Re: "power down," September 2009
I enjoyed your article about DCs struggling with high energy costs. We operate about 5 million square feet in our company, and a good deal of it was in dire need of both retrofitting and an ongoing [energy conservation] program a few years back. Since we began our program in 2008, we have reduced our expense everywhere we have installed our new attitude, equipment, and outlook toward our energy usage.
By the way, we installed Big Ass fans about three years ago, the first effort in meaningful amp reduction in our DCs. We have saved over $500,000 in our lighting expense in the past two years at one facility alone.
So, anyway, the message is that there are real savings out there, and your examples are not just isolated events.
John Zapata, Rooms To Go
Re: "outsourcing the wheel," December 2009
I really love the fact that companies are getting creative with outsourcing —it shows that there are inventive ways of providing value in outsourcing. The rule —if someone can add value better, faster, or more cheaply (and with fewer accidents!), then you outsource!
Now, the real test is to select providers that optimize your operations and don't just "buy service" or "cut costs." Great providers optimize to solve the problem, and the service providers make a fair profit for their brainpower in solving the problem —not just providing butts in seats (or in this case, drivers in trucks).
I really like the various options for business models they lay out —it's not all about simple shift and lift. Now, I'm wondering if the Ryder deal or any of the other solutions ProDrivers provides is a Vested Outsourcing solution. That would be progressive thinking!
Kate Vitasek, Supply Chain Visions