Posted by: danielrashke | March 8, 2022

Paper Supply

The other day, I needed to write a check. An honest to goodness, paper check. I couldn’t remember the last time I wrote a check. I wasn’t even sure where we kept our checkbook anymore. Paper checks certainly seem to be heading the same way as the 8-track player, the fax machine and rotary phones.

Yet, at TASC we still mail many paper checks every month. This came to the forefront recently during a management meeting when our mailroom leader said we were having a hard time sourcing pulp paper. And due to that shortage, the price of paper has skyrocketed in the past 24 months. According to one market report, all grades of paper are on the rise. At TASC, we saw a 7-10 percent increase on paper supplies in 2021 alone.

As we investigated this situation, we learned some fun facts regarding the production of paper. For example, did you know it takes one tree to makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333 sheets. A single ream of paper (500 sheets) uses 6 percent of a total tree, and single sheet of ordinary copy paper can take more than 13 ounces of water to produce.

Mailing checks is a costly venture as well. Besides the initial costs of paper, printing, labor and postage, there is the downhill ripple effect when a mailed check is returned. Approximately 10 percent of our mailed checks are returned to TASC for various reasons. This adds more expense to the process, with additional labor going into researching, scanning, sorting and filtering those returned checks.

This leaves us with several very good reasons to look for ways to diminish our use of paper checks. There is a strong upside to digitizing our mailings. Limiting the number of paper checks we mail will save money and help us keep our fees in check (no pun intended) and it will also have a positive effect on our planet.

So, we decided to look at our top twenty print jobs, ranked by quantity, and then ask our service model managers if there are any legal or contractual reasons for printing and mailing any of these jobs. If there was a contractual or legal reason to print, we would continue to do that. The rest of the print jobs will be digitized.

In fact, we have formalized this process. Twice a year, we go through the list of print jobs and then meet with the service model managers to see what we can stop printing and mailing. We are always on the hunt to eliminate print, to digitize everything possible, that is our goal!

So, to recap, it’s good for our clients, our participants, for the environment, and good for TASC! And with the TASC Card, our sensational mobile app, and our many online resources, why are we even using paper?


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