Quick Tip: Penny Management

Penny Lane. J.C. Penney. Penny Management?

Though it might not fit with the first two, penny management is a simple concept that can yield exceptional results and save you money. Every penny saved when mailing 10,000 pieces or processing 10,000 orders is an extra $100 on the bottom line.

Challenge everyone in your organization to find a way to save a penny. It is easy, fun, and profitable. Make it a fun contest and the company theme song will be “Pennies from Heaven.” Every contest needs cool categories and prizes. Set your imagination free and create a contest that will inspire.

Here are some penny management tips to get you started:

–Identify the 20 top selling items by volume and ask the vendors for a discount. Most negotiations are based on dollar instead of unit volume. Vendors often have unadvertised quantity discounts.

–Eliminate multiple copies of order processing forms. The same form can move from processing to pick/pack and on to the customer. It will reduce the cost of supplies and labor. No more filing!

–Print your pick tickets at night for processing the next day. It will reduce the pickers down time.

–Include return information on the order form and packing list. It encourages prospects, reduces calls, and does not increase the return volume.

Debra Ellis is president of Barnardsville, NC-based operations consultancy Wilson Ellis Consulting.

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