9 ways to improve business

OVERVIEW

ARL is not a consulting business although this approach may suggest the contrary.  This document has been produced to explain how the products we sell will touch; your people; employees and customers alike, encourage better wellbeing, reduce fatigue, increase safety taper depression and grow productivity, sales and profits.

Below is list of the improvements we offer.  Who knew it could be so easy.  We will improve:

 

  1. Cost of maintenance
  2. The health and safety of your employees and visitors.
  3. Morale
  4. Productivity or production.
  5. Human Resources
  6. Customer relations and retention
  7. Sales
  8. The bottom line.
  9. The environment

 

That is the nine items that will help your business to be more successful.  There are scores of documents written to support each and every aspect of the above which can be provided at your request.  In addition there are many studies that support the documents and common sense and experience has proven them to be true.

What do these things mean to a business and how are the affected?  We will explore each of them step by step.

 

 

Cost of maintenance

Every brick and mortar business has maintenance expenses.  Our solution can potentially eliminate routine maintenances most business has budgeted year after year as a necessity.  The span of time is at least seven years.  This one area for some is a nuisance while for others can almost be deemed a capital expense.  Either way, a reduction in maintenance goes directly to the bottom line.

 

 

The health and safety of your employees and visitors.

Most companies consider every aspect of creating a better environment with regards to health and safety.  It is difficult to calculate the effects of most measures.  Companies install slip resistant flooring.  They provide liquids for their employees to defeat dehydration and businesses heat and air condition offices to assure the comfort of the employees and the visitors.  Often times they decorate spaces for comfort and provide adequate lighting so that everyone may have better visibility.

Our solutions improve the direct safety in retail stores, convenience stores, banks and some restaurants, offices, warehouses, production facilities; virtually all business will see a greater degree of safety which attributes to the health of all.

Employees who spend full or part time hours will find themselves less fatigued and feeling better at the end of the day.

 

Morale

If you ask the owners about morale you almost always get a different answer from the answer of the employees.  It is always perspective.  The owner or manager looks out over the employees and measures their productivity and the sales of the company.  Sometimes a few stars shine.

The employee watches his or her clock and works the day away to get the paycheck.  Occasionally the employee feels gratitude from the employer but most often sees their work as drudgery and at the end of the day they are drained of most of their energy and life.  If you were to ask each part to score from one to ten you would likely see an imbalance.  The perspective of the employer is that they are doing a great job sometimes by just providing a job for the employee.  The better companies to work for realize that it’s more than a paycheck to the employee so they add in incentives, benefits and perks for the job.  Oddly some of these are given only to a select few of the stars.  The employer alienates the rest of the crew because he/she doesn’t see the value in those employees.  That tends to create turn over.

Having an appropriate environment that doesn’t lend to fatigue, stress or dissatisfaction will advance morale.  When the employees feel that the employer cares about them their morale grows and they become happier and more productive.  What we offer has been proven to raise morale by 1/3.

 

Productivity or production

Increased morale increases productivity.  What we will offer increases productivity by almost 6%.  With greater morale employees perform their duties quicker and with more accuracy.  With less fatigue they can perform more tasks and the lost time for bathroom breaks, walks, cigarette breaks, snack breaks is curbed.  Employees who are happier are more willing to do more.

When the environment is better employees can perform tasks better.  It is commonly known that having air conditioning eliminates sweating which means the employee isn’t spending time wiping his brow or fidgeting over wet clothing.  Whenever possible an air conditioned environment will improve productivity.

What we have to offer is not HVAC but can be even more important as a temperature control system.  When a worker can see better and be more comfortable they inherently perform better.  Typically better performance translates advancement, job security and to less turn over.

Human Resources

The challenges of HR are great.  It is widely known that the HR department carries the greatest amount of stress.  Directly our offer will improve the morale of the HR department 33% as well.  In so doing the HR department will perform better.  Since the morale of the company has been improved, the facility is safer, the employee feels the employer cares more about them, productivity increases, the duties of the HR department should begin to shift.  Turnover will drop and the HR department will feel a lull but not to despair the HR Department is critical to growth and what we offer will cause growth.  What we provide eliminates the Hawthorne Affect.

