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Kickin’ Butt and Takin’ Names
February 25, 2011 @ 08:58 AM | By Jill Huselton

You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about the recession forcing people to ‘do more with less’…less money, less people, less time. A recent article in USA Today looked at how companies today have smaller, more efficient staffs, which is becoming the new normal. It seems that in order to keep things moving, companies were forced to downsize or cut ‘extras’, but now people are getting used to making do and don’t necessary need to go back to the way things were pre-recession.

A lot of the changes, the article says, come from creating more efficiencies, either from combining job responsibilities after a position was eliminated, implementing new software to streamline processes or just not doing things that didn’t really add much value to the overall goals of the company. Here are some specific examples of what companies changed:

  • UPS added computerized labels on packages to better organize truck loading based on delivery sequence and to employ fewer loaders.
  • Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline combined staff for information technology, finance and other support functions that used to be replicated in each business unit.
  • Avis Rent A Car trimmed its staff of shuttlers — who drive vehicles from one rental outlet to another — by standardizing how the shuttlers are assigned, to cut idle time between trips, and the routes they take.

Have you found yourself in the situation where you’re doing double-duty: covering extra sales territories, managing additional teams, taking over projects you’re not familiar with? Using conferencing is a great way to reach more people and get more done.

  • Instead of trying to hit five cities in four days, use video conferencing to introduce yourself to the new clients you inherited.
  • You can start weekly project review meetings with a team now reporting to you using online meetings so you can include everyone and all be on the same page.
  • Even if you are making a few trips, everything doesn’t have to come to a standstill because you’re out of the office. You can join that audio conference call from the airport or your car.

Going this route not only works with the limited travel budgets you probably have, but also helps you feel like you’ve got more hours in the day; in the time it takes to travel for one meeting, you could have three or more virtually. Talk about checking things off the list!

How are things in your company? What new initiatives have you implemented to deal with smaller staffs and bigger responsibilities?

Jill HuseltonJill Huselton is a senior marketing manager at InterCall. She's been in the conferencing industry for nearly 15 years, working in operations, account management and marketing, mainly based in Colorado. Before leaving the Mile-High City, she hiked a 14er, one of her top accomplishments. Now she's traded the mountains for the beach and works from a home office in North Carolina.

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