Talk:Business Plan

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I think if we're going to make a new road map, or a strategy then this business plan will need to be worked over. There's a lot of great stuff in here to work with, but it does need some fine tuning.


Suggested Medium-term goals

Of course, most of these will need actual numbers and some of them may need new procedures to measure them. We should aim as far as possible to use ones that are already measurable as we can see where we're coming from as well as decide where we're going.


  1. # systems received/(# systems sold + # systems donated through hardware grants)[would need to start counting systems sold wholesale, not currently done]
  2. Proportion of revenue from sales vs. recycling (this assumes hardware grants are relatively constant, also we might need to account for in some way variations the underlying commodity values (copper and gold)).
  3. # hardware grants completed.
  4. # adoption boxes.
  5. # build boxes earned.
  6. Proportion of Vancouver's ewaste received.


  1. # volunteers attending orientations.
  2. # volunteers completing 24 hours.


  1. # attending open classroom.
  2. # classes put on.


Moving in to a larger building or expanding to a second location to meet these aims.

Jordan: I would think 2nd location more than a move because of the extreme low cost of our current place. It would be very foolish to give it up.

Jessica: Agreed Jordan, we did not talk about a new location to move our existing operation into, we discussed having a full time classroom and/or store in a separate location.

Agenda for first business plan meeting

  1. Finalize medium-term goals (suggested list as above), or decide on the process for establishing these by the end of October.
  2. Decide which other elements are missing from the existing business plan. I agree with those in the group who have already said that much of the current one is sound, but lacking in up-to-date detail.
  3. To the end of including these elements within the plan, delegate tasks within the group, or to members of the group to seek advice as needed.
  4. Set a time-line/process for bringing it all together in a first working draft, with a deadline of November 26th.


October 25th 7pm Gain Wah (nom nom nom) Business Plan
Attendance: Joshua, Tim, Tyler, Devenne, Jessica.
Minutes: Jessica
Facilitated: Tim
Set Medium Term Goals: approx 3-5 years
Expand the operation into bigger building to increase our store, build, education and recycling areas.
Have multiple drop off/pickup locations in the GVA
We currently recycle approx 5% of the E-Waste in GVA. We want to be recycling 30% or x%
Hardware grants from 20 machines a month to 50
Number of adoptions: from 5 a month to 10
Build boxes earned: from 5 a month to ???
Proportion of revenue of sales and recycling to be 70/30%
New volunteers from 100 a month to 150
Number volunteers completing 24 hours ???
Education- number attending OHN and OCP from 50 to 75 per month
Number of open classes from 5 per month to 8
Have a full time classroom space for community education
Dedicated software program/classes for volunteers ranging from beginners to advanced
Increasing reuse rate from blah blah to blah
More community advertising and community sponsorship
Increase Marketing/Outreach- Tim to update Marketing strategy

To have a first draft by the end of November.
Staff commit to filling in current numbers.
Tyler/Joshua/Geoff will brainstorm higher-level stations.

Which other elements are missing from the existing business plan:
Using movie rentals and sales as a more active revenue stream. Rewrite that bit.
Accessibility for public and volunteers- Devenne commits to writing this.
HR/staff personal development- Jessica will write this.
Job skills training, our success level: Jessica to look into it.


Historical Statistics

Number of systems received by year

Year Total
2007 1627
2008 5768
2009 9506
2010 9286
2011 7822 YTD (9386 Linear projection for the year)

Hardware Grants

These stats are for January to October 2011

Component Total Per month Notes
Systems 149 15
CRTs 79 8
Printers 21 2 Majority in a single donation, likely skewed stat
Cards 56 6
Cables 130 13

Total filled grants: 43 or about 4.3 per month.

New Volunteers per month

2008 2009 2010 2011

Number of volunteers per month completing their first 24 hours

2008 2009 2010 2011

Total Volunteer hours per month

2008 2009 2010 2011

Number of adoptions/Build adoptions per month

These haven't been tracked via the database or any other method. Geoff has estimated we are currently doing around three per week.

Proposed targets

Percentage of material recycled

We are currently recycling approximately 5% of the quantity ESABC handles for the Greater Vancouver Regional District. This is a fairly rough estimate, perhaps 50% off so 2.5-10%. As a rough target let's look at 30%.

