Moore Efficiency, a consulting company in Indian Head Park, Ill., needed to use word processing to write and edit documents such as five-year business plans, policy and procedure manuals, and financial proposals for clients. But the firm had neither the capital to buy the equipment nor the desire to finance it at high interest rates.

Rather than rent equipment, Lynn Moore, president of the firm, had a better idea. She contacted a word-processor manufacturer and obtained the names of several nearby companies that had recently purchased their product. She then arranged with two of these local businesses to use their systems in off hours for $5 to $6 an hour.

"Our savings are about 60% greater than if we'd rented the equipment," says Moore, whose company provides its own diskettes, ribbon, and paper. "The money we've saved using this method will go toward the purchase of our own word processor."

The cooperative arrangement has benefited the other companies as well. "It's caused no disruption to our operation," says Greg Bembinster, chief operating officer for Land Title Co. of America in Hinsdale, Ill. "Plus, Moore's use of our equipment has provided us with a little extra cash."