How to reduce printing costs

Annual cost savings of more than € 1.4 million and improved ecological balance by reducing print volume – a bank relies on the Output Management solution from Beta Systems.

In 2012, for its internal and external needs, a large European bank was printing up to 7.5 million A4 pages on its mainframe printers, the equivalent of 34,000 pages per day. Per minute, the printing volume rose up to 70 pages, resulting in a continuous printing flow all over the year.

Reduce printing costs with project “Zero Paper”

To reduce its operating costs and at the same time its environmental footprint, the company initiated a documents management project, with the main aim of reducing bulk printouts of listings on mainframe printers.

To achieve this goal, the team in charge, which led the project, selected the output management solution developed by Beta Systems. Output management is now handled by Beta 93, a centralised archiving system used on z/OS, and also available on other operating systems, which collects then splits, combines and distributes documents produced by various platforms. In addition, Beta Web Enabler makes it possible for users to view documents stored within Beta 93 online from their web browser. The project, which started in 2013, went live in the first quarter of 2014.

The four key stages

  1. The first phase of the project started by reducing the overall volume of listings. Those no longer used were identified and removed from the system.
  2. Secondly, change management and communication processes were rolled out to smooth the transition. An in-house communication campaign aimed at end-users was set up. The campaign announced the firm’s intention to stop bulk printing and described the ins and outs of the project. All internal organisations were affected, being more than 100 departments and 800 local agencies. The project team also devised training sessions, wrote user guides and set up a helpdesk. Throughout the duration of the project, a support team was designated to centrally manage the security and user access aspects of the system.
  3. Live use of Beta 93 started in April 2013. Mainframe printouts were maintained to begin with to make the switch to zero-paper easier. Mainframe printouts were stopped permanently at the end of 2013. All branches are now using the Beta Web Enabler interface to view listings.
  4. The last phase of the project was a consolidation phase. The mainframe printers were decommissioned and a final communication campaign announced that the production of printouts from the mainframe was to stop permanently.

Usage data

  • The first step achieved to divide by two the total volume of printed lists. From 7.5 million pages in 2012, the printing volume became 4 million in 2013.
  • Now in 2014, no listings are printed direct from the mainframe. The Beta Systems output management solution completely meets the bank’s requirements.
  • More than 2,000 document searches and 3,500 document views are carried out every day by around 500 users through the online interface. Some 5,600 listings and 11,000 reports are consequently generated by users every day.
  • Every year, Beta 93 handles an overall volume of 1,400,000 listings split into 3,900,000 reports distributed to some 1,775 recipients (departments, agencies, etc.).
  • If we take into account the yearly consumption per user, other indicators give evidence of the project’s legitimacy.
  • In 2012, a user was printing an average volume of 1,875 pages each year.
  • Instead of being printed, listings are now consulted online through the Beta Web Enabler interface. As a result, a user reads online an average of 975 reports each year.

Another step towards green-IT

There’s no doubt that the documents management project achieved to significantly reduce the bank’s operating costs. At the end of the day, staff, licenses and maintenance costs combined with potentially new expenses regarding additional digital storage space are more than compensated by the large savings made.

The financial ROI is obvious, but the impact of the project isn’t restrained to economical profits. It also has lots of environmental benefits, and represents a significant step in support of the sustainability philosophy adopted by the bank.

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Bernhard Prüger
I was born in Vienna, living and working with my family for many years in the German capital Berlin. As business data processing specialist I am attracted by the fascination of IT. As a Product Marketing Specialist at Beta Systems I'm responsible for the data center product portfolio. So far, I helped companies in the start up of inbound marketing and the implementation of Go-to-market strategies.

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