Baker's Dozen of Savings

Im sure youve been thinking of ways to save money. Here are 13 more for you to consider.


Technology Take another look what you have now. What else can it do for you?

Videoconferencing in lieu of travel - Travel is expensive. Hold meetings through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) using a service such as skype. Try a free teleconferencing service.

Telephone system, copier and other equipment Can it do more for you? Does your phone system have an auto attendant feature? This allows callers to go directly to the person they are calling without requiring a live operator. Does your printer have duplex capability? If so, print double sided whenever possible.

Sell your old equipment. When you replace your computers, servers and so on, there may be value in them to someone else. Try selling them online through eBay or Craigslist. Otherwise, you may need to pay to dispose of them.

Look at your existing computer software. What features are you not exploiting? Exploit the software you already have. Personally, Im now giving Outlooks Task list a much greater workout than I did just a short time ago; Im saving time by being more organized. If you dont already have a suite such as Microsoft Office, you might try Open Office, a free suite of products for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases.


Make the best use of human resources

Get ideas from staff on how to save money. Management wont have all the answers. Ask for ideas from everyone have a brainstorming session. Give your staff an incentive offer a bonus for the best savings idea. Ask people to submit their ideas on how to save money. If an idea is implemented and results in annual savings over $XXX (a number you decide), the originator will receive 10% of that savings. Are you willing to pay $600 to save $6,000, or $6,000 to save $60,000?

Desk audits. Do desk audits. By tracking what she did every day for a few days, one person found she spent 30 min. a day, 3 times a week watering the plants. By having her assistant do this, she gave herself an extra 90 minutes weekly to use on the budget, plan for council meetings and so on.

Cut staff through a hiring freeze, reduced hours, or pay cuts or eliminated positions. Or share staff one person helps 2 or more units. Cutting staff and salaries is the harshest way to save money, but all too often its necessary, as several hundred thousand people around the U.S. recently have been told. You have a responsibility to keep the company healthy for those employees who are left.


Supplies

Compare vendors Are you complacent with your vendors? When was the last time you compared prices with their competitors? Review what you are purchasing, then start shopping to compare rates and services. Today, everything is up for negotiation.

Staff room Replace paper supplies with real plates/cups/flatware. Dont throw away dishes and money. Maybe someone has dishes to donate, or they can be picked up at a thrift store. But have caution: Dont create a new job of dishwasher. Whoever dirties the dish should wash it.

Also, replace old, inefficient appliances. Are your appliances old? If so, consider replacing them to save in energy costs and maybe get a little tax break. Save money on the replacement by purchasing the floor model, one with a ding or a dent, or get a used and refurbished appliance.


Postage and printing

Use email, your website, blogs to get your message out. Can you send that document via a .pdf instead of the post box? It is cheaper and will get there faster.

Big picture: Re-think printing of brochures and catalogs. Commercial printing is expensive. Could the material be consolidated into fewer pages or presented in a more cost effective way? Ask your printer about money-saving designs. Thrifty need not mean boring.

Individually: Ask yourself whether you really need to print that document? In-house printing costs add up, to. If everyone asked themselves whether they have to have the document in hard copy before printing, a little money would be saved many, many times over. Add a note at the bottom of your own emails: Think green. Do you really need to print this?


Finally, a lesson from the Great Depression that says it all

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.


Posted by , Director of Operations on 19 December 2008
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