One of the few blessings of hard times is that of searching carefully for waste. Waste includes, of course, not just actual money spent unproductively, but everything that diverts the focus of your human resources from their core functions.
One of my favorite exercises is to suggest the following memorandum be set to everyone in middle and lower management:
Effective immediately, no one will convene any internal meeting (meetings that do not involve customers for proper purposes) to deal with any subject that can be dealt with by conference call or email. It is requested that everyone review every kind of report they are required to make and suggest its elimination, revision and changes in frequency, including the reasons for the suggestion. These suggestions may be made anonymously, but specific reasoning for the suggestion is necessary. No out of town internal meeting will be called without prior authorization based upon a “specific detailed needs” request in writing.
There is an inherently abrasive interface between administrative functions and the fulfillment of responsibilities by those with responsibility for production of revenue. Production of revenue (sales and marketing) resources need to be freed from impedimenta to the greatest possible degree.
If you look through any organization, I can promise you that you will find very substantial wasted resources squandered on useless meetings, frequently called for purposes of personal convenience more than business necessity. Most of the others can be handled in email traffic if people just get organized.
You can thank me later.