Real Clear Software Blog Post
Technology and two versions of greenWe have all seen the recent movement to be more earth conscious, recycle cognizant and overall better citizens of the planet. In fact, in business more and more emails have the automated footers that say, “Please consider the environment before printing this email.” But does that really have an impact? Is it just a “feel good statement” or just a box that is checked showing that firms are trying to be green and efficient.
RCS can tell you with certainty that with the proper technology and change in business approaches, user can have an impact in helping the environment, and equally as important – users put real green $$$ back into a firm’s bottom line.
Consider this real-life example. We represented a firm that had over 1,000 locations across the country. With a portfolio this size, it was essential to have bi-monthly real estate committee (REC) meetings to review locations, provide updates, review site selections, consider renewals, explore expansions and more. The REC meetings typically included up to 10 people per meeting and it was common to review up to 30 locations at a time. When reviewing each location, there would be a report associated with it which would include standard items such as a two or three-page summary, a couple of maps, photos, brochures, recommendations, updates, and likely proposals or letters of intents that were being discussed. These individual location reports were easily approaching 15 to 20 pages and more for each location.
Now considering that each participant in the REC would have a copy of each location report – it became evident to RCS that the printing and production cost alone was more than this client realized. The client had never really considered the basic equation: 10 people x 30 locations x 20 pages x 100 meetings = 60,000+ pages a year! In addition, that number did not take into consideration the immediate request for reports, like when the C-Suite or other quick decision requirements were needed, or other executive real estate meetings an more. It became evident that printing these reports alone was costly and inefficient.
When RCS brought this to their attention, it was a real eye-opening moment. Not only the color paper but the printing cost was just assumed to be “a normal cost of doing business”. It was quickly determined that by going to a minimal paperless effort, the real estate committee alone could save the firm upwards of $35,000-$45,000 a year by reducing color printing and paper cost. This was a “green” that everybody could get behind!
This was a great win-win that RCS was able to provide our client, simply by utilizing our platform and printing less – they could save money, help the environment, and actually make their business decisions in a more streamlined process. It was a change for this client, and they are not totally paperless, as reports are still printed, and are necessary at times, but having the information on the computer screen in front of any department at any given time increased their efficiencies and enhanced their process.
When it comes to valuing new technology and the efficiencies it creates and the savings it can generate, sometimes it is difficult justify, but in this instance calculating the savings on printing in paper alone actually did provide a tangible value, not only to the company but to the environment as well.