When Premium Beverage Inc., an Atlanta beer distributor, decided to do some belt-tightening, the company turned to its more than 200 employees for ideas. One suggestion that has already saved more than $1,900 was to eliminate 18 of its 50 telephone extensions. Shared extensions have cut down on personal use of the telephones as well as the amount of time spent talking, claims Joni Carter, Premium's treasurer and controller.
Notes on bulletin boards have replaced multiple copies of memos to employees. "Red flag" areas at the snack bar and time clock get extra attention. Savings: $800 annually.
Another sales-conscious employee recommended that Premium's 32 salespeople hand-deliver refund checks to their customers for returned kegs or bottles. Besides saving $360 in mailing costs, personal delivery offers such sales opportunities as picking up additional orders or selling new displays. "A manager can always see a salesperson if the salesperson has money to give him," says Carter.