Topic: Just for Fun

Out-side-the-box Ideas How To Save Company Money

Posted by Anonymous on 125 Points
So, I need your help to come up with a few off-the-wall ideas to help save company money. The challenge is to tap deep into your mind and come up with some original and innovative ideas that our company can put into practice. These ideas are meant to make a significant and positive impact on the company as a whole.

The rules are defined as:
1. Ideas MUST have merit
2. Ideas must not have been done before.
3. Must be carried out at little or no cost.
4. Must be measurable.
5. Cannot be dependent on significant changes to current protocol or practices.
6. Cannot greatly stress any departments
7. Must make a significant impact
8. Easily trainable, if need be.

The purpose of this challenge is to foster creativity and highlight the importance of the impact one employee can make to enhance the 3 most important components of an entire company: 1st–People; 2nd–Sales; 3rd–Profits.

1. PEOPLE: Related to employee recognition, enhanced work environment, provided tools. Client acquisition,
retention, satisfaction
2. SALES: Sales processes, protocols, tools related to client procurement or program experience.
3. PROFITS: Practical, measurable cost control practices or initiatives to increase efficiencies in operations.

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  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    It appears that you're looking for a magic wand: something that's free, easily taught, easily done, and with little change to your normal culture. In my experience, true innovation requires more than a shower of ideas. It needs a clear focus, a clear understanding of the "hard edges", and knowledge of the available resources. It's also going to be disruptive in at least one dimension - otherwise, you'd likely already have done this. Without knowing these details, we're all going to be entering into a guessing game, and it's to no one's benefit.

    If your company is truly interested in increasing revenue or innovating new ideas/systems/markets, hire an innovation consultant who can guide your team through processes that won't simply generate ideas, but will also create group buy-in, and help instill a culture of innovation.

    If your company is simply looking to have a suggestion box (How will the ideas be evaluated? By whom? How will they recognize something good if it's something out-of-the-box?) then you're likely to be wasting your collective time. Most suggestion box ideas never generate any action, and the people who offer suggestions often feel disenfranchised.

    I'd be glad to discuss this project further with you, if your company wants to enlist the help of an innovator.
  • Posted by Moriarty on Member
    Hang on a mo! Let's have a closer look, shall we? Because the sort of stuff you want is what I do, okay?

    You've asked some questions -

    1. Ideas MUST have merit [you need ideas that are relevant]

    2. Ideas must not have been done before. [that doesn't matter out of the box thinking will always bring you unique ideas - they must be relevant though otherwise you'll have pink windmills pumping wine]

    3. Must be carried out at little or no cost. [no: what you need is a modest campaign that costs little but makes you money - scale it outwards so that the dollar you put in gives you a dollar fifty out. That's the ground rules for PPC. It's pretty easy]

    4. Must be measurable. [PPC is ideal for this you can measure ROI down to the penny]

    5. Cannot be dependent on significant changes to current protocol or practices. [that's one of the ground rules]

    6. Cannot greatly stress any departments [let's look at how much stress they're under because you're not doing this kind of marketing, shall we? You should find that customers asking you to work for them relaxes departments]

    7. Must make a significant impact [that's not something anybody can guarantee - however when standard practices for PPC give a click through rate of around 3%, my out of the box ideas can deliver 10-15% CTRs - in any case, getting $1.50 back for a $1 spend is significant. Usually it's more]

    8. Easily trainable, if need be. [If they're good at what they do, all they need do is implement the ideas that we come up with. For example if they're already good at using the Google Adwords interface, I can organize the Ads and landing pages - you can simply administer the rest. That implies they're any good at Adwords; the basics are relatively simple]

    Work out who your most profitable customers are. The 80-20 principle gives you a rough idea that 80% of your profits comes from 20% of your customers. That means to say, your good customer drives way more profit than the ordinary. It's using the high end of the bell curve if you extrapolate these metrics across a statistical graph. Not all clients are equal; sure, treat them all equally - but look out for the ones who reciprocate.

    Look out for how they do it, why they do it and what the results are. Remember that one more of these customers will drive way more profits than the ordinary. These people will have a character that just happens to match the things you as a company are best suited to doing.

    Work out who they are (that could be my job) and make an ad especially for them. Then get more of them. That's when profits leap.

    Work out who your worst clients are (I could give you alist right now but I'm off to Rotterdam in five mins) and sack them. Believe me when I did this, our turnover dropped 20%. My ex was aghast.

    Our profits went up 30%.

    This stuff works. Oh, and the customers call you too ... makes life kinda nice!
  • Posted on Author
    Thanks for those responses, but it looks like I need to give a few examples of past ideas to show why it's in the "Just for Fun" section:

    1. Alternate Franchise and Corporate Shipping days rather than ship both everyday to save on boxes and shipping costs..
    2. PDF all documents to save on ink.
    3. wrap a rubberband on the pump a shampoo bottle to act as a stopper. This will lessen amount of shampoo released and will increase the longevity of the shampoo.

    So the real challenge is to not think too seriously.

  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    Here's an idea: Stop asking people to come up with money-saving ideas and focus them instead on ways to grow the business profitably.
  • Posted by Moriarty on Accepted
    You need a different approach. Now for an upcoming campaign on Facebook - and since I live in Holland, and it'll be in the run up to the Dutch Christmas (December 6) it'll concentrate on Pepernoten. They're little gingerbread biscuits the size of your thumbnail. (which are commonly called Pepernoten here)

    I looked at the recipe and how they're used - and compare this with real life advertising. It'll be a quiz with a .php radio-button style yes-no-dunno questions. It'll have questions like "you give pepernoten to your kids, would your advert speak to your kids" and so on. It'll need the input of my friend Lidwien who's a genius at getting people to laugh. Together, well we've come up with some of my best copy.

    By the end they'll have learned if their advertising is dull or not. The aim is to keep them smiling so they're not upset by the whole affair. It'll all be done with cartoons that need painting (hence the planning! - anyway that'll be fun in itself).

    You could choose practically anything from chocolate to raspberries ... car tires to furniture making. Whatever takes your fancy! Has this sparked any ideas for an amusing approach to advertising?

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