As I finished up loading up my Ford Escape with furniture that should never have fit, I sat on the railing to catch my breath and watched the customers around me. I took notice to the couple stuffing their Ford Festiva with enough furniture to furnish a castle. I’m still not sure how they drove off before me.
So here’s a company that figured out how to reduce costs in every way, right down to having the customer pick and load their own heavy furniture. Surely, there must be some injuries and bad backs triggered, but that’s another issue to ponder. IKEA has designed the ultimate mobility in shopping carts and mini hand trucks, enabling the customer to move heavy furniture from point A to B. My 4 year old son loves riding in the carts because he knows I can’ resist the fast turns and drifting like a race car on dirt.
IKEA is as smart with cost savings as any company run today. They can be closely analyzed to replicate some of the cost savings. Besides customers shoving king sized beds into smart cars and defying physics, smaller, yet effective features can be implemented in any business.
Two examples come to mind:
The reduction in paper usage comes into play with two unique areas. First, the door greeter encourages the use of an iPhone or smart phone to take pictures of the images and barcodes opposed to writing down each piece of furniture on their paper cards. The door greeter is also 85 years old and probably has no idea what a smart phone is, but that is beside the point. This reduces paper costs and labor associated in cleaning up paper mess. Secondly, my personal favorite, paper towel usage is reduced in the restrooms by using the USA made, super-fast, Xlerator hand dryer. The Xlerator dries hands in 10 seconds and holds up to the heavy restroom traffic IKEA brings. Hand Dryers such as the Xlerator reduce or eliminate clogged toilets and costs associated with maintenance in keeping the paper towel stocked. Paper towel dispensers often break down or run out of batteries (if automatic).
The single most important reason to consider switching from paper towels to hand dryers is the cost savings a business can achieve. IKEA, like many, has realized the cost savings can be significant.
Learn more about hand dryers vs. paper towels now!