Thursday, November 13, 2008

Desperate times calls for desperate measures

These are desperate times and they surely call for some desperate measures. However when I look around I find people doing not-so-desperate things. The only mantra for cost cutting seems to be employee cutting! The truth is that most of the corporations are so bloated and top-heavy that they cannot think about anything else. It is like having a tummy so big that you are unable to see the feet, the truth!, the foundation.

Simple things, like Lehman brothers new york office not switching off external lights/display in months of acute crisis, strike me really really odd. I am not sure I do understand it correctly but isn't it very counter intuitive that when you are undergoing such a bad time you should spend thousands of dollars on some lousy display that nobody cares about ? Have corporations completely forgotten "saving" a primary and basic principle of survival ?

How can we save at least some money in these times ?

1. Start spending as less as possible on stationary. Ask employees to bring pens and diaries.
2. Keep that office printer starved of paper. Better still decommission those which are not really needed or are back up. Put per person quota on printers.
3. Do the same with phones. Ask employees to not use phones for personal purposes. Monitor the bills and slap it on people if it exceeds a certain limit.
4. Sublet office space if you can.
5. Sell that office car if it is not really used
6. Stops those team meets which require a long distance call or travel
7. Rather, stop meetings as much as possible
8. Start switching off everybody's computers at night.
9. Restrict internet usage to bare minimum
10. Stop that friday free lunch, ask people to pay up.
11. Make the coffee dispensing machine pay-on-use
12. Reduce the office cooling up to 25 deg C
13. Make the office gym pay-per-use
14. Switch off all the servers that you don't really need
15. Remove those tissue papers from cafeteria and bathroom. Ask people to carry handkerchiefs
16. Allow people to work from home
17. If possible move the office to a place where rent is lower (suburbs)
18. Completely stop those corporate gifts.
19. Try to move your call center to a web chat based model and save on phone and employee costs. (This may be a good idea in all times)
20. Motivate people to work more, put in more efforts by assuring them that no firing is going to take place.

More to follow as I observe more useless expenses happening around me.
In my view this is much better than firing people left, right and center.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree that most of these organizations are top heavy and account for a large sum. All these so called CEO's with donkey's years of experience add zilch to the proper functioning of the organization and add lil value. Also they really don't have their own money at stake hence use the wise investor's money in merry making (5 star dinners, International travel on office money, travelling Business class, booking 7 stars or 5 star hotel for two hours sum exploit as much as they can..."after all its not my money") when the time does'nt really command for it. Why not rather have a good set of people and keep them happy to have quality add ..don't forget the ego management part ;)and the *** pls dont make hay while the sun shines...we are already victims of Global warming you see.


Vikram Mekala said...

Wow...What a post..I have discovered your blog becoz of cleartrip..

Very good articles..i really like and get ispired..hats off to you..

Do you work @cleartrip?


Piyush said...

Glad that you liked it
Yes I work for cleartrip

Lots of ?
:D :P

Chaitanya Gupta said...

My favourites:

7. Rather, stop meetings as much as possible
10. Stop that friday free lunch, ask people to pay up. (Didn't this already happen?)
16. Allow people to work from home

Nice one, PR.

Chaitanya Gupta said...

And what happened to that latest blog entry which appeared on Google Alerts today?

Kalpesh said...


Much of the things you said are obvious. Yet, not obvious enough for companies to do.

The simple thing that companies have tried is lay off people. The idea is a CEO will take 10 times the salary & won't reduce his pay/bonus but will remove the employees who are actually contributing.

In the recent US financial crisis, CEOs came to face the senate in their Jet. And they were given bonus after the crisis. Imagine that!!

And on top of it, govt intervenes and provide funds to take over the mortgages which were defaulting. It looks like passing the loss to the government and it means, it is taxpayer's money. Some company makes a blunder and becomes bankrupt. Govt steps in and takes over the assets. Hence it is people's money invested into loss making companies, for which CEOs will come in Jet and get bonuses.

What an injustice, in an open way!!