Small X Many = Big

The question of what can I do as an individual to help solve a big problem comes up frequently. The environment/global warming, violence in the country, the feeding the poor, finding homes for the homeless – you get the idea. Fortunately, in my opinion, there seems to be some movement toward personal responsibility in taking the actions we can take. Recycling, volunteering, providing one on one help to people in need. You may not feel like you are changing the world but there is evidence that all contributions help.

 

Even UPS thinks so. This humongous delivery company is looking at ways to use less fuel. The motivations are profit oriented as well as environmental, they spend billions of dollars a year on fuel. Some bright engineering type came up with a clever idea. He calculated the fuel impact of every time a UPS truck had to make a turn. Overall, a right turn uses less fuel than a left turn. On average a truck spends more time idling in the intersection making left turns than right turns. Take that small amount of fuel usage multiplied times many millions of turns and there was a real cost. He devised a program that mapped out the most efficient routes for deliveries with an objective of all right turns.

 

Bottom line was millions of dollars of savings to the company’s bottom line.

 

If the concept of Small X Many = BIG works for UPS it should work for all of us. Do all you can.

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