ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Monday, April 01, 2013

Cutting Waste and Saving Money: Streamlining Systems

Cutting Waste and Saving Money

Many of us in both our public and private lives are looking for ways to save money.  For some, it means cutting out spending on things we want. These people talk about “tightening the belt.”  But I find that people waste money doing work or using things that are unnecessary.   By just working smarter they can save lots of money. I can think of lots of examples in our private lives – but since this is primarily a business/professional newsletter, I want to focus on what happens at work.

In some cases processes are redundant and time and money are wasted.  For example, in accounts receivable are you still taking an adding machine tape when your computer is adding things up for you?   Are you spending too many dollars to protect against the possibility of a one in a thousand problem?   Do you have more than one department working on the same tasks, not knowing what the other is doing?  Are you making it difficult for people to communicate with each other when they need to check in with each other frequently?  Are you providing your staff with bits and pieces of the information they need rather than giving them the whole information?  

Do you have endless unnecessary meetings?  Could some of these be eliminated?  Shortened? Less people needed to attend?

I ask you these questions because these are just some of the few things I learn when working to do process improvement – and make my clients more effective.

Not only my government clients, but some of my corporate clients also make the same mistakes. 

Another common mistake:  They hire someone to do a series of tasks, assuming that person will find the most effective and efficient manner in which to complete these tasks.  All too often the process used is far too cumbersome for the task at hand.

As I listen to the politicians blame each other and predict Armageddon if the government is forced to cut what the Wall St. Journal reported will be only 2.2% of the debt, I keep thinking, they ought to hire me and working with their staff, I could find ways to cut waste and probably save them over 10% of what their current costs are – without losing any service in the process.

I know this because I’ve made lots of positive changes to reduce waste with both corporate and government clients.

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