A large corporation saves thousands of dollars in printing costs by offering their manuals and forms loaded on USB Flash Drives instead of printing them.

CHALLENGE:  Cut printing costs at a large corporation.

SOLUTION:  After prodding a bit on what types of documents the company printed, we found that they gave every employee a 132 page Policy and Procedures Manual that they printed and bound.  In addition, they also gave each employee printed versions of various forms such as incident reports, vacation requests, PO requisitions, reimbursement forms, and several other inter-office forms.  We suggested the use of 2GB USB Flash Drives which could be preloaded with all of the various documents.  By doing this, the forms would only have to be printed as necessary.  In addition, the USB Flash Drives could be imprinted with the company logo and used to back up their files and transfer files.

OUTCOME:  It was estimated that the company saved around $3185.60 per year (including distribution of annually updated manuals) plus each employee got a useful gadget out of the deal.  132 page manual plus another 14 pages of forms equals 146 pages total for 181 employees plus a turnover rate of around 9%.  At approximately $0.10 per page plus binding charges resulted in a per employee cost of $17.60 per manual with extra documents (not even including prep time).  By buying 2GB USB Flash Drives, the company could get them pre-loaded with documents and a custom logo printed on them for only $10.17 per drive (Savings of $7.43 per employee).  In addition, since these manuals are updated annually, the company saves even further by emailing the revised manual to the employees to upload to their drive.  To further save money, the company also designed a process to submit their forms online so no forms have to be printed at all.  Overall, the money saving project was a huge success.

KEY:  There are several factors that were key for this project:  1) Buying an appropriately sized USB Flash Drive – if you buy one too small such as a 256MB or 512MB, the thumb drive is not as useful because of the memory limitations and they are likely to be discarded for better ones.  If you buy thumb drives that have too much memory, you spend more than you will ever save.  2) It is critical to make sure the Flash Drives you get have Tier 1 memory.  Many cheap models have a sub-class memory and many will not work or they will quit working shortly after you receive them.


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