Measuring Hardware and Output for the Public Administration Vertical Market

by Cortney Kasuba

This article examines data from Lyra’s Office Print Monitor (OPM) service regarding the public administration vertical market. The types of institutions in this market include executive offices, legislative bodies, police protection, and various administration and regulation sub-industries, including national security and international affairs. 

Businesses in the public administration vertical market account for 6 percent of the companies and 7 percent of the devices and produce 5 percent of the output in the entire OPM panel (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Share of Companies, Devices, and Output in Public Admin Market and Other Verticals

Installations

On average, each company in the public administration market has 72 devices. This is a few more than the average for the entire OPM panel, which is 65 devices per company. Almost half of the public administration companies have fewer than 10 devices installed. One-quarter of the public administration companies in the OPM panel have between 10 and 49 devices installed. The rest have between 50 to 500 devices (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Number of Devices Installed in Public Admin Companies

The number of monochrome laser printers installed in the public administration market is close to the number of devices installed in the entire OPM panel, with only three major differences. Forty-nine percent of the devices in the public administration panel are monochrome laser printers, while 48 percent of the devices in the entire panel are monochrome laser printers. The percentage of installations of color laser printers and color laser MFPs are about the same (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Type of Devices Installed in Public Admin Companies and OPM Panel by Device Type

The first difference occurs among installations of monochrome laser MFPs. Twenty-seven percent of the devices in the OPM panel are monochrome laser MFPs, compared to only 19 percent of devices in the public administration vertical market. The types of monochrome MFPs that are installed in the public administration market are more robust than the monochrome MFPs installed in companies in other industries. For instance, 97 percent of the monochrome MFPs installed in the public administration market are A3 models, while only 81 percent of monochrome MFPs are A3-size in the entire OPM panel. A3 machines produce more pages than A4 machines. Furthermore, 80 percent of the MFPs in the public administration market are A3 machines that print at least 20 ppm, while only 70 percent of monochrome MFPs in the entire panel fit this category.

Another difference occurs in the installation of thermal printers. These printers account for 2.6 percent of the devices installed in the public administration market and 1 percent of devices in the entire panel. Some police vehicles and other vehicle-based types of public administration sub-categories use thermal devices to print items such as tickets and other documents.

The third difference occurs in the other or undefined category. Eight percent of the machines in the public administration market are undefined, while only 2 percent of devices are undefined in the entire OPM panel.

The share of inkjet and laser devices installed in the public administration segment is almost identical to the share of devices installed in the overall OPM panel (see Figure 4). A4 monochrome laser printers account for more than half of the installations in both groups—55 percent in the public administration vertical market and 52 percent in the entire OPM panel. The public administration vertical market includes proportionally more A4 color laser/LED printers, with 10 percent installed versus 8 percent installed in the overall panel. A3-size monochrome laser printers make up 23 percent of the public administration install base and 27 percent of the entire panel base. The OPM panel also contains more A3 ink and solid ink devices. The A3 machines that the companies in the public administration vertical use have faster print speeds compared to those in the entire panel, which could explain why there are proportionally fewer of them. Machines with higher print speeds tend to have higher print volumes, therefore fewer of these machines are required.

Figure 4: Inkjet and Laser Device Installations in Public Admin Companies and OPM Panel by Hardware Size and Technology

Output

The average monthly page volume per machine for the public administration vertical market is less than half of the average monthly output from other vertical markets included in the panel. The public administration vertical market prints about 4,000 pages per month while the OPM panel’s overall output is more than 9,100 pages per month (see Figure 5). This is primarily a result of the mix of devices rather than actual demand for printing. Monochrome MFPs, for example, have higher print volumes, while monochrome printers have lower volumes.

Figure 5: Average Monthly Print Volume for Companies in the Public Admin Market vs. Other Industries

A close examination of the devices used in the public administration market reveals that monochrome laser MFPs produce more pages per month than any other device (almost 16,000 pages), despite the fact that there are proportionally fewer monochrome laser MFPs in this vertical market than there are in the entire OPM panel (see Figure 6). One explanation for the disproportionate number of pages that the monochrome MFPs produce is that the monochrome MFPs installed in this group of companies have faster print speeds than the monochrome MFPs installed in the rest of the panel. Machines with higher print speeds tend to have higher print volumes. Also, monochrome laser MFPs likely are newer devices compared to monochrome laser printers, which produce only about 2,000 pages per month in this market segment. It is likely that these monochrome laser printers were previously used in workgroups but have been replaced to make room for faster monochrome laser MFPs and are now personal printers that produce far fewer pages.

Figure 6: Average Monthly Print Volume among Companies in Public Admin vs. Other Industries by Hardware Segment

Overall, the public administration market has a large number of installations of low-end, personal, and desktop devices that produce few pages per month. The public administration vertical market also appears to rely heavily on centrally located MFPs for larger print jobs. Inkjet and solid ink jet page volumes are lower in the public administration market than they are in other industries because there are very few high-speed inkjets installed in this market. Machines such as the HP Edgeline and Xerox ColorQube, which are installed in other vertical markets, can produce more than 10,000 pages per machine per month. Because few of these high-speed printers are installed in public administration institutions, inkjet page volumes in this vertical are lower than they are in other vertical markets.

What This Means for Your MPS Program

Is the public administration vertical market a lucrative target for MPS vendors? The answer is yes and no. Overall, companies in the public administration vertical market appear to have a large number of underutilized devices. A company that has many low-end machines that produce few pages will have more interventions that will require more work for an IT department that is likely already stressed. Depending on confidentiality requirements, it may be possible to remove many of these lower-end machines, replacing them with fewer, shared, workgroup-level machines, which could streamline office printing and reduce stress on the IT department. It is likely that many IT directors would welcome this message, and the potential for hardware consolidation in this market represents an opportunity for MPS vendors.

MPS vendors may find this vertical market less profitable than others that rely more heavily on printing. However, vendors may be able to work profitably in this market if they are aware in advance that businesses in this sector produce lower print volumes and if they take this into account when structuring contracts.