Points to consider in deciding the target:

  • We need to create a better estimate of the quantity which we are handling to measure our success at hitting the target.
  • The quantity of reusable material within the overall recycling, we may be getting a higher reuse portion than the overall recycling stream.
  • ESABC's metric for service is a depot within 30 minutes in urban centres, by that metric we cover at best 1/2 the GVRD. This means with our current coverage we would need to hit 60% in this area to hit 30% overall.
  • This is about a 6 fold increase, volunteer time will need to increase, is it linear?
  • Volunteer availability dictates the overall quantity of material we can handle, if there isn't sufficient volunteer hours to handle 30% we'll need to target lower.
  • Shipping material out is on a 2 week maximum time, we currently usually have 1 or 2 days delay. If our volume increases will we still be able to ship with a similiar delay or not and therefore the quantity of storage space increases regardless of working space.
  • Working space needed will increase to handle higher throughput, how much does it need to increase? Would a doubling be sufficient or does it need to be closer to six times.
  • Funding is currently based on a certain quantity of reusable material, alternate funding may be required if the reuse percentage drops too low.

I would like this point to drive the adoption, new volunteers and completion of 24 hours goals. Or even have this goal as resulting in numbers for those. I personally don't see a big benefit to just getting a lot of people volunteering here, instead I like to look at it as a quantity of material diverted, a quantity of material sent back into the community (grants of various types including adoption) and education delivered. Whether all of those goals are done directly by having people volunteer here or not I think is semi-irrelevant. Tyler Hamilton 16:45, 1 November 2011 (PDT)

Hardware grants

Currently doing around 4 Grants per month totaling 15 systems. A target of 12 Grants per month totaling 50 systems is a 3 fold increase and should be pretty easy to hit.

Alternatively we could tie the hardware grant target quantity to our success at increasing overall incoming.

Number of adoptions / Build adoptions

Currently estimate around 12 per month with 15 per month eligible for the adoption. Doubling to 24-30 per month as a goal.

New volunteers per month

Currently 110, increase to 160.

Number of people completing 24 hours

Currently 15, increase to 30

Education events attendance

Currently 50?, increase to 75?

Building Sizing and Person time

We currently occupy around 4500 square feet. I have talked with Dave, Geoff and Tim about what is restricting them from doubling or quadrupling their output/throughput. Our current floor space is broken up as follows

Warehouse/Skid space = 900 square feet Build = 650 Square feet Store = 250 Square feet Cave = 170 Square feet Dismantle side = 1700 square feet

The rest of the space is stairways, bathrooms, kitchen and other.


To quadruple the amount transiting the warehouse side, doubling the skid storage space to 1800-2000 square feet is necessary if our current pickup arrangement is continued at a similarly increased rate. More space may be useful for storing larger outgoing shipments like toner or circuit board, or in cases where pickups don't happen as frequently but it is likely not necessary. An alternate location may be able to take a larger pickup vehicle and therefore we may decide to store more between larger pickups, in that case the required amount of space may change. Increasing significantly beyond our current capacity, in particular in the spring will definitely need more skid storage space. If we were to get something like a forklift which would allow us to stack whitebags two high it would also increase our effective floor space.

Quadrupling the amount moving through the warehouse will require an equal increase in person time. This time is spent sorting through incoming and building skids. Co-Ordination time required will not likely increase beyond current capacity if the sorting and skid building is increased at least as fast as throughput increases.


It may be possible to double output with the current space, quadrupling output would require an increase in space. We should probably be looking at increasing space available to build from 650 square feet to 1000-1200 but more work space is not a crunch as much as elsewhere in the operation. We also appear to be currently building faster then we can give away or sell machines. It would also be good for build to have more storage available if throughput is increased to help smooth out variations in incoming.

Linear increase in the number of volunteers available to build should increase the amount of machines coming out of build. If the influx of volunteers is a similiar mix compared to what we have currently co-ordination required should doable by existing staff with increased support from the increased number of volunteers.


