Durham County Government | Lexmark Caribbean

Durham County Government

Success Story

Located in central North Carolina, Durham County is home to 270,000 people. The county adopted a $105 million 2011—2012 budget for its health, social and other human services agencies.

Discover the: Challenge | Solution | Results

Durham County Government Photo

Durham County Government


Durham County Health Department cuts output-related costs by 22% with Lexmark multifunction products (MFPs) and solutions


Government – Federal


Printers & Multifunction Devices


The mission of any government entity—federal, state, county or local—is to provide services to its citizens. Keeping track of printers routinely sinks to a low priority, one that can lead to unchecked device proliferation, increased operating and maintenance costs, and an incomplete view of the output fleet. Finding itself in this common situation, North Carolina’s Durham County Health Department (DCHD) believed it could reduce output-related expenditures by modernizing and consolidating its existing fleet of printers, copiers and fax machines.

As a first step in remaking its output infrastructure, DCHD needed to understand its current position and engaged Lexmark public-sector industry consultants to perform a comprehensive Discovery onsite analysis. The resulting inventory was quite an eye opener, turning up 193 devices encompassing 91 different models from 12 manufacturers spread over DCHD’s three floors. Only 8 percent were networked, leaving 177 devices invisible to operations and asset-management tools. More than 80 percent had been in service for five years or longer. The average device age was 78 months, nearly seven years.

The Discovery analysis noted that the abundance of models required keeping dozens of different toner cartridge types on-hand, driving up expenses. When a device determined to be beyond repair was retired, any lingering supplies on-hand became obsolete, although many remained on shelves. Supporting numerous user interfaces led to a rise in help desk calls from employees. Each model required a unique device driver, complicating support. With no all encompassing maintenance agreement or scheduled device refresh program in place, maintenance costs increased year after year. These aging printers were also slower and consumed more electricity than current models.


Following the discovery analysis and a series of recommendations to modernize its output fleet and cut expenses, DCHD selected output technology and services from Lexmark, including MFPs. With a high-quality monochrome or color laser printer at its core, Lexmark MFP technology seamlessly integrates an auto-feed document scanner, copier and network fax into a single space-saving unit that eliminates the overhead associated with single-function devices. Selecting MFPs from within the same Lexmark product family allowed DCHD to standardize on a single toner-cartridge type, offer users a standardized touchscreen operator interface, and a universal driver that greatly simplifies network administration.

Lexmark analysts developed detailed floor plans, mapping the location of existing devices and the proposed locations for Lexmark MFPs based on favorable peopleto-device ratios, usage demand and physical proximity to users. Locally connected personal printers were removed, as were all inkjet devices. Deployment principles of no more than 30 feet to a monochrome MFP, 60 feet to a color MFP and 90 feet to a high-volume device were indicated, with users ideally given two print device options. All recommended devices were networked, ensuring visibility with Lexmark’s network management tools.

To reduce paper and toner consumption, DCHD implemented Lexmark Print Management with a feature called secure print release, a solution that queues print jobs and releases them only when job owners authenticate themselves at selected Lexmark devices connected to the network. Print release eliminates the time gap between printing and job pickup, ensuring that forgotten print jobs do not pile up, eliminating paper and toner waste. Jobs not printed within a specified timeframe are deleted from the queue automatically. It also enhances security by guaranteeing that confidential jobs do not print without the document owner present.

To further reduce paper use, DCHD implemented two-sided duplex printing and the ability to scan documents directly to email instead of copying.


Through its initiative of replacing employees’ personal printers with departmental MFPs, DCHD reduced its device headcount. By reducing paper and toner use, lowering maintenance costs and trimming device replacement costs, DCHD expects to cut its output-related expenditures by 22 percent, saving nearly $71,000 over three years. The use of a single universal printer driver is expected to simplify fleet administration, and with all devices networked for the first time, the department will have the tools to manage its fleet centrally and gain insight into usage patterns. The new Lexmark equipment will consume less energy than the previous fleet and supplies ordering and replenishment will be simplified with just one toner family of cartridges needed. And, Lexmark Print Management with Print Release is significantly reducing paper and toner use by eliminating abandoned print jobs.

Today’s challenging economic climate is spurring government organizations of all sizes to maximize value and control costs, from giant federal cabinet-level departments to small county and municipal agencies. North Carolina’s Durham County Health Department, like others, has discovered that modernizing its output fleet pays immediate dividends and is easily put into operation without impacting other existing IT infrastructures or applications.