A former employee of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, embezzled $1.2 Million in Printer Toner Cartridges over a 10 month period this past year; as reported in an article by the Wall Street Journal last week. Apparently selling them in the aftermarket, as the article details.
You would think the alarming figure of $1.2 Million in such a short period of time would have been the clue that cracked the case; but apparently the thief was caught meeting delivery companies out on the street and transporting the printer cartridges to suspicious areas.
To further illustrate just how widespread this problem is, there was a Soprano’s Episode (S5E09) several years back when the guys were on a no-show construction job, the dialogue went like this:
“Yeah, what do you say, Bill? – How you doing?"
"Hey, Felicia? - What?"
"Those cases of toner come in yet?"
"Yeah, it's in the trailer.–I'm gonna gas up. I'll be right back."
"Toner cartridges now? –They're not skimming enough from this job?"
"Brother sells them out of his trunk.”
Obviously Toner and Ink Cartridges are so mainstream; they can now be used as a currency in the underworld.
“With organizations spending over $750 per year per employee in tangible costs for document production, it's amazing that more firms are not going to a centralized form of Managed Print Services. The current, distributed form of document production management invites this type of theft (or more commonly mis-use). This is a significant, hidden cost for much of corporate America.”
In plain English what is happening is that Printing and Imaging for many companies and organizations is a very large, still uncontrolled and unmanaged expense. While the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center case is an extreme example, this cost center is a high risk area for shrinkage and theft.
There are a lot of moving parts in managing printers, copiers, multifunction devices and fax machines. In fact Printing and Imaging and other Document Related costs are of the largest ongoing expense for companies and organizations. The purchase of the devices and the costs to supply and maintain them are highly unmanaged and a lot of waste generally occurs as well as theft.
While there are many benefits to Managed Print Services (MPS) Programs, theft reduction is a natural feature because MPS engagements allow companies to reduce their participation in their own facilities to a function of Contract Administration.
Stories like this remind us that we need to constantly review our processes and procedures with many aspects of our business where shrinkage and theft exist. – Has anyone heard of others?