As business owners, we are always looking for cost-effective ways to do business. A smart business owner is one that is always looking for ways to save on expenses without sacrificing customer service or their product/service. Unfortunately, we also tend to sometimes look too deeply for a potential solution which ends up to be either too costly or time-consuming to implementing. What do I mean?
May be we tend to look too hard for a solution. Sometimes, its the simpliest things that can save us big money. There’s a wonderful example in a Financial Times article this week. It talks about Roadnet, a division of UPS, who was trying to find a way to reduce green house gas emissions from its 92,000 vehicle fleet. They explored everything from alternative fuels and buying hybrid-electric vehicles, but these alternatives were either to costly or simply not doable.
Then, they hit on something simple. What about reducing the number of left-hand turns the fleet makes? Left-hand turns equated to idling in the middle of the road waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. This was wasting a lot of fuel and greatly contributing to greenhouse gases.
Roadnet uses an underlying map database that can disable left-hand turns in the route planning process. They recalibrated the software to avoid unnecessary left-hand turns. When implemented Roadnet’s clients saved an astounding 54.4 million gallons in fuel. Assuming an average disel fuel price of $2.68 per gallon, and they’ve just saved $144.8 million. Not bad for such a simple idea…