I read an interesting newsletter, “Energy and Capital” and while I don’t always agree with the authors I can certainly vouch for their meticulous research and number crunching. Even with that I don’t use their advice to invest in the stock market, I am too risk averse, I guess. Today’s letter strikes a chord because it itemizes on a personal level the effect of energy conservation on cost savings.
If you click here you can read the piece, which documents how one writer saved about one third of his energy costs over the course of the year without much more effort than simple diligence. For me the connection with front office business processes is obvious. If, like Nick Hodge, we could identify the low hanging fruit—the things that cost so much in energy but which deliver so little in return—in our front office business processes, we could make our businesses more resilient to the fluctuating cost of energy.
Since front office processes are often transportation dependent, curbing our transportation overhead can bring significant benefits. Making more intelligent decisions about whether and when to travel would not only save on transportation costs but also the direct additional costs found in housing and feeding a corporate traveler.
Change doesn’t have to be dramatic. Substituting a web conference or web meeting for the live variety would get the same work done at a lower transportation cost. So would adopting a phone and web strategy to augment your field sales effort. Some of these things are analogous to sealing a drafting window or insulating the roof in your home.
It’s better to attend to such things before they become a pressing need and with gasoline (and jet fuel) over three bucks today and heading for four by summer, there isn’t much time to waste. There’s a raft of new technology to make the transition simple and painless. Over the coming weeks we’ll examine some of them.