09 May 2011 Poor paper performance from purchase to pay
The spotlight has fallen on the paper invoice as an entirely unnecessary source of green house gases in recent years and the rapid evolution of the regulations in many parts of the world is removing the barriers to change to electronic invoicing. But the paper invoice is only part of the story and it seems that the purchase to pay function is one of the worst culprits when it comes to the unnecessary use of paper.
Recent research conducted by Ipsos on Lexmark’s behalf found that supply chain departments print the most pages of any organisational unit. The survey found that the usual number of pages printed per day by an employee stands at 32. However, staff working in logistics, including procurement, quality and supplier relations, said they printed up to 48 pages each day. That’s 50% more than an average member of staff.
They are not the only heavy printers. Administrative and HR staff as well as finance and accounting employees were also found to print many more pages than their colleagues, on average 39 and 38 pages respectively.
Some departments are required to produce more paper documents for reporting, information sharing or legal reasons. So, it’s not the large number of pages printed that’s the problem here, it’s the number of unnecessary printings.
According to Lexmark, supply chain staff admitted that almost one-fifth of the pages they produced every day weren’t actually needed or had been printed by mistake.
This level of poor P2P practice is a source of embarrassment and we all, where we can influence change, should apply some priority to improving our paper performance.