solutions program. The assessment process provides a benchmark of the existing device inventory and operating costs, identifies the organization’s document equipment needs, and delivers a set of recommendations on the optimal mix of devices.

"Multifunctional devices help an organization do more with less by providing more functionality at a significantly lower total cost of operations," Spiro said. "The transition from single-function devices to multifunctional devices is a low-risk money saver that increases capacity and capability."

Contracting: Improving Competition
The policy also shifts the responsibility of contracting, supplying and managing office equipment from the DON to DLA Document Services, where it is one of DLA's core functions. Additionally, the necessary experience and support infrastructure are already available within DLA to achieve the savings goal, explained John Peterson, director of business for DLA Document Services.

"Our managed print services approach includes a professional and experienced staff, contracts that are leveraged Department of Defense-wide and competitively awarded, and a highly refined assessment process to determine the optimal device fleet solution," Peterson said. "We also integrate requirement fulfillment with on-demand print options and provide automated accounting, funding and billing."

Tracking Cost Savings
DLA Document Services will provide an easy to track cost savings capability to the DON CIO to ensure all savings are captured by command, organization and Echelon II command.

"This initiative capitalizes on DLA Document Services’ core capabilities and infrastructure, as well as over 30 years of experience in managing office equipment for the DoD," Sherman said. "DLA Document Services has refined its expertise and skills over many years to become an effective life-cycle manager of all required services to deliver cost-efficient office devices across the DoD."

This policy will bring virtually all the DON’s estimated 70,000 unclassified devices under the joint management of DON leadership and DLA Document Services. Together, the DON and DLA Document Services will provide centralized management which will facilitate a complete capture of total annual costs.

Identifying Obstacles to Achieving Cost Savings
DLA Document Services has provided equipment management solutions services to the DON and DoD communities for decades. Based on this extensive experience, DLA Document Services has identified common obstacles. The primary obstacle is behavior-based preferences, including what is printed and how it is printed.

Challenges that are specific to the DON include the significant scope of the effort, which spans the entire department and the amount of time it will take to implement these changes – estimated at one to two years. Additional challenges include controlling the use of the government purchase card for CPFSs, MFDs and associated services and consumables, and increasing competition by having more devices certified.

DLA Document Services, working closely with Navy and Marine Corps leadership, will prepare a final report identifying the optimal configuration of more capable and networked equipment at the conclusion of the assessment. Assessments by DLA Document Services are vital to the transition; they provide current equipment inventories and proposed optimal fleet configurations for execution. The transition is dependent on current contract expiration dates, mission, availability of certified devices and delivery requirements. Transition timelines, including assessments, depending on scope, could range from 60 to 180 days.

The partnership between the DON and DLA Document Services to provide efficient procurement and management of unclassified networked and stand-alone copiers, printers, fax machines and scanners and multifunctional devices will help the DON achieve substantial savings, enhance device performance and improve customer service.

Mandatory Guidance Regarding Management of Department of the Navy Copiers, Printers, Fax Machines, Scanners, and Multifunctional Devices

DLA Document Services

The Federal Strategic Sourcing for Print Management Program is a national commodity management approach that will reduce the amount of printing equipment in use, minimize spending on paper and toner supplies across federal agencies, and brings the government closer to the current print management best practices exhibited in private industry.

The newly formed DON Print and Imaging Solutions Team is responsible for leading and overseeing the implementation of the DON CIO memo, "Mandatory Guidance Regarding Management of Department of the Navy Copiers, Printers, Fax Machines, Scanners, and Multifunctional Devices." The policy objective is to achieve cost savings by working closely with and leveraging established efficient procurement and managerial capabilities and processes of DLA Document Services.

Department of the Navy and Defense Logistics Agency command seals.
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