Posted by Duncan on November 23, 2011
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Whether gotten from an idea management system, employee suggestion scheme or dreamed up in a brainstorming session, cost-savings ideas dreamed up by employee can sometimes bring big savings. Here we present 5 recent examples of employee creativity leading to significant cost savings:
1. A city council saves big but trouble is brewing
The Southern Californian city of Rancho Palos Verdes challenged council employees to come up with $150,000 in new revenue or cost saving suggestions, with a the bait being a reward pol of $81,100. According to Polos Verdess Patch (a news site), the council subsequently agreed to add $50,000 to the incentive pool if employee-identified new revenue and cost-savings reached $250,000. However staff knocked the ball out of the park, coming up with 25 ‘service enhancements’ and 16 new revenue and cost saving suggestions for a total gain of $553,729. However, trouble is brewing as city Councilman Brian Campbell has called for a 2nd independent third party review of the ideas from employees with the mayor Tom Long arguing back "They did a review, they’re a third party," he said. "That is a third party review." Just give them the money we say!
2. A facilities management company looks to the East
Since taking a leaf out of the Kaizen ideas (Kaizen means ‘continuous improvement’ in Japanese) playbook, British facilities management company Emrill has enjoyed “direct cost savings, improved quality and environment, health and safety performance and above all elevated employee morale” according to Emrill’s managing director Ben Churchill in a recent interview with ConstructionWeekOnline.com. Specifically, thanks to employees’ ideas a timer/contactor was implemented in the cark parks of 2 large scale residential facilities that the company manages in Dubai. These resulted in annual cost savings of about $14,000, not to mention the environmental benefit of the more efficient energy usage.
3. A university benefits from an employee’s idea to consolidate
San Antonio’s’ Alamo Colleges employee Lydia Hannawi’s brainwave of consolidating interpreter services for deaf and hard of hearing students into one location will save Alamo Colleges about $74,600 in 2011. In addition to a nice write up in the local paper and receiving 10% of the savings for her clever cost-saving idea, intrapreneur Hannawei also got great satisfaction from the implementation. “It's really going to serve the deaf students and the hard of hearing students much more effectively,” said the Texas native.
4. A financial services company sees a 29 times ROI
USAA, the insurance and Investment Company for military personnel/veterans, gathered employee ideas through their ‘Open Innovation Lab’ initiative. The results over the past 12 months (to November 2011) was a spectacular “29 times return on investment” according to CIO Greg Schwartz in a recent Computer World interview.
5. Big government tunes in and switches off
The US Commerce Department is likely to save $3 million this year by disconnecting over 2500 wireless lines that have been unused for the last three months according to the Federal Times. Yikes that’s a big saving.