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A Commissioner Of Saving Money


Don’t you love it when you learn about somebody using her or his noodle to solve a problem, instead of just throwing a bunch more money at it?

On this very radio station, this wonderful station, you may have heard the story of how in Cambridge, MA, they cut bicycle thefts at a subway and bus station by two-thirds with a cardboard cop.

They substituted a cardboard cutout of a uniformed security officer and a couple cameras for the $200,000 it would cost to station a real, live officer.

Can’t you just see it? This life-size cutout with a menacing sneer. Maybe a voice balloon saying, “I’m watching these bikes and I’m watching you.” 67% fewer thefts, probably saved over $150,000.

When I lived in Boston many years ago, the state was called “Taxachussetts.” I suspect it still is. So I’m sure that the Bay-Staters love examples of public employees who use their brains instead of the taxpayers’ dollars. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

How about Memphis adding a “Commissioner of Money Saving Ideas” and accessible suggestion boxes all over town. Pay her or him $50,000 a year, or 5% of the documented savings, whichever is higher, then promote the suggestion boxes like crazy.

Good ideas come from everywhere; you just have to know one when you see it.

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com.

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