A True Story of Wasted Time and Money
When Malia and I were talking about topics for this newsletter, Malia, our Sr. Productivity Specialist, told me the following story I want to share with you. I share this with you to demonstrate how much time and money is wasted when you don’t have a centralized repository at work for digital files or the proper access for those that need access. I also share this information because there are things you can do to ensure this does not happen to your company or organization you volunteer for.
With “Get Organized Month” just around the corner in January, I’d like to suggest that you consider the “lessons learned” in this article so you can start 2018 in an organized and efficient manner.
Malia volunteers her time for her son’s Robotics team. Malia and another volunteer were tasked with the following GOAL: Establish a new relationship with a “local” vendor who could print t-shirts for three robotics teams.
Sounds like a simple task that won’t take much time, right?
In the past, the Executive Director (ED) of the team used an “online” printer where she uploaded various team logos and other artwork from a variety of storage locations. The locations included:
• A shared Google Drive
• Google Docs
• And more
WOW! That is TOO MANY locations to store files, images and more. How does one even know where to begin to look for anything? This was the question Malia had to answer – and it wasn’t easy, or quick because the ED sent only a link to her shared Google Drive – stating that “everything they needed was on this drive.”
Oh, and after the ED sent the Google Drive link to Malia where she “thought” everything was stored, she left for Australia for 18 days! It was up to Malia to solve the mystery of where the logos and artwork were stored.
Malia and her team member had 4 weeks to get the shirts printed; which at the onset of the project seemed like plenty of time to accomplish their Goal.
The first search to find all of the appropriate artwork took over THREE hours to try to match up to what was on the current t-shirts and unfortunately it could not all be found.
Malia sent an e-mail to the ED asking if there was any other possible location where she could find the rest of the artwork and logos and she was ASSURED by the ED that it was all in the Google Drive. After spending more time searching and not finding what she needed, she jumped on SLACK to ask some of the teams if they had any of the files she needed and was able to obtain some more of the artwork, but not a logo for the third team.
With time ticking, (or shall I say time-wasting), they were running the risk of not meeting the deadline to have the shirts printed for all three robotics teams in time for their competition.
In fact, they couldn’t even get a proof of the t-shirt because some of the artwork provided was in the wrong file format and the size of the images were too small for printing!
WHAT TO DO?
They decided to incur $150 in graphic design charges with the new vendor in order to print the t-shirts by their deadline, yet at the end of the day, they STILL did not have everything they needed to print the t-shirts for all three teams with the new vendor.
$150 may not seem like a lot of money, but to a non-profit organization that did not have this in their budget, it is a lot of money.
Let’s also think about the COST of Malia’s time – that is where the DOLLARS really ADD UP!
As mentioned, Malia volunteers her time to the organization, so they aren’t paying; instead, Malia is the one that payed dearly with her lost time; time she will never get back.
With the deadline looming, and shirts needed for competition, Malia had no choice but to go back to the former “online” vendor and inquire if they could meet the deadline. They could, but at a cost of 40% more to expedite the shirts they needed – all because they wasted so much time trying to find the correct artwork and logos – in the correct format and sizes needed.
WHAT A WASTE!
When the ED returned from her 18 day vacation to Australia while other scrambled to meet her goal for the volunteers, the ED realized that she had stored the rest of the digital files in Dropbox – of which Malia DID NOT HAVE ACCESS TO!
WHAT THIS ULTIMATELY COST…
• Well over 10 hours of lost time
• $150 in graphic design costs (thankfully this work can be used in the future)
• 40% expedited fees for shirts and printing
• Much unnecessary aggravation of volunteers
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE
• Standardize on ONE location to store artwork and logos – where those that need access, have access
• Ensure this location is backed up
• A folder called Artwork or Graphics should have been created
• Inside the Artwork or Graphics folder, there should have been THREE folders – one for each team
• In each team’s folder, ONLY the CURRENT artwork and logos should be stored
• The names of each of the digital files should contain the name of the artwork or logo and the size so it’s clear to ANYONE needed the file
For Example: Team 1 Logo in Color for Website.png
Team 1 Logo in Color for T-shirts.png
Team 1 Logo in Color for Print.png
Team 1 Logo in Black and White.png
Team 1 Artwork Front of Shirt 400 x 800.png
Team 1 Artwork Back of Shirt 200 x 300.png
You get the idea…..
STRUCTURE, CONSISTENCY and NAMING CONVENTIONS ARE KEY.
Had the example above been in place prior to the 18 day vacation to Australia, it would have DRASTICALLY increased the efficiency and effectiveness of accomplishing the original goal in a timely fashion.
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.
While this may seem small and insignificant, I challenge you to think about how this affects your own business or the company you work for.
How much time and money do you and the company you work for waste every year, looking for file (digital or non-digital) because there is:
• NO STRUCTURE
• NO SYSTEM
• NO CONSISTENCY
• NO NAMING CONVENTIONS
• NO BEST PRACTICES
In some organizations it costs thousands of dollars in salaries – I know, because we’ve worked with companies to streamline their digital files so they could take control and stop wasting time and money.
MAKE 2018 DIFFERENT; MAKE IT THE YEAR FOR EFFIECIENCY IN YOUR ORGANIZION.
If there is anything our team of Productivity Specialists and IT Specialists can do to help you regain control and time, please give us a call. We can work with you in-person or virtually.
Here’s to an EFFICEIENT and PRODUCTIVE 2018!
~ Making You More Productive - so you have More Time for Life®
Laura Leist, CPO, MOS
CPO = Certified Professional Organizer
MOS = Microsoft Office Specialist