A Creative Solution For Missing Pens

The Erie County Clerk’s Office (Buffalo, NY) spends $3,000 per year to purchase 10,000 pens. The office loses nearly 5,000 pens a year, due to customers walking off with them. The office has tried tying the pens to clip boards, but that still did not solve the problem. At 30 cents a piece, lost pens costs taxpayers $1,500 per year.

As reported in a Buffalo News article, County Clerk Chris Jacobs, has come up with a creative solution to address the problem of missing pens. Jacobs has obtained donated pens from local businesses, who are providing pens free of charge with their company logos to the Clerk’s Office. Local businesses get free advertising and the County saves money on purchasing pens that walk away in large numbers.

While a huge amount of money is not being saved, I like the idea as a creative way to solve a small problem. Perhaps this idea can be implemented with your local government. What do you think about having pens donated by local businesses to save money for a local government?


Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Latara Branch

This is a great idea. At our recreation center, one of the employees started attaching artificial flowers to pens. She would use florist tape to attach the stem to the pen- the gaudier, the better. Citizens seemed amused and the pens lasted a LOT longer. Just be careful the flowers are not too pretty, or the pens may start disappearing again. 🙂

Margaret Sarro

A big “like” from me!!

And honestly I find the “flower pens” annoying to write with and sometimes I can’t find them (cause they look like a flower), but I can deal!

Brandi R. Bernal

Seems like a good idea until one of the companies providing free pens makes unethical choices, then the government agency will get heat for promoting unethical business practices, beliefs, etc…

Robin Sweet

One of our courts taped a plastic spoon to the side/top of the pen (like the flowers mentioned previously). It has a similar affect without being as difficult to write with. They, too, saw a drop in the loss of pens.