Profound savings as Key Bank cuts printer pages by nearly half

Want to get people to stop printing? Give them a way to monitor their own habits.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Did you know that U.S. workers account for roughly 30 percent of the world's paper consumption -- roughly 10,000 pages per person per year. I didn't either, but that's one of the statistics that print management software company Equitrac brandishes as one of its sales motivators.

Equitrac also believes that bringing awareness to printing habits is one of the quickest ways to get people to STOP printing things unnecessarily, something that Key Bank discovered when it moved from simply buying printer and other document production technologies on an ad hoc basis to acquiring them as part of a print management contract.

The service, provided by Equitrac, came into play after the financial services company completed a massive consolidation of the personal printers that were scattered across its more than 1,000 branches, supporting something in the neighborhood of 16,000 employees in 14 states. Almost 7,000 printing devices were eliminated. Here are some of the high-level cost metrics reported by Key Bank:

  • $2.5 million savings per year on paper, toner, printer maintenance and hardware costs);
  • Reduced print "impressions" from 211 million per year to 123 million per year, which translates into about 70 acres of trees saved

Equitrac CEO Mike Rich says the results reported by Key Bank are fairly typically of what Equitrac print management provides for many of the company's 23,000-plus customers, any organization that owns and manages at least four to five multifunction printers or devices (aka MFPs). Although you may not know it, some of the MFP technology providers actually sell Equitrac's service, he says. Equitrac's sales focus includes financial institutions like Key Bank, educational accounts and professional services firms.

Rich says print management allows companies to have the same sort of visibility into their employees' printing habits that they would have, say, when it comes to their telephone usage. When Key Bank first deployed the software under its SmartPrint program, which took about 12 weeks to do, it started out by simply monitoring habits. Key Bank, for example, found that almost 40 percent of the pages being printed by its workforce were actually being printed for personal reasons: things like lunch menus or itineraries. Each employee got an ID, which they could use to keep tabs on their habits and they were assigned quotas to work toward. Departmental-level reports are shared with approximately 40 executives across the company, so they can be managed in relation to their peers.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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