Layoff alternatives .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - Firms hit by global credit crunch are getting creative with their savings methods. Some install motion sensor lighting systems to lower bills, others limit elevator usage. Replacing wooden hangers with plastic ones seem to yield results for the clothing sector. All this is done with the hopes of averting layoffs.

In the shadow of the global financial crisis, people have become more creative in generating new methods of saving.

Although some companies have resorted to layoffs, many others are leaning toward generating other solutions to the problem. Some have lowered air-condition levels, while some withheld elevator usage, except for those who are sick and pregnant. Some companies cut from their celebration and entertainment expenditures, while others saved by cutting off teas service, stationary expenditure or even limiting vehicle usage.

Companies operating in the ready-to-wear clothing sector have replaced wooden hangers with mica and plastic ones. Smaller size packages and plastic bags are surfacing. Many companies have taken measures to lower energy costs, like using motion sensor lighting systems to lower electricity bills. Some firms have replaced their faucets with those that have sensors or photocells.

Psychological measures
Besides the physical measures, many companies are also taking psychological measures. For example Silk & Cashmere, a well-known clothing company, has prohibited its employees from saying the word "crisis."

"We will not layoff any employees. In order to keep our promise we have postponed our previous plans to hiring three new top level executives," said Ayşen Zamanpur, Silk & Cashmere’s board chairwoman. The company has published a smaller and thinner 2009 summer catalog. The employees do not print paper unless necessary. The firm has also laid out a plan for limited vehicle use.

Twigy, a slipper production company, has accepted that the 2009 will be the year of "zero" profit. That foresight has helped reduce the stress of its employees.

"In hopes of lowering production costs, Twigy focused on manufacturing products that are easier to sell," said Sinan Öncel, company’s board chairman. The company increased its spending on advertisements and focused more on its affordable products, targeting the majority of the population. Twigy also returned some of its rented vehicles.

Aras Holding, the owner of one of Turkey’s biggest transportation establishments Aras Cargo, has offered franchises. That helped the company to lower its costs, said Evrim Aras Sağıroğlu, company’s board chairwoman. The company, which has started to use motion sensor lights, has also began to use a single transfer center on Saturdays.

DHL, another well-known transportation company, cut from its travel and entertainment expenditures. The firm also launched a new program called "First Choice" and it is working on improving its performance.

Shipment costs
In order to lower shipment costs, Koton, a clothing company, is planning to collaborate with other firms, said Yılmaz Yılmaz, Koton’s owner. By simply collecting hangers that used to be disposed at its stores, Koton obtained 90 percent savings. Cardboard used in shipments were replaced with plastic boxes, and various sizes of plastic bags were produced in order to lower the company’s costs.

İnci, a well-known shoe maker, limited the use of elevators in its headquarter. Currently only those who are pregnant or sick can benefit from lifts. The company also turned down the heaters at its production and administration offices. İnci also limited communication costs and cut down on its transport expenses by uniting several services going the same direction.

Doğtaş, a furniture company, has announced its decision to close down its tea stations and employees of the company used their leave of absences when the crisis seemed to deepen the most.