In 2006 I was the IT Manager for a large staffing company in Ohio. We used TempWorks Software and were doing pretty well.

Come January, of course, it was time to print and mail our W-2s. I think we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000 of them. Because we had just split off from Manpower (our former franchise), we had never dealt with this before -- corporate always took care of it.

So we argued in several meetings about how to tackle the project, weighing costs and time
and so forth, before ultimately deciding to do it on our own. Personally, I really thought we should outsource this job, fearing that it’d be too overwhelming for us.

It was.

First we had to buy W-2 stock paper. Then we had to buy a bunch of printer cartridges. Then we got this really old, beast of a printer to tackle the job. Don't ask me why. This printer churned out about 30 pages per minute. So if you print 25,000 W-2s at that rate, you’re looking at roughly 14 hours of non-stop printing.

I don't know about you, but I've NEVER seen a print job work for 14 consecutive hours without mistakes. Not once.

And I still haven’t.

Someone had to babysit the printer the whole time: clearing ridiculous jams, replacing the cartridge, figuring out why it stopped without error. It was a nightmare.

It took longer than anticipated (almost three days) and we almost didn't get the W-2s mailed out in time. It was beyond stressful, and we never did it again.

And that leads me to the whole point of this story:

Don't print your W-2s yourself. Let TempWorks do it.

You’ll thank me later.

Tags: TempWorks Blog