 

Customer relations and retention

As you have easily detected by now one thing leads to another.  Each place of growth will affect how the customer perceives the company.  Happy employees provide better customer service.  Wages aren’t always the key to an employee’s happiness.  We recently visited two pet store chains.  In one store they had not employed any measures we would suggest.  In the other call it PSS, PSS had a cheerful environment and when interviewing the employees found that several had worked in both places.  They claimed PSS was a better place to work.  When asked about wages they admitted the wages to be the same, minimum wage.  When asked why they like PSS better they couldn’t define the difference, it was elusive to them but obvious to us.  “It’s just a better place to work.”  It was the environment they were working in that brought more joy to them.  I wonder if management understands the differences as this was a new store, bright and cheery.

It is no secret to management that customers return when they have a good experience, case in point.  Anyone who has ever shopped at Publix understands the level of customer service the Publix employees provide.  It is said that the Publix employees are treated very well, the morale is very high and the customer satisfaction and sales reflect it.  As Winn Dixie, the largest competitor to Publix in the state of Florida closes stores; Publix is expanding into new states and territories.  As Winn Dixie loses money annually Publix boasts the highest profit margin in the grocery industry.  Companies with customers should take a few pages out of Publix playbook and study their people to see why they are so successful and do what they do.  Publix has made a commitment to and had begun changing their environments to the ways we suggest.

The customers who return typically return for several reasons.  If you were to research the reasons customers do not return you would find that the number one reason – 40% of the time that is, is because of the way they are treated.  We believe 40% is low.  Customers have morale too and it is your job as a business manager/owner to improve the morale of the customers.  Here’s an article in INC that gives great insight.  Every day happy customers tell friends and they all patronize places where they feel safe, healthy, cared about in an environment that is clean, bright and friendly and that improves sales.

 

Sales

Enough has been said but sales managers, general managers, vice presidents and CEOs take heed; a small investment can improve the morale of your customers and employees which will translate into more sales.  This investment will improve productivity which turns product faster allowing you to meet deadline more expediently, resulting in a more satisfied customer.  The offer we have reduces mistakes and accidents which as you know improve the customer’s experience.    Every time you heighten the client’s satisfaction you improve future sales and the growth and success of your business.

When customers buy more, are willing to pay more and return more often that is a well-known factor in improving the bottom line.

 

The bottom line

What we offer improves the bottom line directly and indirectly in three different ways.  First, we reduce expenses.  Two ways we reduce expenses are; by eliminating maintenance on the products we replace; in offices for 15-20 years, in retail spaces for 10-15 years, in hospitals for 7-30 years, in manufacturing for 15-30 years.

The second way is by cutting the power consumption in your buildings by 20-60%.  My suggestions is to find out what your utility company is charging you annually and give yourself 40% back.  For GameStop and TJX Companies that was nearly a 3% increase directly to the bottom line every year for 10-15 years.  It means millions for some companies and over $75M a year for TJX, $40M for Publix and GameStop.  That is not a small amount, TJX – $75M x 15yrs = $1.125B

With today’s margins shrinking we offer an opportunity to add 3% to your bottom line, who does that with a typical ROI of 12-18 months?  For Gerber Collision the ROI is only 8 months.  Your ROI may vary.  Usually the only way to improve your bottom line is to cut variable expenses and increase sales.  It is not often you find a way to cut fixed expenses.

The third way we affect the bottom line is considered soft dollar.  If you look at the landscape of your business and study the issues we’ve covered here today you should understand how positive this can be on your sales and bottom line.  There aren’t any statistics that measure what we’ve covered can do for a business.  The reviews are in: PSS and Publix are growing because employees are happier.  PM and WD’s business is not growing for one fundamental reason, the environment and their morale.  It’s no secret; happier employees are more productive, and a clean fresh and bright environment makes customers happier, so they buy more, return more often which directly affects the bottom line.  Your work environment affects the bottom line.

