Saving money in today's economic situation is not always easy — the cost of everyday items just keeps going up. As we look at our businesses, sometimes we miss obvious ways to save money. Sometimes it involves thinking out of the box, but most of the time it just requires us to stop, take a look at where we are spending our money and analyze if it is being spent wisely. It is possible to take steps that can save up to 30 percent in expenses.
One thing that requires a hard look is your payroll. As you know, this is a considerable expense. Are all of your employees being productive with their time? Some employees fall into a rut and are just doing enough to get them through the day. Maybe they become so proficient at their job that what used to take them all day can now be done in a half a day.
As a manager, it's your job to evaluate each employee to see if there is room for improvement. For example, if you look at your company now and compare it to last year you will probably see there have been a lot of changes, so it would stand to reason your employees' jobs have changed as well. Make sure you are getting the maximum from each of them. You may also have to make tough decisions regarding personnel. Perhaps you have become top-heavy with employees that are not necessary. For the health of your company, you need to make sure your entire staff is being productive.
The shop is another place where lots of money can be saved. Material costs are out of your control, but one area that isn't is expendables. There are lots of items used every day that you might want to consider buying in bulk. The thing to remember here is to buy only what you will actually use. I have a friend who once purchased a gallon container of cinnamon at one of those bulk buying supermarkets because of the excellent price. I asked her how long something like that would last, and she replied that she wouldn't be able to use it up in her lifetime. I am sure you see the point. Check out the list below to see if you might be able to take advantage of bulk-buying in your shop.
Denatured Alcohol: If you buy this 1 gal. at a time the average price is around $16 per gal. If you purchase it in a 55 gal. drum, the price drops down to an average of $6 per gal. That's quite a price drop! You can call any spray room finisher's supply house if you want to go this route. Just make sure you ask what the storage requirements are; they're different depending on the state.
Industrial paper products: Every shop has paper and rag needs. Have you considered buying these products in bulk? Again, you may be going to your local supermarket to purchase restroom items and paper towels for your shop, but that may not be the best option. What we did here was to find out how many of these items we purchased every year. We calculated our needs and from there we approached a local cleaning company supply house for a price. By buying enough for a year, we saved a substantial amount of money.
Silicone: Most surfacing shops use a large amount of silicone. Figure out how much you will need and buy in bulk. Because of shelf life issues, purchase only enough for four months or so.
Adhesive: Looking around for a supplier of adhesives is a great way to save money. When we saw the difference in cost savings we could achieve, we about fell out of our chairs. This magazine has ads from the different suppliers all of the time.
The items discussed may seem relatively inexpensive compared to higher-ticket items, but these expendables can really add up. It is definitely worth a look to see what kind of savings you can come up with.