Continuing to look our PNL, we already treated the reduction of energy consumption, of sending and moving and we also studied in-depth “the paper” subject. There is also other ways to go green and reduce you costs in parallel, and the best way to have a good overview of the actual situation and where you want to go is by listing the last few months’ operations. Listings and numerical representations are largely used in re-organizing project since they allow having an overall overview of the situation. A green transition can take time since it requires not only to change products you use, but also habits and there is where you will have to show as entrepreneur you capacity to innovate and manage your team in a way that the change will become nearly natural.
Today…what is happening in my business? Do I know?
If you are a small store / office (accounting, lawyer, any services…) and you do not have the possibility to engage costs for green consulting management, you still have an option “do it yourself”. In our society, people have learned to find everything ready like food in super markets, but regularly forget that most of the services available on the market can be made by our own brain and hands. How to green your office equipment costs? The first step is to define your AS IT situation, in order to be able to know where, how you can proceed.
Since we are speaking about cost line, in practice you must create a small database with the data of your business. Meaning? Take all the concerned invoices of the past 3 or 6 months (more if you evaluate that a year of data will be more representative) and list them by category. The tool I recommend to use, in terms cost and friendly usage, is Excel. If you are an advanced user of Microsoft Office, you can also create an Access base or if you have small number of invoice to study you can even use a piece of paper. The choice of the tool use is up to the entrepreneur, depending on what is available and what is more practical for him. In you Excel you need to inform the necessary information you will use: month, year, category of cost (pencils, printing equipment, paper …) frequency (monthly cost = recurrent, one-shot=exceptional), type of costs (pencil, paper, pen, ink …), quantity, price and final amount paid. You can add in addition the type of payment used; the terms of payment (have you the possibility to pay in 30 days, 60…).
Once the database is created you can continue on the analysis, for which you have to keep in mind: what do I want to see? Because statistics can provide you with the same information in a very different way depending on what you need to prove, see or understand. In the case of “office equipment and green transition”, you will need at least to show average costs, suppliers’ amount, quality and green footprint of the equipments. Key indicators can/must be adapted to the company’s activity and to the final goal and to the budget available. To facilitate the green evaluation, you can apply to each supplier or product your own green rating. Internal ratings are used in many big companies, but why not in a small store? It is a good tool to make benchmarks between processes, products and suppliers. Think: what does my suppliers green? They provide the company with eco products; they make easy the recycling or any other eco-initiatives; their corporate responsibility; where the products are manufactured… By choosing 3 to 4 global trends it is easier to evaluate each supplier according to them and make a decision.
At the end of this step, the entrepreneur must be able to describe the actual situation not only in terms of costs, but also he is able to define where the corrective actions should take place.
Next week, step 2 Office equipment green transition
Whatever the size of your business, if you ever need to evaluate a cost line of your business, do not hesitate to contact me cam.delcour@gmail. With your knowledge of your market and a precise analysis with pertinent tools, we can easily and cheaply find a way for you to get productivity, effectiveness and more profit by just making small changes that you never thought about. I can provide you excel database tools aligned to your type of business, or any other help you can possibly need to make your green transition a reality.