Warren County’s copiers and computer printers, now representing 172 different makes and models, have been wasting money due to high toner and repair costs, it turns out. County officials unveiled a plan this week to streamline copying and printing equipment and operations, and the plan is expected to save the county $538,000 over the next decade. The copier pictured is used primarily by the county Administration office.
The desktop revolution — which since the early 1990s provided cheap copiers and computer printers within everyone’s reach, may have cost Warren County government thousands of dollars in wasted expenditures, it turns out.
Determined to remedy the situation, county officials unveiled a plan Monday May 14 for consolidated, coordinated copying and printing across the county’s dozens of departments, that is expected to save local taxpayers $538,479 over the next decade.
The county is poised to award a contract to National Business Equipment & Supplies to provide 123 new copiers and printers that will replace 347 machines which average nine years old.
The county’s present inventory of copiers represent 172 different makes and models, a figure that will be slashed to 14 different models — which is expected save repair and maintenance hassles, William Mahar of the county Information Technology department told the county supervisors serving on the support services committee.
The county now spends $14,918 monthly, or almost $180,000 per year for copies and computer-printed documents, according to county Purchasing Agent Julie Pacyna. That figure includes repairs, maintenance and lease agreements, toner and electricity — but not paper, she said.
The panel unanimously approved awarding the contract to National Business Equipment, and the decision is subject to a vote of the full Board of Supervisors Friday May 18.
Most all copiers and printers are expected to be in place between June 1 and the first week of July.
The contract is based on a per-copy charge, instead of flat rates per month under some current lease contracts, county Administrator Paul Dusek said.
He said that the copies will be tallied on an annual basis rather than monthly, which is expected to produce a substantial portion of the savings. He added that the firm has set an allowance of about 500,000 copies per year, over which the county is to pay an additional per-copy charge — but this limit is expected to be sufficient. He also noted that the new copiers will have enhanced security, limiting access to those county employees issued special key fobs.
Pacyna said that the contract is for five years, but at its expiration, the county has the option to extend it for 10 years and receive updated equipment.
“Under this contract, the county would be constantly up to speed with technology,” she said.
The existing printers and copiers now on lease will be returned to the firms that placed them. The machines owned by the county — all but 50 retained as backup — will be handed over to National Business Equipment for trade-in value.
County Administrator Paul Dusek, Mahar and Pacyna all credited each other for the idea of researching the savings after hearing of potential savings about a year ago.
Dusek and county Budget Officer Kevin Geraghty said Mahar and Pacyna spent hundreds of hours studying the issue, gathering cost data and developing a request for proposals that prompted several bids.
Geraghty praised Mahar and Pacyna for working hard to cut government expenses.
“This represents substantial savings for the county taxpayers,” Geraghty said.
Dusek seconded the point.
“Warren County is now on the cutting edge of managing their printing costs,” he said.