Who Did the Cost/Benefit Analysis?

January 28th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

There was a new edict dropped in my work e-mail mailbox this morning:

> As part of our strategy to reduce costs and protect the environment, all color
Xerox multi-function devices at the site are now set by default to print
in black and white. If we limit our printing to only those documents we have to truly have on paper–and make those prints two-sided and black-and-white whenever possible–we will save the site approximately $15K per year in the cost of buying and disposing of
paper and printer cartridges.

That may seem decent, but it works out to somewhere less than $1 per month per employee. And what about the extra costs? To actually print in color, you have to go into the printer properties (each time) and change the printer back to color. Assuming I need to print one document a week in color, and it takes me 30 extra seconds each time, across the year, it will cost the company 26 minutes of my time, working out somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 per year. The base savings of this policy is now around -$1.50 per employee per year.

And I if I do keep normally printing in black and white, I won’t always remember to change it to color. (I use a B/W printer when I print that way. When I switch to color, I expect it to print in color.) Assuming I mis-print once a month, that’s another five minutes wasted in printing again and walking back to the printer. Plus the document I mis-printed is then chucked right away.

So tell me again, what is the benefit of this policy (except to sound like a good idea)?

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