3.0 Material Efficiency - Applying Keys
When exploring the 20 keys to workplace solutions efficiency relates to the following three keys:
Key 19: Conserving Energy – Conserving Energy and Materials
Key 12: Developing Vendors – Developing Your Suppliers
Key 4: Trimming Down Inventory – Reducing Inventory
3.1 Conserving Energy
Conserving energy and materials are a vital part of a properly functioning business. There are many different ways in which this can be performed to most benefit both the suppliers and the consumers. Conserving energy does not only refer to the actual output of fuel required to produce a product, but also refers to the amount of time and effort applied by all involved to produce the product. One of the most important and efficient ways in which one can conserve energy is to reduce the amount of waste. “Waste is defined as any non value adds activity or process, which the customer would not be happy to pay for. For example, the customer would not expect to pay for your business storage space used to store unnecessary levels of WIP inventory.” (http://www.businessengineering.co.nz/lpidetail.html)
Material conservation is also important. Materials include products on hand and products that are necessary to facilitate production or assembly. “Resource efficiency most basic means uses resources such as water, energy and even your workforce more efficiently. Getting the most out of what you have. This can be beneficial in many ways such as reducing the amount of material used and/or manufacturing costs, reducing waste materials and compliance to environmental legislation. It also reduces your impact on the environment.” (http://www.businessballs.com/environmentalmanagement.htm) Based on energy and recycling conservation alone, the following information was found:
“Benefits of using less storage and handling: Paper is bulky to store, in boxes or in file cabinets. By using fewer sheets, you can put storage space to more productive use. For example, Owens Corning recently made all of its offices worldwide "paperless." Having had 14,000 file cabinets around the world, the company has already saved around $30 million in lease costs.
Mailing costs: Fewer sheets mailed may mean reduced postage. A single-sided 10-page letter costs $0.63 to send by U.S. first class ; that same letter, copied onto both sides of the paper, uses only five sheets and requires only $0.39 in postage. The price of postage is rising, and those extra ounces can really add up.
Environmental benefits: By increasing double-sided copying (duplexing), U.S. offices could reduce annual paper use by 20 percent (Inform, Inc). By using and discarding less paper, you are conserving resources, reducing water and energy use, and preventing pollution.” (http://188.8.131.52/workplace/)
3.2 Developing Vendors
Strong relationship with suppliers is also a key component to a successful business. Maintaining open communication along with a solid commitment is...