The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Turning things on end to achieve results!

Business Lessons From Elephants And Mosquitoes

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Many Small Bites Can Take Big Toll

Many Small Bites Can Take Big Toll

I owe this topic partially to a mentor I had back when I was working for a CPA firm early in my career.  He used the example of the elephant and mosquito.  He asked me if I had ever been trampled by an elephant and of course the answer was no.  Then he asked if I was ever bitten by a mosquito and of course the answer was yes.  He then dropped the punch line.  He said; “that just goes to show you that it’s the small things that will get you.”

Let’s apply the lesson of elephants and mosquitoes to a business setting.  Large amounts of transactions or a large volume of activity can lead to a potential opportunity to save significant money.  In conjunction with the elephant and mosquito lesson my mentor also liked to say “the little things can add up to make a big difference.”

Let’s look at an example how little things can bite you by adding up to make a big difference.  Let’s assume a delivery company has 5 trucks and delivers 6 days a week.  That amounts to 300 delivery days per truck or a total of 1,500 delivery days.  If the company can find a way to save just 10 miles per day per truck they will save 15,000 miles traveled.  Big delivery trucks get about 8 miles per 1 gallon of fuel.  At 8 miles per gallon at $2.80 per gallon for diesel fuel cost, those 15,000 miles add up to a savings of $5,250 per year.  This savings is substantial – at just 10 miles per day per truck.  Keep in mind this savings is every year and right now diesel fuel at $2.80 is almost $1/gallon cheaper than average.

How do you save those 10 miles per truck?  This is where it gets interesting.  In the case I am speaking of it was a very low tech solution.  The delivery drivers were delivering in an established route in a local area and had gotten in a habit of returning back to the office for their lunch break.  On average it was about 5 miles each way from the delivery route back to the office.  It made sense after the savings was determined to stay out on the route until the truck was empty or at the end of the day whichever came first.  Most days the end of the day came first or was simultaneous to the truck emptying.

Route efficiency is extremely important for a delivery company and various software exists that can optimize daily deliveries.  These software options can also generate invoices and into the accounting software and save input time for clerical staff.  It is an investment that typically has a pay back of less than 2 years and should be considered if the current accounting software can easily be integrated.

I hope this example can lead you to discover where your little things are adding up to make a big difference that you can exploit to your advantage.  Have a great week hunting mosquitoes.

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Written by pacelinebiz

May 4, 2015 at 8:01 am

One Response

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  1. Like this.

    Kathy Murauskas

    May 4, 2015 at 3:10 pm


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