How Resource Efficiency Drives Results – The Walmart Story


Walmart supply chain efficiency

Walmart delivered 361 million more cases while driving 287 million fewer miles because of their supply chain efficiency in 2011.

REfficient, at our core, is to help companies be efficient and effective with resources – whether inventory, money or the environment. We see everyday how a smart solution, such as purchasing RE, can save significant money and help the environment through reuse and waste diversion.

But let’s look elsewhere. Take Walmart for example, a company that drove supply chain efficiency early on to offer lower prices to customers. While there has been criticism of the company due to “The Walmart Effect”, some of the company’s initiatives around efficiency and sustainability are worth noting due to their results. Their 2012 Global Responsibility Report details these results which include: Continue reading

How to Adopt a Green Lifestyle into Your Business

REfficient business sustainability

Adopting green initiatives can help businesses save the environment, save money and appeal to a wider range of customers.

Being green in business doesn’t just mean selling green products. A green business is a green lifestyle. Environmentally friendly entrepreneurs and CEO’s can adopt their green lifestyles into business easily. By making a few simple changes in the way your business is run, you can make your company more eco-friendly while appealing to a wider range of customers. One survey found that 82% of American adults claim to be well informed about companies and brands with a strong track record for sustainability and 80% of those consumers let that knowledge guide their purchasing decisions (Harris Interactive). Here are some simple steps your business can take to become more sustainable.

Energy Efficiency

Becoming more energy efficient in business can save you money and increase profit margins. When it comes to energy efficiency, you need to know your pain points and where you can improve and cut costs.

  • Conduct an energy audit. Are lights being left on in the conference room or is the copy machine not shut down on days away? See where your business can cut down on energy consumption. Continue reading

How long should you reuse something before recycling it?

REfficient phone

Old versus now – what is the break-even point for reuse versus recycling?

Reuse versus recycling – especially in the age of increasing energy efficiency gains – is a great question. There are many factors that go into whether something should be reused or recycled, so it is never a clear cut answer.

To give some context to the issue, a study1 was done which looked at the ecological footprint (EF)of mobile phones. The study showed that the overall EF of mobile phones was less than 1% of the average earth share, while computers’ EF represented 4%. These numbers may not seem large, but given everything else in our lives which has a footprint – coupled with global biocapacity shrinking – these numbers do have a large impact indeed.

As one might suspect, the EF is different for a unit’s first year of purchase than other years of use due to manufacturing and transportation. The study showed that the ecological footprint of a mobile phone is 72-82 gm2 for the first year. For every other year of use, the EF is 17 gm2, based on factors like energy usage.  Continue reading

Feeling Overwhelmed? Five Tactics for Entrepreneurs to Get Back On Track

REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty interviewed

Opportunities are great, but what do you do when you become overwhelmed?

A few weeks ago I blogged about REfficient reaching a tipping point, which has led to a number of great things. We had market awareness like never before, higher conversion rates and new found opportunities.

Yet I also talked about the dark side – things were taking a toll on me. I was feeling overwhelmed. I was having trouble sleeping at night. I was struggling to keep up.

Thankfully I have regained balance and am no longer experiencing the stress I did a month ago. Here are five things which I did to gain some perspective and get back on top.

Take some alone time

The first thing I did was to step away and take some alone time. I took two hours, had a cup of coffee (well, two), and disconnected. Continue reading

Choosing the Right Condition when Buying and Selling Surplus Equipment

projectors for sale

Buying and selling surplus equipment, like this projector, can lead to questions on its condition.

How do I know which condition to list my equipment for sale in? How do I know what condition the equipment we buy will be in?

We get asked these questions a lot at REfficient and rightly so.  Preowned, RE, and used equipment – whatever you call it – means that conditions can be variable, which can lead to uncertainties.

We’ve been answering these questions for a long time too and are happy to announce some updates to reflect best practices. With our new platform, we are launching an updated set of conditions to help people choose the best fit for their needs. These conditions are listed below.

Yet irrespective of conditions, there are a couple of questions that can help guide you if you are buying or selling surplus equipment. Continue reading