Action Catalyst Blog

Is the “CC” email line costing your company millions?

The greatest opportunity for cost savings by companies in the next generation is not in saving money but in saving time.

One of the goals of our new book, Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time (Jan 6, 2015, Penguin/RandomHouse) [For a free 1 hour training on the new book and introduction to the concepts visit:] is to popularize the concept M.V.O.T.

MVOT stands for “Money Value of Time” and it is making an empirical calculation of the hourly rate of what someone’s time is literally worth (based on their pay) and then analyzing which activities take the most amount of time.

For the time being, there are only a very few organizations that we are sharing our research of this with. But last week one of our clients, Reynolds and Reynolds, invited me to talk about it since their President, Ron Lamb was accepted as one of the profiles in the new book as being on of the “Multipliers.”

2 days after my presentation of the new program to their top salespeople, Ron sent me this analysis (slightly modified for context):

What does it cost to be CC’d on an email?  Nothing?  No. Being CC’d on Email is very expensive.

It takes 30 seconds to read the beginning of an email (at minimum) to determine if you really need to respond or even be included on the chain.

Assume for a moment that an individual gets 5 unnecessary “Reply All” messages a day (you can make this higher)…  this is 3 minutes a day…  wasted…

With 4,000 people at Reynolds, this equates to 12,000 minutes…   over the course of a month, we have wasted 240,000 minutes…

An average person works 160 hours in a month.

Which means, we have the equivalent of 25 people doing nothing but reading unnecessary reply all emails!!!!

And how many of us have extra time spare time, in any case?


Ron’s analysis is spot on with what we believe is the next generation of cost savings for companies. Let’s actually apply the concept of MVT to show you what I mean…

Nationwide, the average salaried employee makes about $22 per hour ($45k divided by 2020 working hours per year). 12,000 minutes per day equals 200 hours. Applying the hourly average rate of pay equates to $4400 per day. $4400 per day equates to $132,000 approximately per month.

Extrapolate that value out and it equates to over 1.5 million dollars per year for a company with 4,000 employees like Reynolds and Reynolds!

Companies spend all of their time doing financial reviews and going through their business with a fine tooth comb trying to save pennies from vendors. Meanwhile they are ignoring the gigantic cavernous pits of all of the ways they lose thousands of hours of employee time!

Time that costs real money and real dollars. Yet looking for time savings isn’t nearly as popular or fashionable; but we hope it will be soon.

Where else could you so quickly find a way to cut $1.5 million dollars out of your bottom line?!

PS Imagine all of the Procrastinate on Purpose books you could buy with one and a half million dollars and all the money you could save if your entire team learned to think like a Multiplier! 🙂

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