Cost Saving Initiatives

 

Convert to PennNet phones

  • Switching to PennNet phones can save on monthly phone charges for phone lines with voice mail ($7/month savings per line) and moderate domestic long distance usage (half price). Converting single-line sets is the easiest change. Multi-line and department phone systems can be more challenging because PennNet phones lack some of the features that people are accustomed to (intercom and the same phone number appearing on more than four phones, for example).
  • About PennNet phones
  • Contact Ira Winston for a consultation.

Review telephone lines and charges

  • A review of telephone lines can save on monthly costs when unused lines are identified and cancelled. Switching to smaller voice mail boxes can also reduce monthly expenses. Single-line sets are less expensive than multi-line sets.
  • To review lines, voice mail boxes, and set type, ask your business administrator to run the ISC billing reports in BEN Reports.
  • Review telephone spending for past 12 months to identify lines with no usage, types of phone sets and mailbox size. This is also an opportunity to ensure that the department is correctly charged for phone usage.
  • Contact Karen Bergbauer for advice on conducting an audit

Convert from bottled water to the Quench system

  • Quench is an environmentally-friendly, cost-effective alternative to the water coolers for which many departments have contracts for regular delivery of large bottled refills. It is a system that draws tap water from a regular water line, purifies it, and dispenses it through a unit that is similar to a traditional water cooler.
  • About Quench
  • How to proceed
    • If Water Line Already Exists
      • Contact Deb Gallagher – Quench Water System: Phone # 484-390-6217
      • Write Purchase Order for Quench Water System
    • If Water Line Does Not Already Exist
      • Contact your Building or Department Administrator to submit a Work Request for the installation of a standard waterline.
      • Contact Deb Gallagher – Quench Water System: Phone # 484-390-6217
      • Write Purchase Order for Quench Water System
  • For more information, contact Chuck Bronk.

 

Reduce office supply costs

  • Conduct an annual audit of the supplies used by the department by carefully reviewing monthly reports. Avoid the brand name. Centralize purchasing of office supplies to one individual to ensure the consolidation of orders.

Use videoconferencing and online collaboration tools

  • You may be able to use online tools to reduce the need for travel. It's easier than ever to bring remote participants into meetings or events at Penn, or for you to participate in meetings off campus. Free web-based tools allow small groups to communicate with audio & video, share computer screens or exchange documents, all from their own computers. SAS Computing has videoconferencing services which can accommodate individuals, small groups, or even classes.
  • For more information, contact John MacDermott.

Review meeting, event, and food expenses

  • Scale/frequency of meetings and events:
    • Units should review their full schedule of regular meetings and events—including things like holiday parties, graduation receptions, and beginning-of-semester parties—and consider all means of reducing associated costs (less expensive venues, food, drink, etc.) or, if appropriate, eliminating individual events altogether. For larger-scale special events, Carrie Stavrakos in SAS External Affairs can offer general advice or review vendor cost estimates to advise if they are reasonable.
  • Food:
    • Restaurant meals
      • Please be mindful of cost when selecting a restaurant in the first place. When entertaining outside guests, consider limiting the number of departmental participants at such meals.
    • Catering
      • Consider whether catering is actually required for a meeting or event. Does breakfast have to be provided at morning gatherings? Are there noontime sessions where lunch is provided that could be brown-bag instead?
      • Can catering costs be reduced? Food choices less elaborate? Less expensive caterers hired? Alcohol eliminated? A list of University-approved caterers appears at http://www.purchasing.upenn.edu/buyinfo/suppliers/caterers.php. Carrie Stavrakos in SAS External Affairs can offer general advice on catering or review estimates from caterers for larger events to advise if they are reasonable.
  • Daily Pennsylvanian advertising
    • When advertising events in the DP, please consider
      • Is such advertising necessary at all? Are there more effective ways of communicating about the event (e.g., email, web, posted flyers)?
      • If you decide advertising is needed, you may be able to save as much as 20% off the basic DP rate by working with SAS External Affairs design staff to place your ad. Please contact Loraine Boehmcke for further information.

Use SAS in-house web design services

  • SAS External Affairs offers web design services at no charge to all offices in the School. Please contact Loraine Boehmcke for further information. That office can also provide advice on the selection of cost-effective outside designers.

Review publication expenses; use SAS in-house publication design services

  • Offices should review their full portfolio of print publications and carefully consider their goals in initiating any new publications; often the same information can be conveyed via the web. For advice on your publications program and factors to consider in deciding on the use of print vs. electronic communications, contact Loraine Boehmcke for consultation.
  • SAS External Affairs offers publication design services at no charge to all offices in the School. Please contact Loraine Boehmcke for further information. That office can also provide advice on the selection of cost-effective outside designers and printers.

Consult with SAS Computing before hiring database programmers

  • Please contact Mary Costigan before hiring programmers on a contract basis to develop database and web applications. Programmers on staff may be able to accommodate your request. When hiring a contract programmer is necessary, this office can provide advice on selecting a programmer and information about security audits and programming standards.