Employee Engagement

VM Smart Stations™ power up workplace productivity.

For companies across the country, the fruits of a thriving labor force have been bountiful lately. Worker productivity hit its fastest pace in three years, rising 2.9 percent in the second quarter of 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Aug. 15.This is something to rally around because it was the biggest quarterly gain since the first quarter of 2015.

But businesses can always do better, and the larger question is: are companies harnessing all this extra surplus by offsetting their costs in big-ticket areas such as office supply distribution?

Lost productivity impacts time, costs businesses revenue and, quite frankly, frustrates workers. One area that puts a particular strain on productivity is office-supply distribution. In many companies, this is a locked or unlocked supply cabinet with a person assigned to track and re-order materials. And if the supply cabinet is left open, it creates a whole different set of money challenges — unhappy workers use it as a free-for-all for to take out their daily frustrations. Dr. Doreen R. Orion, a psychiatrist in Boulder, Colo., and author of “I Know You Really Love Me,” notes employees who feel unappreciated at work lash out as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction. Pilfering office supplies is one way they attempt to re-establish equilibrium in the workplace.

Conversely, engaged and happy employees are healthier, more productive, and a lot less absent from work. But locking up supplies does not a happy employee make. And some 70 percent of American workers are disengaged, according to the 2017 Gallup State of the American Workforce report. Time is money, right? It might take someone 10 minutes to field an employee request for supplies, find the supplies, log the transaction and then deliver the keyboard, power cords or what have you. That takes them away from more productive work (his or her real job). Multiply that by several times a day, week, month and then year, times the number of employees handling supply requests, and you’ve got a big number in the loss column. You can calculate your own scenario here.

It’s also really frustrating when you have to wait for what you need to do a job.
Work stress leads to a loss of productivity, turnover, accidents and more, costing businesses more than $300 billion annually, the American Institute of Stress reports. A more positive environment is simply a more productive one.

That said, companies have turned to a new and innovative way to automate the time-consuming process of office-supply distribution—IVM Smart Stations. These office-supply vending machines fix the time, money and frustration issues and replace them with instant access to supplies. Companies with custom vending machines demonstrate they care about doing something concrete to improve the workplace for employees. Another byproduct? Big productivity gains—as much as 35 percent in some cases.

What does your company stand to gain by automating the supply channel with an IVM Smart Station? You should look into that.