The University Record, February 11, 1998

Copier program clicks with units

By Robert Hubbard
Printing Services

How do you take the pain out of keeping the office copier doing what it is supposed to do‹making high quality copies reliably and economically?

More than 300 U-M departments have found that keeping the copier operating is no longer their problem; the Managed Copier Program (MCP) provides the answer.

MCP's economy, ease of operation and dependable service have convinced many that the three-to-four-year cycle of testing, purchasing and maintaining a copy machine is a thing of the past.

Kati Bauer, executive assistant to the chief information officer and executive director of the Information Technology Division, describes her satisfaction with the program: "We don't have to buy a particular machine and then deal with selling it when it doesn't perform up to expectations." She appreciates the economy. "We get charged only for what we use." She also noted the speed with which orders can be placed and machines are received. "Usually within a week or so."

The MCP places copy machines in University departments without the necessity of a lease or purchase agreement. It provides training and full maintenance with a guaranteed four-hour (or less) response. There is no monthly minimum usage requirement and all consumable items are included except paper.

"We needed a 'floating' copy machine for a few weeks in one building on campus and then a few weeks in another building and we tracked down the program," says Lynette Kosky, legal assistant in the Office of the General Counsel. "I was amazed at how smoothly the arrangements were made, and the equipment was first rate." Kosky adds that MCP provided service that "was definitely far superior to anything I tried to arrange through an outside vendor."

The advantage of a prime vendor contract is that each user's actual meter readings are recorded and charged at 2.5 cents each on a Service Unit Billing. This "cost-per-click" benefit is important to users whose copy volume fluctuates during the year.

Begun in 1995 as a pilot program, the MCP was devised by Phil Abruzzi, director of purchasing, stores & auxiliary services (PS&A), to focus the buying power of the University on the problem of providing cost-effective, easy-to-maintain office copiers. In addition, Abruzzi wanted an agreement that eliminated purchase orders for machines and annual maintenance agreements.

Working with Purchasing Services' buyer Thys Burgens, Kevin Donovan and Ralph Maten contacted all of the copy machine manufacturers and distributors serving the University and metropolitan Detroit area. Donovan is business manager for PS&A and Maten is manager of copy centers.

With more than 30 years in the duplicating and copy center arena, Maten brought special expertise to the University's bargaining power through his familiarity with the equipment. He visited the closest service center of each vendor contacted and met with campus copier users to verify vendor service claims.

Following a bidding process, the prime vendor contract was signed in 1996 between the University and the Lanier Corp. Maten has continued with the MCP in an administrative capacity. He meets with interested faculty and staff, explains the program and evaluates the machine requirements of a department.

Cost savings to the University during the life of the program have amounted to $585,534. Equipment in use is valued by Lanier Corp. at $2 million, with no capital expenditure by the University.

For information on the Managed Copier Program, call 647-3240.