Any financial service company has to print, copy and scan thousands of mortgage offers, change-of-conditions letters with bombshells hidden in the small print and other documents, and Skipton Building Society had 1500 staff, knocking out 600,000 print outs per month. But it still managed to rationalise its printers and save £64,000 a year.

Managed service provider Azzurri audited its sprawling estate of digital print, copying and scanning devices. One of its best investments was to install software that improved waste management and user behaviour across the building society.

The audit revealed a profile of everyone's printing habits. In any big company, one of the biggest wastes is printing off documents several times over, and only collecting one version. Azzurri recommended that the number of printers could be rationalised down to the top 50 per cent cost-efficient machines, and that every user must have a swipe card before collecting their printout. When implemented, this immediately eliminated superfluous printouts. It also improved security and compliance, as the risk of confidential documents being left uncollected in a printer tray was neutralised.

Contrary to expectations, users don't complain about this particular culture change, explains Dorothy Frankland, Skipton's head of computer services.

"The swipe card system made users aware of their excessive printing patterns," says Frankland. It also improved user productivity and saved on operational costs.

The rationalisation is reinforced by using Azzurri to support and remotely monitor its devices, which saves Skipton's IT team from being too involved with printers.

Frankland saves time as cost management is easier. "Payment for digital print services is one bill each month," she says. If any department or printer gets out of hand, this will be shown up by analysis and Frankland can individually bill those responsible for cost and usage.

Read the full In Depth analysis of the value of managed printing services here.