Monday, May 5, 2008

The Costs of Cutting Costs: conference equipment

As you all, all 4 of you, have read in my story about facial tissues, my company doesn't always make the most informed decisions when it comes to cutting costs.
Another example is the policy regarding conference equipment. The policy is that there are some conference rooms with those cool conference phones. There are some conference rooms with built in projectors. The rest of the conference rooms will only have a conference phone or a projector if the organizer requests them.
There is a guy whose job it is to set up the phone or the projector for the meetings. He runs around from room to room picking up and dropping off conference phones and projectors. There are a lot of conference rooms in our building. Even on a good day he's cutting into the meeting a good three or four minutes shorter setting up the phone. Ten minutes with the projector.
My company has a few large offices of thousands of people. Most meetings require people to dial in to meetings. How was it ever thought to be a good idea to make meetings wait a while so the fancy phone can get delivered to the room and plugged in?
The phones are getting pretty beat up. What I think is happening is they are getting plugged in to the sidewalls and they're setting up a tripwire. That's not good for the phones, but it's also not good for the employees! I think one person tripping and hurting themselves is going to cost more than purchasing a new phone and having it professionally installed in each conference room.
You could probably put projectors in them too for what the rise in insurance premiums would be.
Let's look at the amount of money that is wasted in terms of time. It's hard to calculate the number of meetings there are in a day, but let's say that each person in my building is delayed by 5 minutes total per week. There are approximately 1500 people in my building. If each is delayed by 5 minutes a week that comes out to 125 hours that are wasted waiting for a phone to arrive. That's over three people working that is wasted a week. Let's assume that it would cost about $1500 to put a phone and a projector in a room. Let's also assume that the average cost of employment is $50 an hour for the affected people. The total weekly cost of waste is $6250. Let's say that there are 30 conference rooms(~$45,000) that don't have the necessary equipment. In just under 2 months you could have the cost of outfitting those rooms taken care of by not wasting people's time.

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