Print & Mail Center Consolidation

Local, State and Federal Print Center Consolidation

Often saddled with the burden of maintaining multiple sites for print services, government print offices as well as business and industrial concerns are eager to examine cost-savings technologies as a means to consolidate print and mail operations.

With the prospect of rising costs, aging in-house technology, and not being able to meet the level of service customers have come to expect, the question whether print is a core function or something that can be outsourced for less cost is a primary concern.

While many are comfortable with vendor managed print and mail services, others prefer to consolidate under an in-house structure.

In any case, it requires a level of expertise and print data knowledge and an understanding of the many roadblocks to achieving your print and mail consolidation goals.


Consolidating multiple organizations under one umbrella is not a simple task. However, successful consolidation projects seek to improve operational efficiencies, optimize service delivery as well as lower costs. Ultimately, the decisions to consolidate print and mail service concern a variety of factors:

  • Legislative & Regulatory Mandates
  • Economics and Budget
  • Existing information technology infrastructures
  • Networks
  • Mainframe Applications
  • Client/Server Applications
  • Current Staff Resources
  • Print and Document Life Cycle Sustainability
Making the case for consolidation

To consider the financial benefits of consolidating facilities and services, a full analysis of current costs and infrastructure must be performed.

Projected post-consolidation savings based on facility, equipment, and staffing is not the only factor that requires consideration in order to estimate overall expenditures. Forward looking organizations not only consider the expenses, but also consider key driving factors such as:

  • Creating a print and mail neutral architecture to reduce specialized equipment and workflows.
  • The need for programmer involvement to update or change existing applications to support a common architecture.
  • Reuse or upgrading existing assets such as printers and mail equipment.
  • Purchasing newer technologies that offer a long term value savings by positioning the consolidated print and mail towards future growth without additional equipment expenditures.
  • Costs associated with changes to the infrastructure to support a consolidated print & mail. (Is it an existing facility, using existing data communications, are they secure, etc?)
  • Maintaining adequately trained personnel to support the on-going enterprise.
Questions to Consider

And when considering whether consolidation for Print and Mail makes financial sense to achieve the desired cost-savings, there are several key areas for discussion:

  • How many business units, agencies or departments will be involved in the consolidation?
  • What is the current infrastructure and can it support a consolidated implementation?
  • What are the Business Continuity plans for print and mail?
Application Assessment
  • What resources will be required at the agency or department level to support a consolidated print and mail approach?
  • Will the agencies or departments redesign or modify existing applications to support a consolidated approach?
Printing Environment
  • What types of printing systems are in use today?
  • What printing languages are supported such as IBM AFP/IPDS, Xerox
    LCDS and/or MetaCode, PostScript, PCL, PDF, etc?
  • Are there any vendor specific features used in the printing workflow such as monochrome, highlight-color, full-color, inline finishing, etc?
  • How many jobs require special requirements such as custom paper-stock and/or pre-printed forms?
  • Are there jobs that have post-print requirements such as book making, staple/stitching, binding, etc?
Mail Environment
  • What types of mail equipment are in use today and are their applications utilizing specialized features such as OMR, linear bar code, and 2D bar codes?"
  • Is there any unique mail workflows applied to specific jobs such as mail inserts, postage meters, pre or post mail audits, etc?"