The idea from the beginning, when the GPO was created by Congressional Joint Resolution 25 on June 23, 1860, was to establish a coordinating body that would channel printing requests efficiently and cost effectively from federal agencies to printers equipped to do the work. Title 44 of the U.S. Code states that the GPO will be the centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating and preserving published information. That’s just about everything printed for the federal government. Further, as specified by Title 44, all federal agencies are required to use the GPO to procure their print.
This reflection on history is important because over the past decade, federal printing for the private sector has been slipping away as federal agencies have been allowed to set up their own print operations and as the GPO has developed its own internal print capabilities duplicating what the private sector already is equipped to do. As a matter of fact, the private sector does federal printing at a cost far less expensive than having the government invest in printing equipment and more staffing. During the past three years alone, the year-end totals for jobs awarded by the GPO to private sector printers have seen a steady decline -- $425 million in 2009 dropped to $358 million in 2010 and then to $331 million in 2011.
According to William Gindlesperger, chairman and chief executive officer of e-LYNXX Corporation, the next Public Printer needs to have an appreciation for the contributions that thousands of private sector print professionals make daily to a procurement process that historically has not been flawed. “The old adage of “don’t fix it if it isn’t broken” applies,” he said.
Centralization provides the GPO with buying power, quality control and economy of scale values. It also positions the GPO so it can pre-qualify and be selective about printers that want to do GPO printing. Some 10,000 printers are registered with the GPO to bid on its work, and each must pass the GPO’s rigorous qualification process -- a detailed review of work samples and, at the highest quality levels, on-site inspections of the supplier's print plant. A printer can only be awarded GPO jobs for the quality levels for which it is qualified. This ensures that regardless of pricing, GPO will receive quality work on time.
While the GPO puts a heavy emphasis on low bids, GPO work does not always go to the lowest bidder. GPO jobs are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. This is a way for the GPO to control federal print costs but not at the expense of quality. For the GPO printer, filling downtime maximizes production utilization, increasing it from a print industry average of 70% to full utilization of 90% to 95%. Before GPO work, a print supplier can average 2.5% profitability on 70% production utilization. Add GPO work and the bottom line grows to about 14% on 85% production utilization.
“The next Public Printer should be an advocate for GPO work going to the private sector. The next Public Printer should oppose the on-going infrastructure growth at the GPO. The next Public Printer should work to close federal agency print shops that never should have been allowed to open in the first place,” Gindlesperger said. “Overall, the next Public Printer needs to rebuild the relationship that the GPO has historically had with the private sector. Keeping America informed is a shared responsibility as set forth by Congress and one that is dependent upon two strong partners – the GPO and private sector printers.”
About e-LYNXX Corporation
e-LYNXX Corporation patented the technology integral to e-commerce. Endorsed by Educational & Institutional Cooperative Purchasing (E&I) and Printing Industries of America (PIA), e-LYNXX drives results through its three divisions. ● AVS Technology® licenses the patented* automated vendor selection procedure used in e-commerce and procurement systems. ● American Print Management provides web-based system, services and patented AVS Technology® to reduce substantially the procured costs of direct mail, marketing, publications, packaging, labels and other procured print. ● Government Print Management offers effective U.S. GPO bid services and strategies. www.e-
*U. S. Patent No. 6,397,197, Patent No. 7,451,106, post-Bilski Patent No. 7,788,143, and Continuing Application 12/855,423 (collectively, the AVS Technology®) – This thicket of patents covers all custom goods and services, not just print. To inquire about licensing, contact Anthony Hawks at 888-876-5432 or Michael Cannata at 905-773-2207.
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e-LYNXX works with print buyers to reduce their cost for procured print by 25% to 50% and with printers to win government awarded print jobs and improve their annual profitability from a national average of less than 3% to more than 10%.