The following is a guest contribution which is geared towards the businesses in general. There are values to be had for you as an individual as well. Enjoy the post.
Competition is one of the bedrock foundations of a free economy, forcing both consumers and producers to eliminate waste in any way they can. Every business owner is aware of the ever-present competition, and challenging economic periods only make competition more aggressive.
If you expect your business to survive, you have to be looking for ways to improve the bottom line. Since raising prices is only rarely an option, that usually means removing waste.
So what are some basic ways you can help your business by finding and eliminating waste?
One of the major areas of waste for most businesses is maintaining and supporting printing equipment. Anyone responsible for ordering laser toners knows that printing costs can be huge. Add in paper supplies, equipment repair and printer replacement, and you can be looking at a significant part of your business costs.
While it is impossible to eliminate these costs altogether, there are some steps you can take to minimize them. First, consider simplifying your equipment and outsourcing the jobs you can’t handle. For instance, you may only need a few black and white laser printer for basic high-volume jobs. Several color inkjets could take care of any color jobs you need.
Is there really a need for that high-dollar color laser that can print huge banners on specialty materials when you only use it several times a month? For less than the cost of buying and maintaining many specialty machines you can outsource these jobs and be free of the trouble.
Of course, you should also try to go paperless wherever possible. This idea has been talked about for a long time, and tablets along with falling computer prices are finally making it more of a reality. Along with saving money, this decision can save environment as well.
Ultimately, however, you will find that paper is simply too hard to replace for most business processes. Most businesses find that the best way to cut printing costs is through economizing wherever possible. Look for cheaper printer cartridges through online retailers. You should also consider the difference between “name brand” (OEM) cartridges and remanufactured or refilled options.
Another major workplace trend is to bring your own equipment. As mobile devices and laptops increasingly become a constant part of our daily lives, most workers find it easier to have one computer or cellphone rather than two. As a result, many people would rather bring their own devices to work than be reliant on company machines.
While many network managers were initially reluctant to this trend, it can actually save companies a significant amount of money. What could possibly be wrong with letting your employees buy and maintain their own equipment? Accepting, embracing, and even encouraging this recent trend is another great way to cut costs.
Finally, the biggest cost in most businesses is staffing, or to put it differently, paying for your workers’ time. Companies that never let their employees take a break or enjoy themselves lose more in efficiency than they save. Still, it is quite possible to develop a company culture where people can enjoy themselves together and equally work hard together.
Along with that, some workers are simply more interested in getting away with as little work as possible. The single biggest way to increase your bottom line by cutting costs is finding where the wasted time is happening. With the right combination of incentives and coaching, you can cut the losses in this area as well, and be well on your way to increased efficiency.