Areas within MIT are finding ways to save money and/or time in their own operations as well as more broadly across the Institute. To share these ideas, MIT Tech Talk will periodically publish examples of cost-saving and time-saving changes that have been implemented. If you have other examples to share with the community, contact Janet Snover at firstname.lastname@example.org or 258-5993.
Parking permits online
The Parking Office's web-based application process for MIT's 2003-04 parking permits saved time for parking applicants, departmental coordinators and staff in the Parking Office. The new process also saved money because the Parking Office did not need to hire five temporary data entry workers over the course of eight weeks. Other benefits were improved data accuracy (because data was not rekeyed) and less waste (elimination of 10,000 paper applications).
Ordering office stationery with ECAT
Another example of using technology to minimize paperwork and to save time and money is ordering office stationery via MIT's electronic catalog (ECAT). Community members have been using ECAT since 1997 for purchasing office and laboratory supplies from MIT's partner vendors. This past summer, ECAT also became available for stationery orders. After a competitive bidding process, MIT's Publishing Services Bureau selected Minuteman Press of Cambridge as its partner vendor for stationery and business cards.
Customers can go to http://web.mit.edu/ecat/minutemanpress and select what they want from several MIT-designed templates. Using a single vendor makes the prepress and printing processes more efficient, which saves money on each individual order of stationery and business cards. Savings range from 20 to 40 percent, depending on the item and quantity ordered.
Job listings now on web only
Human Resources is no longer printing Positions Available as a twice-monthly insert in MIT Tech Talk. Internal and external job seekers can find the most up-to-date information on open positions at http://web.mit.edu/hr/staffing. Anyone who needs assistance with viewing jobs or completing an online application may contact Staffing Services for help. (This change will save more than $45,000 annually in printing, paper and folding costs.) And since not everyone recycles their newspapers, the change also will reduce paper waste.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 10, 2003.