Presidential Directive: “End Unnecessary Printing & Put It Online”

When making people aware of opportunities that exist to control printing is your job, it is very exciting when POTUS steps up with a directive to cut waste across the Federal Government…and specifically calls out print waste as one of 5 key areas that he wants addressed!

This month, President Obama signed an Executive Order that will cut waste and promote more efficient spending in government – consolidating agencies, improving efficiencies through technology, demanding more accountability. It’s anticipated that spending across the areas covered in the Executive Order will be reduced by 20 percent – saving billions.

The five areas identified in the Executive Order are:

  • Reduce Spending on Travel & Conferences
  • Cut Duplicative and Unnecessary Employee Information Technology Devices
  • End Unnecessary Printing and Put It Online
  • Limit Motor Vehicles
  • Stop Swag – or Government Promotional Handouts

On this blog, we’ve often referred to awareness as being one of the major barriers to a change in print behavior, and the resulting waste cuts that can be achieved.  This directive will go a long way in helping raise awareness of how much print waste occurs – much of it being unknown – and how much money can be saved by implementing a print management strategy.

Awareness is the first step.  Using the right technology – or combination of technologies – is the best strategy to turn that awareness into results.  Some ideas that we have to offer government agencies to get started on meeting this new directive include:

  • Report print usage to staff – Using Equitrac print management software, agencies can generate weekly or monthly reports that can be emailed to each staff member that shows how much they have printed and how much money those print jobs cost. Just seeing this information on a regular basis helps staff “think before they print” and begin to alter their print habits. Consider taking this a step further by instituting rewards or recognition for the staff that is able to reduce their print spend by the highest percentage and create a little competition!
  • Convert paper forms to PDF forms – Using PDF software to fill out forms instead of paper can have a huge impact on print volumes.  But it’s not just filling them out that is important to think about. Make it easy to convert items like applications, expense reports, and filings from paper to digital using a PDF product that has form creation capabilities built in.  Creating PDF-based forms shouldn’t require IT assistance.  By deploying Nuance PDF Converter software to every employee, you can remove paper from the process from the onset – reducing waste AND speeding the processing time.
  • Deploy Follow-You Printing – One of the biggest areas of print waste that we see time and time again is the amount of documents that are printed but never picked up, or are immediately tossed in the recycle bin – as well as the needless and numerous amount of banner pages that are used to identify print jobs at shared printers.  Utilizing a secure print feature like Equitrac’s Follow-You Printing® prevents this waste – immediately. Using a centralized print server and card or PIN authentication at any printer, print jobs are only released when the user wants them to and is at the chosen printer. No more need for banner pages.  No more jobs printed and never picked up. And less frustration to users caused by long lines at printers or a paper jam.  Most impressive…our customers that use Follow-You Printing commonly report that 20-30% of the print jobs submitted to the print queue are never picked up.  That will help an agency meet President Obama’s 20% goal with little effort…letting you focus on exceeding that goal through your additional efforts!
  • Scan more – The earlier that you can get paper-based information converted to electronic formats, the less chance there is of that document being copied. The trick is making scanning easy.  Nuance eCopy software makes it possible for any staff to scan using the office MFP, convert paper to usable electronic formats, and distribute it to the desired location.

Many government institutions are already using Nuance solutions to reduce waste. And Nuance is ready to help any government agency learn how print management, scanning and PDF software can be leveraged to meet President Obama’s waste reduction goals.  Contact us to request a demo of our products and to learn more about how we can help you meet this new Executive Order to end unnecessary printing today!