Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bergdahl on cost consciousness of Wal-Mart

Chapter 5 of Michael Bergdahl's book is about Wal-Mart's legendary cost-control culture. Most of us have already heard the examples of Wal-Mart executives (including CEO Lee Scott) sharing hotel rooms while out on the road.

My favorite example, though, is the one about Wal-Mart personnel in the corporate headquarters in Bentonville being required to use both sides of a piece of paper before throwing it away.

From page 122..
       "Even the janitor gets into the cost-control act. One morning I walked into my office and the night before the janitor had carefully placed a 'Grim Reaper paper waster' card squarely in the middle of my desk to point out to me I was wasting company resources. As it turns out, I had thrown paper that hadn't been used on both sides into my trash can. ... That was the last time I wasted a piece of paper. I became obsessed like everyone else about controlling paper costs."