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Giveaway: Indispensable by Monday

January 25th, 2010
Buy my LinkedIn DVD at 50% off (while supplies last).

indispensible_by_mondayIt is Giveaway Monday again! I love the idea of this book, even though I haven’t seen it yet.

The idea is how every employee can make a difference on the bottom line and become indispensable.  As a business owner I’ve become hyper-sensitive to what we make and what we spend.  Here’s an example of the kind of thinking I think you’ll find in the book:

A legal assistant noted that the company’s beautiful color signature at the bottom of every email meant that every email she printed and filed (and in the legal department, that’s pretty much all of them) required at least two pages and a fair amount of expensive full color ink. For email strings between executives, the logo illustration could actually appear 2, 3 or even 10 times in the finished document she would need to print out and file. By simply eliminating the logo for intra-company email the hotel could save several thousand dollars in paper and color ink every year. But even more impressive, when employees used the PPG (Profit Proposal Generator) to calculate the equivalent level of sales it would take to equal the profit their savings produced, they were astounded. A savings of $25,000 a year in ink, paper, and unnecessary office supplies is pure profit—and in a company with a 5 percent profit margin, it would take $500,000 in sales to produce that same profit!

Reminds me of a time when I was driving across Idaho with a coworker who said “Do you know how many toilets had to be cleaned for us to go to this conference?” We worked at a building maintenance company, with lots of janitors, and she was referring to the cost of our activity compared with the revenue brought in.

I expect to get my copy soon – here’s how you can get yours:

  1. Answer a question (see below) in the comments on this blog post (not on Facebook),
  2. Someone judges the questions – in this case, the author Larry Myler  is going to be the judge!  He’ll announce a winner before we do the next giveaway next Monday.
  3. Larry will send his book to the winner.

If you aren’t the lucky one to win the book you can get Indispensable by Monday here.

Here’s the question (ANSWER IN THE BLOG POST):

Give an example of something extraordinary (not amazing, but out of the ordinary and perhaps even creative) you have done to make a significant impact on the top or bottom line at any company you have worked at.

OR

Give an example of something extraordinary that you have seen someone else do (same question but you can use a coworker).

BONUS: In addition to the answer you’ll already give, tell us something extraordinary a government worker could do to make a financial impact.

Go for it and good luck!

7 Comments »

7 responses to “Giveaway: Indispensable by Monday”

  1. Rita Carey says:

    A unique added value by a lab technician. Shy, non promotional Cherise said she had no accomplishments to demonstrate her value to the hospital. Now, she was in a position of finding a new job because lab services were being outsourced. I was brought in to assist with the lab technician transitions. Knowing how important it was for Denise to be able to demonstrate her value to a potential employer and seeing her humble, unassuming manner, I opened up a general conversation in which Denise mentioned that she was a single mom. Later I learned that she had not taken a sick day in 7.5 years. At that time, the hospital used a staffing agency to get a replacement technician whenever one of their technicians called in sick. From HR I learned that replacement technicians cost on average $108./day. I also learned that the average number of sick days used by the technicians each year was 12. Cherise had saved the hospital over $16,000. during her 8 years of service. Additionally, when asked how she handled her son’s sicknesses over the years, she said “Oh! I have a back-up plan.” Denise’s value was a result of her self-management skills, commitment to the job and dependability.

  2. Kiley says:

    I have started a new self-initiative at work to suggest a min of 1 new vertical integration or business expansion opportunity per month. The idea is to show I am thinking about the long term company strategy and am excited to help the business grow. The top line implications are huge for the right opportunity. This has now become a regular activity all throughout management. The opportunities are discussed at weekly meetings as part of our 20011 goals/plan.

  3. DC Jobs says:

    I used to work at a bank and we had a promotion whereby anyone opening a new checking account with over $75 would get a free ipod. It was basically a free checking account so the promotion pretty much sold itself.

    The problem was that we were in a competition with the other branches in our market as to who could open the most accounts that month. We were all anxious for “Day One” of the promotion to roll around, but when it did a “torrential downpour” started about an hour after we opened.

    We were all pretty dejected at the idea of having to wait an extra day to start accruing points towards the contest. I noticed that a bunch of people, many of whom did not have umbrellas, had congregated under the large awning in front of our branch.

    Seeing this gave me the idea to try something cooky. I grabbed a bunch of the marketing materials and headed outside to let the people standing outside know that they could feel free to wait inside the branch to get out of the rain.

    Some went in immediately while others continued to stand outside. To those who remained outside I passed out the filer with the information about the ipod which gained some additional converts who agreed to come inside.

    Once I was inside I repeated the process of handing out fliers. The activity level inside the bank went from “snails pace” to buzzing with activity. We opened a boatload of accounts which gave us just the commanding lead we needed.

  4. Lee says:

    I inherited administrative management for the executive office of my company. One day the receptionist brought me a contract renewal that needed approval. The contract itself wasn’t for very much money, $375 annually, but when I started asking questions, I was surprised to find out what exactly we were paying for. It turns out, it was a maintenance contract on a 10 year-old fax machine. The machine, which must have been a mighty heavy duty thing in its’ original day, had survived these 10 years and we’d paid nearly $4000 in fees to keep it humming. At first, I assumed that it must be an encrypted fax machine; something a bit more technical requiring secure maintenance. But the more I asked, the more I learned. Nope – a regular old fax machine. But one that the receptionist was proud to say we’d kept running all these years. I never did track down the original invoice on the machine, but when I explained to the receptionist that for less than the costs of the annual service contract, we could buy and replace the fax machine each year… we all learned a valuable lesson to do our research before we simply did what had always been done! And that inspired the receptionist to make cost-efficient selections and recommendations in all her duties!

  5. Larry Myler says:

    Lee, you are a perfect example of looking at things with the eyes of a new-comer. You questioned the status quo and discovered hidden profit for your company. Although $375 is not much, look at it this way. Assuming a net profit margin 5 percent, your company would have to sell $7,500 in regular products/services in order to produce the same $375 in net profit that you just provided by killing the fax machine maintenance contract. If someone had caught this earlier and saved the full $4,000 that would have been equivalent to a sale in the amount $80,000! Further, you have also trained your receptionist how to add more value in the future, which she is doing. This deserves an award of TWO books: one for you and one for your receptionist! Good job.

  6. Kathy Bitschenauer says:

    I would like to share a story my daughter Laura told me about how she helps increase sales at the restaurant where she works as a professional cook. When customers come to her bar where she prepares side dishes, salads, deserts, and appetizers, she always recommends the higher priced item. When the customer orders it, not only is the menu item sale larger, she is also boosting the tips the wait staff receive.

    When she sees a customer sitting at their table waiting for an order, she approaches them and offers a free cup of coffee or fresh bread while they wait. That act of consideration for the customer also increases menu orders and the tips the wait staff receive. And she does this despite complaints from the wait staff who accuse her of trying to “steal” their customer/s and tips! (Some of the staff have finally caught on that she is really helping them.)

    Her boss always backs her up and thanks her for being so keenly tuned into what make customers happy. Going out of her way to provide for their comfort, is not just good, but is excellent customer service; and recommending the higher priced items helps the restaurant helps make a bigger profit.

    Laura contributes this way as a matter of doing her job well and giving extra wherever she can. I have been to her restaurant and seen her in action. She’s a great asset to the owner, Tom Douglas, known throughout Seattle, WA, in the restaurant business.

  7. […] out the book.  More on that story here.  I bet you can take your minor wins and rephrase them to show how major they are! Share and […]