Yesterday I found out that a shortage of styrofoam cups in the kitchen that we experienced in our building was actually occuring all over the Redmond campus. Some of us joked last night that this was the latest in the string of penny wise, pound foolish cost cuttings in the same vein as only having office supplies on one floor of the building.

This morning I realized that moving all of a particular resource to one floor to "cut costs" was actually an example used in The Dilbert Principle in a section entitled Companies That Turn On Themselves.

I wonder what other Dilbert-esque cost cutting moves folks out there have experienced? Post your favorites in the comments to this post.


Tuesday, November 2, 2004 4:02:49 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
My organization eliminated manufacturing operators' email accounts to reduce the allocated cost for email. This, of course, eliminated no hardware or maintenance cost on the back end, so I expect the per-account allocation charge to eventually increase accordingly to accomodate it. Meanwhile, we have to go through alot of extra steps to send communications to those "without email". It also took an entire team of people to decouple user logon accounts from the email accounts so that one could exist without the other.
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 7:13:15 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
While everybody in the company uses MS Outlook, my company uses some "free" shared calendar server from Sun. This piece of junk application was chosen because it was free and IT didn't want to budget for an Exchange server license.

There is however a mandate that we use this online calendar software so meetings can be scheduled between departments. This thing barely works and is always doing duplicating events or notifications, or generally being all around confusing.

So now, rather than paying the cost for Exchange, every employee of the company (a couple of thousand people) spends 10-15 per day struggling with the "free" calendar.

Don Kackman
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 9:05:36 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Well, for the last two days, 2 developers here have been struggling to assemble there computers. I'm certain we saved $100 by buying the components separately. Unfortunately, the components are not compatible :)
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 10:43:03 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
A very, very large semiconductor company I consulted for removed all of the wall clocks in the fab plant and adjacent office facility. As they explained in the company newsletter, people were showing up for meetings late, because the clock near their cube was off from the clock in the meeting room. They looked into sychronized clocks (like we had in my elementary school in the 60s) and decided that would cost multiple tens of thousand of dollars. Besides, everyone (circa 1994) had clocks on their Windows workstations (not in the fab plant) and on their pagers (also not in the fab plant). No mention was made of how all the desktops and pages got synchronized (they were not). So the company removed all of the clocks, including from the meeting rooms, lobby, break rooms, etc. Problem solved. A slightly more effective solution might have been to have an intern or someone with a watch walk around once every few months and synchronize the clocks. As opposed to having no one ever know when a meeting should start. Makes you wonder what they did before that when Daylight Savings Time started and ended. I sent the newsletter along to Scott Adams.
Stuart Celarier
Saturday, December 4, 2004 8:01:48 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
At a large metro water utility that I know of, the bean counters on the top floor have analyzed and determined that if they simply stop boosting (pressurizing) water to customers during peak demand times, they can save money on their electric bill. Unfortunately, reason, logic and common sense all seem to be falling on deaf ears in countering this "cost management strategy". Even the old mission statement ("Pump and Treat Water") doesn't seem to be deterring them...Oh well, at least a blanket PO (with web store) for all the latest ink pens, usb drives, leather portfolios & computer peripherals is available to virtually all employees!
U Serious?
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