Reduce the Units of Input Not Producing Output

Reduce units of Input (I) available but not producing Intermediate Cost Drivers
(ICDs). This action makes Input levels more directly variable with the quantity of the ICD by reducing the amount of the available Input that is wasted or idle. For example, an employee (I) might produce one subassembly (ICD) per day. During that day, the employee spends a total of one hour waiting for parts for the subassembly. If the Company could eliminate that one lost hour of the employee's work day by providing parts in a more timely manner, the Company could reduce the number of employees (I) needed to produce the same subassembly (ICD) by 1/8th.

E. Reduce other underemployed input.

These changes put idle, or wasted, Purchases and Capital to work. These examples complement the ideas above, which deal primarily with improving the efficiency of People.


No. Industry SIC Year Notes
1 0 2007 As IT costs rise and companies require more power, companies are "virtualizing" servers to get more work out of a smaller number of machines. Virtualization allows one computer to host multiple applications without crashing the machine. Before as little as 5% of computing power would be used, with virtualization 60 to 80% will be.
2 3651 2008 Retailers and manufacturers are taking new steps to stem the tide of product returns. Sony Corp. added an option allowing consumers to engrave their name or other message on a Vaio computer 2006. It expanded the program to its digital cameras as well. The program lets customers personalize products, but a side benefit for Sony is that engraved products can be returned only because of defects or other reasons that are the company's fault. So far the company has saved more than $1 million with the program.
3 4213 2001 Even in a downturn, Knight pulls in some of the highest profit margins in the industry. Its secret? Keep the rigs moving. It doesn't let a tractor sit under a trailer to be loaded or unloaded for any period of time.
4 5731 2004 Best Buy is aiming to outsmart the bargain hunters and coddle the big spenders. To deter the customers who drove profits down, it began enforcing a restocking fee of 15% of the purchase price on returned merchandise. To discourage customers who return items with the intention of repurchasing them at an "open-box" discount, Best Buy is experimenting with reselling them over the internet, so the goods don't reappear in the store where they were originally purchased.
5 6311 2003 Lean production is built around the concept of continuous flow processing rather than batch processing. In the model cell the team was able to create a small batch flow that greatly minimized the build-up of work in progress.
6 7514 2005 In an effort to reduce the number of no-shows and the resulting financial loss, car-rental firms are introducing various techniques to ensure that customers claim their cars. Alamo Rent-a-Car offers a prepayment program which offers online customers who pay at the time of reservation a 10% discount. Those who cancel within 24-hours or fail to show up will pay a $25 penalty while those who cancel before that period will pay $10.
7 8999 2004 Loss-recovery services such as StuffBak sell bright tags and labels for $2 each. They are marked with an owner code, a toll-free number, and the phrase 'return for reward.' After placing the stickers on your device, you register on StuffBak's web site. If someone finds your device and calls StuffBak, you'll pay $14.95 plus shipping charges to get it back. It's a good idea to offer your own cash reward. Rivals Boomerang and Trackitback sell similar services.

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