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Sometimes its the simple things

Date: 03/16/2007 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

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…

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