Worker who saved Argos £1.5m gets £10 reward

Mark Heslehurst helped to cut the company's fuel costs

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Argos delivery van

An Argos worker who came up with an idea that saved his employer £1.5 million was rewarded by the firm - with a £10 Argos voucher.

Single father Mark Heslehurst, of Middlesbrough, responded to a call from the company following its takeover by Sainsbury's, in which chairman Mike Coupe asked staff for clever ideas.

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Amongst other thoughts, 52-year-old Mark suggested instructing delivery drivers like himself to only refuel at Sainsbury's petrol stations.

The idea was taken up, with the company saying it expected to save as much as £1.5 million.

However, Mark - who earns just £7.50 an hour - tells the Sun he was disappointed with his reward - which was a £10 Argos voucher.

"I got a £10 gift voucher, which was nice. But in light of how much money I have saved the company, perhaps they might have done something more," he says.

"I enjoy working for them, but I think on this occasion they got it wrong."

Argos has since claimed that the idea had been thought of already.

Staff suggestion boxes aren't unusual, and this isn't the first time that they've come up with the goods. Sainsbury's, in fact, saved around £60,000 after a staff member suggested repackaging mangoes.

While the supermarket was selling more fruit as a result of a 'two for £2.50' deal, the fact that they were supplied in boxes of five meant that there tended to be a lot of wastage.

On another occasion, a British Rail worker realised time and money was being wasted replacing copper wire on overhead cables. He suggested fitting a rayon sleeve over the wire, and is believed to have saved BR hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Most famously of all (though possibly apocryphally), a worker at the Swan Vesta match factory realised that money was being wasted by putting sandpaper on both sides of the box. He suggested putting it on one side only, saving the company a fortune.

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