Having completed a two-year managed print optimization project with Xerox through which Cleveland-based KeyCorp ($93 billion in assets) reduced the number of personal printers and copiers in its environment from 12,000 to less than 3,000, Angie Masini-Sloane, now senior vice president/director, IT corporate procurement, began thinking about how the bank could take print reduction to the next level — the level at which its 16,000 employees actually start printing less. She decided print tracking and management software would help and sent out an RFP to several vendors. Three months into the RFP process, the bank chose Equitrac Office on the grounds that it had the right mix of features yet was simple to install and support.
The Equitrac application sits on KeyBank's network servers, between the spooler and the print devices (HP printers and multipurpose devices in the branches, Xerox color and multifunction devices in non-branch offices). As employees attempt to print from their PCs, the print instructions are intercepted by Equitrac before they're executed. The software captures all the information about each job — who printed, what they printed, what application they printed from, what time of day, and how the job set up — simplex or duplex, black and white or color, how many pages, etc.
Very little effort was required to get the new software to work on KeyBank's servers, according to Masini-Sloan. The bank did perform 12 weeks of testing, but the majority of the work dedicated to this project was for developing back-end reports. The bank developed a print usage report similar to a cell phone statement and began pushing it to employees through Lotus Notes.
KeyBank ran the Equitrac software for about three months to start capturing individual behaviors before setting goals. "Having the personal behaviors is really important because you can't just tell people, 'OK, everybody can only print 100 pages per month now' because for your one person, that might be too much and for another, it could be crippling to their work," Masini-Sloan says. "Once we've captured the personal information we can say we want everyone to reduce printing by, say, 17%."
Once the bank started sharing print usage reports with employees, it began seeing big changes, Masini-Sloan says.
A 30-day pilot in Cincinnati revealed that about 40% of employee printing activity was personal, print jobs such as income tax returns, spa brochures, restaurant menus, and the like. In time, the software implementation took on a life of its own. "At the end of the month, you could overhear folks saying to their neighbor, 'Hey, could you print this for me, I'm going to go over my quota,' and they didn't want to do that," Masini-Sloan reports. "In the first couple of days of the month, which is when the statements would come out, you could hear people asking each other, how did you do, did you go over? Someone would say, oh, I really blew it."
In 18 months of using Equitrac, the bank has saved $2.5 million and reduced print activity from 211 million impressions annually to 120 million, saving an estimated 70 acres of trees. The software paid for itself within two months through reduced print costs.
How can banks monitor and change employees' printing habits without being considered spying? "You have to communicate broadly to the employee base," says Mike Rich, CEO of Equitrac. "It's a lot like the early 80s, when companies started monitoring phone use."
Expanding the "smart print" theme, recently KeyBank started creating conference green rooms — when they schedule certain conference rooms employees get a reminder to not bring any paper into the room (except for taking notes). Otherwise, often meeting presenters will send out information ahead of time, everyone makes a copy and brings it with them, and the presenter brings 20 copies in case someone wants to crash the meeting, Masini-Sloan points out. KeyBank has also conducted awareness seminars with its corporate security department, pointing out the potential for breaches of confidentiality liability, especially if employees leave documents on their desks or save them too long.
In the bank's ongoing print reduction strategy, it plans to turn on additional features in the Equitrac software. For instance, it allows companies to enforce strict quotas; restrict printing by department, by time of day, or by application; intercept and change print jobs, for instance, by changing any requests to print emails in color to black and white. "There's lots of things we have not yet done that we can look to leverage this year," Masini-Sloan says.