Because of current market conditions, we needed to figure out how to run our business smarter. Our management was focused on reducing overhead costs, but we realized we needed the staff’s cooperation.
This year, we started a program whereby each month, our employees are required to pitch an idea that saves our company $500.
All 42 employees from every department now meet on a monthly basis to present money-saving ideas. So far we’ve implemented about 15 proposals.
One of our biggest successes to date involved switching our pool owner’s manual from the printed page to a digital format.
We used to send copies to 700 customers a year, with each book costing $27 to print and ship. Overall, we were spending about $19,000.
Converting the manual to a digital format and burning it onto disks cost $2,100. In total, this idea saved us $12,000.
Some initiatives are big, others small. For example, we reduced our phone bills by researching different cell phone plans, and lowered printing costs by placing more company documents on 8 1/2-by-14-inch pages instead of the standard 8 1/2-by-11-inch page.
Our staff also began looking at waste around the office. Now, instead of just throwing away printouts, we cut them up and use the blank side for notes.
My employees have much more control of our overhead costs than I do, and letting them develop these ideas helps to ensure the good ones get implemented.