When I recently updated my registration on my car, I realized my home state, Pennsylvania, must be realizing some nice savings based on some of the changes I observed since I had renewed the last year and every year previous. The state department of motor vehicles must have realized that the real world application of the registration process has changed and so it was time to take a closer look at the requirements and process to rationalize how things may change going forward. Through some quick -and much more straightforward than anticipated- research, I realized that the DMV was saving itself over $3M/year by making some minor changes that end up making life easier for both themselves and drivers. What they accomplished is something I'm always looking out for while working with clients: make sure process/configuration and requirements are aligned to avoid overspending!

What the PA DMV did was eliminate stickers that drivers would have to affix to their plates each year. No more stickers means no more sticker costs, $1.1M/year in savings. The reason why this is now possible is that law enforcement officers have access to registration data in their vehicles. No need to have a sticker to tell them the vehicle's registration is up to date. Now that the state does not need to mail stickers, they also don't need to mail registration cards on account of most driver's having access to a printer to print the documents themselves. Less man hours, less paper, less toner, less postage. The postage component alone is worth another $2M/year in savings. As a side benefit, I no longer need to keep an eye on the mail for my sticker and registration, I can complete the process quickly online in one fell swoop, drop my new registration card in my glovebox and it's all done. It's a win-win for the state and drivers.

On hindsight, I would imagine both sides of this one wishes the change were made sooner. In hindsight, it's a no-brainer and we were all ready for it for years. But at the same time, these ideas which are obvious in hindsight tend to hide right in front of our eyes for years because we're all just so used to the way things are. This is a unique advantage my team has while working with clients. We need to spend time with our clients in order to get our arms around their current state: their spend, suppliers, technology/architecture, etc. so we need to ask a lot of questions. In fact, we often inadvertently take a 5 year old's approach to getting up to speed with one "why?" question after another. Often this line of due diligence allows us to explore unchartered territory with the client who often has not considered why certain things are the way they are or at least has not had the time or resource to effect any changes they know are possible.

In many cases, having the right team of people who have the time to explore the current state can uncover enormous savings opportunities. Opportunities that benefit both the business and the end users, and in many cases, the suppliers who are interested in selling the latest and greatest and retiring the old stuff that still works fine, but is costly and won't be supported much longer. These types of opportunities commonly come up in complex categories like IT or Marketing, but we've seen them in categories like Elevator Maintenance, which more closely parallels the simplicity of the state savings over $3M/year on the vehicle registration process. Contact us at www.sourceoneinc.com to learn more about how we can work with you to uncover and capitalize on similar savings opportunities.
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David Pastore

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