 

The Environment

The first part of the environment speaks to your space.  In this paper we discussed how our products improve morale, sales, productivity but we haven’t said how.  It is such a simple solution and you won’t likely believe it.

Studies over the last decade have compared businesses and although there are variables that cannot be defined those that can be defined have proven significant findings.  Studies have compared the productivity of employees in similar environments.  The studies have recorded where businesses made marked improvements to the environment they have experienced significant improvements in areas previously discussed.  Here is a synopsis.

According to the study, “Effects of Four Workplace Lighting Technologies on Perception, Cognition, and Affective State,” in 2010: 

  • 8.3% improvement in visual and cognitive tasks
  • Faster reaction times
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Increased vigor/activity
  • Lower rates of depression

 

 

According to the study, ““Building Investment Decision Support for Six Energy Efficient Lighting Retrofits – Recommendations for “Triple Bottom Line Savings,” in 2013:

  • 8.34% improvement in work performance (cites above study)
  • 33% improvement in mood ratings with LED
  • 33% mood improvement translates to 5.76 work efficiency increase
  • 3rd bottom line cumulative ROI equals 289

It is difficult for most people to comprehend that something you have taken for granted can be so detrimental to your business.  Big businesses have spent big money on lighting that has been a sales, productivity, morale, employee retention and customer retention deterrent.  In the last few years Chase Bank made the commitment to retrofit all of their locations and they have been reaping the hard and soft dollar benefits.

 

Finally, the world.  It seems only a portion of the population cares about the environment.  I doubt that statement is true.  I will say there are differences of opinions on how human behaviors effect the environment.   There is a general consensus that dumping toxic waste into our landfills is dangerous.  A select few skirt the authorities and dump barrels of oil or sludge in places far away from the public.  Many people throw away items without concern for the ramifications of the waste.  As landfills engorge protestors gather to enlighten the populace on the gloom and doom ahead.

The products we offer are green and we remove toxic products from your premises safely and responsibly.  It is true; likely in your office you have toxic products.  If you were to dispose of one fluorescent light bulb it seems no one would be bothered by it.  So many businesses will dispose of fluorescent bulbs into their dumpsters routinely as they don’t think about the effects of toxins like mercury on the environment.  It is a general consensus that a small scale is considered acceptable, is it?

In conclusion, it has been determined that commercial properties in the US are responsible for 39% of the greenhouse gases produced in the USA.  The electricity you use in your business contributes to the World’s greenhouse gases.  You can be a part of the solution instead of the problem.

 

 

SUMMARY

If this is where you skipped to you missed a lot.  If you chose to visit the parts you felt relevant to your business or department you missed a lot too.

In any case the summary of this paper is simple.  The facts have been stated that there are nine soft and hard dollar ways to improve your business.  The soft dollar ways start with improving the environment where your employees work and your customers shop.  This improvement will cause morale, productivity, sales and customer relations to get better.  That will cause profits to grow.

The hard dollars come from eliminating maintenance on lighting for periods of 7-30 years with a bumper to bumper warranty for the first five years.  Also from the day the retrofit is completed until a better lighting system is invented and installed the bottom line will shrink as a result of lowering your electricity consumption by 20-60% with an average of more than 40%.  This reduces your carbon footprint and allows you to participate in cutting the greenhouse gases that US business creates currently at a rate of 39% of all gases in this country.  “We must all do our part”

 

A few sources:

http://vanguardenergynj.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/White-Paper-LED-lights-improve-office-productivity.pdf

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/8-reasons-why-youre-losing-customers.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2014/01/19/happy-employees-hefty-profits/#592756d6221a

http://www.economist.com/node/12510632

http://www.lumastream.com/sites/default/files/blog-thumbnails/lumastream_led_lighting_and_workplace_productivity-2.pdf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherclancy/2013/12/26/why-led-retrofits-are-the-trojan-horse-of-the-internet-of-things/#7f3bbf6030f7