Pennies on the floor

Posted by Kevin Flanigan

 Pennies on the floor…..#1

Pennies on the floor is a new blog!  Its goal; to Share and recognize great money saving ideas within a cross function of industrie

pennies_3Pennies on the floor… The first time I can remember hearing this phrase was in an email the owner of the company I was working for had sent me regarding a consultant that the investors were sending over to tour our facility.   The term and the surprise visitor had me puzzled.  What spurred the investor to send someone in, what and where were these pennies on the floor?   As a printer turned eCommerce provider and distribution center, we were struggling to maintain manufacturing capabilities.  Ignoring my request to have the visitor guided thru the shop by someone else an appointment was set up.  The visitor showed up early and I greeted him with a cup of coffee.  Noting that he was a bit early, I invited him back to my office as

I needed to finish a few things prior to hitting the floor.  He seemed pleased, and stated he was grateful for the opportunity to talk with me before we got started.  

A few moments into our conversation it was obvious that this person was brilliant, holding Doctorial degrees in both Economics and Manufacturing Sciences.   Finishing up my work I become increasingly nervous, we were a small shop working with a very small budget.  I began to feel like the guy that talks to builder about replacing cabinets only to hear he thinks the wall should come down and that a steel beam would need to be put in place, but all I wanted were new kitchen cabinets…

Settling down I suggested that I guide him thru the shop as if he were a sales prospect.  We started with customers service worked our way thru the various manufacturing departments finishing up shipping with very few question being asked.  He smiled and said let go back to your office for a moment.

He asked if the email he sent had been forwarded to me, I said yes and he smiled and said do I have any questions.  I grinned and said tell me about the pennies on the floor.


He went on to tell me that the pennies on the floor are an analogy to small incremental pieces of revenue that in the past were not viewed as worth investing in collecting.  Potential revenue that’s been there but you’ve been too important to bend over and pick it up.  (Not being picked up.)  Further they are opportunities, in our case:  Moving our print based customers to eBook and digital distribution.  Secure digital content distribution.  We were already handling USB and were burning and replicating digital media.  CD and DVDs. We had encryption processes as well.

He concluded by saying let go thru the shop again.  This time instead of discussing processes and customers the focus was on the people and plant!  He noted that a shared printer was in a location that forced the majority of the Account Managers (AMs) had to walk across the room some down the hall.  The print quality was not important replacing a high end networked printer with smaller desktop units, save  time and made the AMs happier, happier AMs = Happier customer “ pennies on the floor”.   The lights in the warehouse were on even though no one was in the aisles, adding motion sensors would ensure the lights were on when needed but turned off when they weren’t “pennies on the floor” 


We proceeded thru the building discussing recycling efforts; we were handling paper and board but there was so much more pointed out, “pennies on the floor”.  

Our last stop was again in shipping where we examined titles, discussed how order quantities had been falling.  That was where the opportunity is he said; move these customers into a digital experience for Digital content creation and delivery, “pennies on the floor”.    

Pennies on the floor is a new blog!  Its goal; to Share and recognize great money saving ideas within a cross function of industries.

Do you have a Pennies on the floor experience you’d like to share?  Send your example to Each month we will award a “Pennies on the Floor” certificate to the best ideas for picking up those pennies.

Joe Vesey Has held position in Graphic Design, Print Production, Quality Assurance, Customer support, Call Center operation, Logistic, eCommerce and Engagement Management.  Joe is currently the Director of Client Services and Marketing at Docuserve Inc, Marlborough MA

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Topics: Revenue Building


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