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Economy of Motion
Fri, 2010-06-04 00:23 | by Anonymous
By Michael Escalera
One of the best decisions you can make to manage your time, reduce pollution, and lower costs is to have a daily plan. We call it economy of motion.
It's something I was taught at a young age by my parents, and to be honest, it makes sense! The principle is to combine energy and effort so that more can be accomplished with less. To put it in practical terms, here is how economy of motion relates to daily life.
For our business, if we have packages that are ready to be shipped Wednesday afternoon and we know more packages will be ready Thursday and early Friday morning, we will wait until Friday morning to ship all of them together. This saves the energy, time, fuel use, and pollution from what would have been three separate trips!
The concept sounds simple but can be difficult to implement if you don't plan ahead. You can help this policy work in two distinct ways:
1. Manage your client's expectations
2. Forecast needs and plan your time wisely
Managing your client's expectations is crucial to using economy of motion. One of the most common questions we get regarding this policy is doesn't “delaying” packages when they are ready to go affect our clients? The answer is no – it doesn't affect them at all! We inform our clients that it will be approximately four weeks before they receive their order. When we receive an order it is always processed within two business days, and back from the lab within another three business days. We then package the order and place it in the queue for shipping. Even if it doesn't leave our studio with other packages for two to three days, we are still two weeks ahead of schedule from when the clients expect their order! We would never jeopardize our relationships by needlessly delaying orders, but by managing our client's expectations we can save energy, time, fuel use, and pollution by this simple workflow.
The next way to implement this policy is by forecasting and planning your time wisely. When we know on Tuesday that packages will need to be sent on Thursday, we start to plan our other needs around that trip. Whether it's office supplies, on location meetings, or a quick personal grocery run, anything that we can combine into one trip is fair game. We are saving so much by having multiple errands accomplished at one time.
Economy of motion is a simple task that can translate into savings for your time, health, finances, and very importantly, our environment. Just think of what an impact it would make if everyone thought this way!
Michael Escalera is a Christian photojournalist who documents weddings throughout the world. His images have been published nationally and he teaches workshops and offers consulting services to other businesses. You can learn more about Michael by visiting http://www.escaleraphotography.com