County Hall Printer Purge Saves GBP70,000

Cutting down on the number of printers at County Hall has saved taxpayers £70,000 a year, according to Bucks County Council.

The authority based in Walton Street, Aylesbury, says a project that went live two years ago is proving hugely successful in terms of costs and security.

Corinne Newman, a council contract manager, said: “Previously, we had a printer for every three members of staff so we tried to rationalise that. We created shared printing areas with just two or three machines on every floor, so each printer is now currently shared by roughly about 20 people.”

There were previously 650 networked printers. This has been reduced to about 220.However, far from decreasing efficiency, the council says it discovered it actually improved it. The machines can only be accessed by an individual’s security card, so they only print when a staff member is present to activate them.It means confidential documents can only be printed when the relevant member of staff is standing by the machine to collect them

Ms Newman said: “In the past, every team would manage their own paper orders and would buy their own toner. Each team had a printing budget. We took away those budgets and obtained a much better deal by buying paper and toner in bulk. We have improved security and also saved a lot of money in wasted paper by ending the possibility of people printing something but then forgetting to pick it up.”

Ms Newman says the council made a saving of £70k in the last financial year compared to the costs before the printer reorganisation, and it hopes to repeat the same saving this year.

Peter Hardy, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “These savings are a classic example of how costs can be cut by working in a smarter more efficient way. UK councils down the years have been somewhat unfairly accused of having a licence to print money. It’s quite the opposite in Buckinghamshire – our printers have given us a licence to save money!”

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