How To Deliver Value For Money As A Manager                                        

Managers need to review how their team or department spends its budgets on a regular basis, to make sure that funds are being allocated in the most efficient way to achieve objectives and maintain quality. This means looking at all aspects to make sure that everything is fit for purpose and good value for money, for example:

  • fixed costs – e.g. machinery and equipment
  • variable costs – e.g. raw materials or components
  • human resources – e.g. to make sure that the right people are being employed at the right cost to achieve the team’s objectives and quality standards
  • working practices – e.g. to make sure that procedures are relevant and efficient
  • outsourcing opportunities – e.g. analysing whether it is better to perform some activities in-house or to outsource them to specialist companies

Some simple steps towards improving the use of resources in the workplace that are related to external customers, your focus should fall upon:

  • reducing packaging – e.g. encouraging customers to buy loose vegetables and fruit; using smaller boxes, aerosol cans or plastic bags; cutting out unnecessary packaging; using refill packs of coffee rather than new jars every time
  • developing packaging that uses fewer resources – e.g. boxes that stay together with folds rather than glue; reusable bags for customers
  • reducing consumables given out – e.g. giving out one serviette per customer rather than letting them help themselves to a handful; smaller serviettes or tray liners; small hygienic packets of butter rather than a dish of butter that might be wasted

When keeping down operational costs of the team or department, managers may consider, for example:

  • reusing materials – e.g. storage boxes and trays that can be used many times; using china mugs rather than disposable cups
  • avoiding scrap or waste – e.g. managing portion control in a restaurant; training and monitoring production staff in a factory to help cut down on rejects and wasted materials; checking cutting patterns to make sure that they are as efficient as possible
  • reviewing, designing or adjusting procedures, products or services – to maximise the use of resources
  • electronic communication – rather than printed paper; emails or texts rather than paper memos
  • telephone and videoconferencing – rather than travelling around the UK or abroad for meetings
  • using technology effectively – e.g. using smart meters or sophisticated tills to measure consumption and target production efficiently; stock tracking systems to support Just-In-Time supply chain management; computer-based training for staff
  • working to improve staff retention – e.g. managing the team well to avoid excessive recruitment and training costs that occur when there is a high turnover of staff
  • ensuring work practices support compliance – e.g. to help avoid unnecessary investigations, legal proceedings, fines, penalties, compensation and loss of reputation

Managers need to be aware of changes to technology, products and processes to see if there are well-researched, better alternatives.

When considering how to improve the use of energy and deliver value for money, managers will look at, for example:

  • more efficient buildings – e.g. better insulation; improving weaker areas notes on the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate); good-quality glazing with thermal qualities; efficient heating and air conditioning systems; improving the layout within the building to maximise efficiency; solar panels
  • energy-efficient appliances and equipment – e.g. heat pumps for heating and air conditioning; A-rated appliances, such as fridges; low-energy lighting where possible; reduced-energy stand- by modes on appliances
  • more efficient vehicles – e.g. with low CO2 emissions; electric vehicles, especially for short trips; with more efficient engine technology; planning routes and times of journeys to reduce mileage and time spent in traffic jams
  • switching off unnecessary electrical items – e.g. lights, office machines, air conditioning and heating when not in use
  • using more sympathetic packaging materials – e.g. looking at packaging with a lower carbon footprint
  • consolidation of working hours – so that the building only has to be fully operational for a shorter time
  • home working – e.g. reducing an organisation’s costs if they can use a smaller building; saves commuter time, expense and emissions, although there is an energy cost from using the employee’s home
  • telephone and videoconferencing – e.g. using technology to hold virtual meetings, especially when participants are many miles apart
  • longer but less frequent meetings – e.g. making the most of people having travelled to meet up so that they do not have to meet so often
  • the carbon footprint of the different options – e.g. having a small, low-energy photocopier might seem to be a good option, but if it cannot cope with the load and has to be replaced every six months, the overall costs will be higher over a year

Good Luck!

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