Ben Kezmarsky, CIO/Director of Information Technology for Bergen County, knew that a lot of money was being wasted on toner and printing supplies; he found closets full of expired toner cartridges when he started his job in January 2011. His department consists of five people to oversee the technology and phone system needs of the entire county. In addition to the main building at One Bergen Plaza in Hackensack, they also service 10 – 15 offsite locations around the county. It amounts to well over 400 printers, plus the associated computers, servers and laptops.
Because the technology the county was using was outdated, Ben started a replacement program for new computers and printers. MRA International, an HP Elite partner specializing in the public sector, was already doing business with the County. The County is replacing approximately 20% of their equipment each year over the course of three years. It was then that Bruno Tirone, President and CEO of MRA International started talking to Ben about Managed Printing.
Bruno knew a managed print program would not only save the county money (on average clients see a cost savings of anywhere from 20% – 30%), but he know it would also alleviate the workload for the county’s technology department and free up their time for more important tasks.
Ben liked the idea. In March of 2012, the County of Bergen awarded the bid to MRA International for what they believe is the first county-wide managed print program in New Jersey. “For me, the main goal of my relationship with MRA International is to create uniformity and consistency throughout the county for our technology platforms” He continued, “I’m always looking to be efficient and save money, and the managed print program offered by MRA is great from both a cost perspective and a time management one.”
The county is about 98% HP products at this point, and every department and division within the county is moving to managed print. Ben points out they’ve even been able to include law enforcement (sheriff’s department, county police, and Prosecutor’s office) in the managed print program because of the collaborative nature of his relationship with officials. Although state Attorney General rules have specific requirements for law enforcement technology systems which prevent them from being part of a county-wide network, by at least having the same brand of equipment it makes the technology department’s life simpler.
So what is a managed print program? Every printer that is networked for the County of Bergen is monitored through its IP address by MRA International via a special software program. The software monitors the number of pages printed and when supplies are needed (toner and maintenance kits) and regular maintenance visit. Those supplies are automatically shipped direct to the department with the printer. The program also notifies MRA if a printer breaks down or needs servicing. MRA staff will order the part indicated by the monitoring software, then schedule a service call. MRA generates one bill on a monthly basis that breaks down charges by department.
MRA clients pay a negotiated per sheet fee for pages printed. Some providers charge a minimum usage fee and overage charge, but MRA International only charges based on the actual print usage.
As Ben points out, “now, managers in every department can see what each printer is printing and can monitor employee productivity.” He continued, “After the first year, the county will have a baseline on spending for printing. Before this, no one knew exactly how much was being spent because it was just lumped into office supplies. We had employees whose job was to order toner every three months, and they had no idea if it was needed or not, or if it even got to the printer that it was ordered for. That doesn’t happen anymore.”
The managed print program in Bergen is available for co-op. Because the County already put it out for bid, any town within the county can take advantage of the program at the negotiated pricing. So far, three towns have jumped on board.
Ben added, “In addition to the cost savings, the service provided by MRA International is what really makes this program stand out. No matter what the problem is or when it occurs, we can get someone on the phone and get the situation taken care of right away. And with over 400 printers just on this program, that is significant.”
For more information about MRA International, call Bruno Tirone at 732-222-0997 or visit www.mrainternational.com.
About MRA International:
MRA International is located at 295 Morris Ave, Suite 101, Long Branch, NJ 07740, 732-222-0997 and also at 838 Genesee Street, Trenton, NJ 98610, 609-695-4500. For more information about MRA International, visit www.mrainternational.com.