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Do We Really Need That Anymore?

Every so often we go through an exercise where we look at our processes and ask ourselves why we do the things we do and why do we do them that way.  In one of our recent exercises we looked at our photo copier. In its prime the behemoth energy sucker sat in the corner and clanked and clicked its way through hundreds, even thousands of pieces of paper and pounds of toner in a day.  However, as we become more and more immersed in a digital and eco-friendly world, the continual whirl and occasional frustrated user clearing a jam, has died down to the point where occasionally someone will ask, where do we keep the copier.  Today, I can proudly respond, “We don’t have one!” 

So how did we do it?  Well, we looked at the processes and the instances where we were still making multiple copies and found other solutions.  Most of the information we now receive is already digitized.  Therefore, what is the need for a physical copy?  We got responses, such as, “I use it to cross-check the online file.”; “I need to mark it up and show my work.”; and, “I need to combine multiple documents for the file.”.  After discovering the causes, we then began thinking of alternate solutions and benefits of not using the copier.  We adjusted our technology, added secondary screens, and taught team members to split their screens.  We installed scanner applications on our phones, and utilized desktop scanners.  We found by removing the copier, we reduced paper, toner, storage, energy, repair and shredding resources dramatically.  So far, it has been three months and nobody seems to mind all that much.

The reason I mention this exercise is that it is particularly useful in an industry that continually changes, such as relocation.  How many of you keep your policies and procedures, solely because that’s just how it has always been done; even though the logic may no longer be as obvious or easy to follow?   When was the last time you asked, “What factors into that lump sum payment?”, or “Does that mortgage rate differential make the relocation package more appealing in today’s market?”  I suggest starting with breaking down all expenses by category.  Then, look at where exceptions are coming from.  These areas will give you trends and areas to focus on first.

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VP, Client Services

VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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