Dealing With Paper

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 2009-09-16
 
 
 

Managing e-documents is a mission-critical task for many companies these days. But what about managing the machines that print, copy or fax paper documents?

Like many businesses, KeyCorp, a Cleveland-based financial services company, had a glut of printers, copiers and fax machines. Some machines were rarely used. In other cases, employees had their own personal printer.

“In some instances, this was considered necessary because of the confidential nature of the documents employees were printing,” says Angie Masini-Sloan, vice president and director of enterprise resource services. “For the most part, each business department had its own budget for printing technology and would decide on its own what to buy.”

Wanting to do something about the situation, KeyCorp brought in Xerox to audit the use of these machines by its 18,000 employees. Through its Device Manager application, Xerox evaluated KeyCorp staffers’ daily work patterns and found that the company had a machine for every two employees, and, in many cases, workers had their own machines but weren’t making the most use out of them.

“They helped us understand what we were doing, and came up with a plan to centralize and scale back on our use of this equipment,” Masini-Sloan says.

Now in the midpoint of a six-year contract, Xerox has increased the person-per-machine ratio to 6.5 to 1—reducing the overall number of machines used from 10,000 to 3,500—and that number is still improving. KeyCorp is saving $1 million a year in the process.

The company is also buying into environmentally sound practices in a big way and is determined to reduce printing by 30 percent. It’s even designated a “green” conference room where absolutely no paper is allowed.

In addition to helping the environment and saving on printing costs, paper reduction also heightens security. “It’s easier to lose a document when it’s in paper format,” says Masini-Sloan. “So we tell employees, ‘When you absolutely need to print something, we’ll give you the highest-quality devices to do that, but when you can use an alternative method, please do so.’”