Floor space is a real crunch for the store, we currently commonly hit times where it is uncomfortable to enter the store due to the number of people in it. In order to double store sales we should consider tripling the available space to 750 square feet of retail space, more would be better perhaps as much as 1500 square feet. Display space is not as important to increase as simple floor space at the moment, tripling the floor space while only doubling the amount displayed would be a good start. Storage for the store should also be increased, doubling or a bit more, somewhere in the realm of 300 to 500 square feet.

For staffing the store we need at least 1 dedicated person in the store each day, the ideal situation would be to have a volunteer who is in the store for a couple of weeks at a time or a group of people where a each person is in a particular day of the week for a number of weeks in a row. If a group of volunteers or a stream of volunteers can be found to run the register and answer the regular questions on a reliable basis existing staff would be sufficient for at least doubling or quadrupling store throughput. If the volunteers are not available staffing would have to be increased.

Dismantle / Misc

Currently the dismantle side of the warehouse is using around 1700 square feet, that is split between the wire cutting/monitor testing/receiving, eval/dismantle stations, build storage and net/printer/card testing. doubling the space assigned to dismantle/eval is probably necessary to double or better the throughput of that station, net/printer/card testing probably does not need as much extra space as it is currently often not running. Increasing the build storage by 50% is a good goal but may not be strictly necessary. Let's estimate at least 2500 square feet for the area, somewhat more would be nice but is probably not necessary.

Volunteer time needs to increase in pace with the quantity of material moving through, I am unsure currently if the increase in number of volunteers would require more staff co-ordination resources beyond what we currently have.


We will also need a kitchen, a dedicated education/lab space, bathrooms and for the building to be accessible (wheel chair, reasonable location with regards to transit and vehicle). Multiple floors should be avoided if possible due to the amount of material which needs to flow between locations.


Assuming a single location we should be looking for a space starting at 8000 going up to maybe 12000 square feet total (including hallways, stairs and such), where at least 2000 of that is pure warehouse skid area, 3000 is suitable for work stations, dismantle, build or testing (this may be part of the warehouse like we currently have set up). 750-1500 is suitable for a retail operation with at least 300 square feet of storage adjacent. 200-800 is office space suitable for small meetings (2-6 people) and quiet workspace, with one space large enough for a dedicated computer lab and education area. Depending on the price it may be suitable to increase the space more.

Location needs to be considered to take into account transportation access, retail visibility, and accessibility for dropoffs, in particular shift delivery trike dropoffs, which are restricted by hills and range.

It may also be reasonable to consider looking for multiple locations with the retail side of things split from the rest of the operation.

The amount of person time will also need to increase in proportion with the incoming increase, staffing may not need to increase if sufficient volunteers are available although given historical trends considering a second warehouse person would be the first increase. With dedicated education space a person who can co-ordinate education and help deal with some of the more administrative side of things may also be a position to consider. Tyler Hamilton 15:47, 11 November 2011 (PST)


We currently spend 37,000 per year on rent, I have taken a quick look and can find a couple of spaces around 10,000 square feet in our area for around 120,000 per year which look like they could work.

Staff can handle the current work load and could likely handle double the work as outlined above, current staffing costs run a bit under 150,000 per year.

Our other expenses this year are around $63,000.

Our income this year is budgeted at $252,000 with the current trend looking closer to $290,000 or possibly $300,000.

Based on the assumption that staffing costs remain the same, we break even on moving into a new space between a 19% and 43% increase in revenue. 19% if assuming our 2011 revenue is $290,000 (which is near our current trend). Between 52% and 83% increase we can afford a 50% increase in staffing costs (either increased salary or increased staffing) and at 100% increase in revenue we can afford another full time staff member at 50% greater overall staffing costs. It is likely our expenses would not increase at exactly the same rate, and a 50% staffing increase is a very large jump, increases in advertising would be likely first.

Based on the earlier points a 10,000 square foot facility would allow us to easily double our physical throughput, with quadruple or more within reach. Simple space in our retail area is currently a limiting factor, increasing our available retail space will allow increased sales by simple allowing more people in the store more comfortably during peak times, this coupled with the ability to handle debit and credit card transactions may be enough to hit the bottom end the required revenue increase.

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