24 Apr 2009

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!

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coffee_machine_webOne way of perking up your work day is having a good cup of coffee.  Our office used to order large canisters of coffee grounds from office supply stores, and the receptionist would make a fresh pot of coffee everyday.  But it seemed like no one appreciated it and still strolled down the street to Starbucks™ and spent $3.00 for their daily doses.  Most of the time, they’d ask a couple of co-workers to go along.  By the time they got back it’s at least 20 minutes later, some may come back with various snacks from Famima!!™, some may come back with a new pair of shoes or a new gossip topic.  It became more than an issue with coffee taste but productivity issue with management.

So some people suggested buying a new coffee machine and coffee.  Guess what?  Our CFO asked my department to analyze the cost difference if we change our coffee machine to a single serving coffee maker that uses gourmet coffee pods.  Yeah…seems like overkill, but wait till you hear the results!

By looking at the coffee cost, a cup of Foldger’s™ coffee costs $0.08 a cup, and a cup of coffee made from coffee pods costs $0.25.  Despite our frugal culture, we ended up changing the coffee machine and start buying gourmet coffee pods.  Why?  Because the 20-minute Starbuck trips were significantly reduced, as bad tasting coffee was no longer an excuse.  We added a perk for employees, at the same time boosted productivity. 

So the moral of the story is…when evaluating your business expenses, don’t just look at the direct cost implications, but also take into consideration changes that may indirectly impact how people work or behave. That’s how we came about OneSuite Business.  It saves accounting folks and the users a lot of administrative time to shop for individual phone cards, fill out expense reports, get reimbursed etc., and at the same time, gain control of the costs and save on paper work.  Now that’s even a better perk for business owners than a good cup of coffee!

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