In these tough economic times when profits are down and costs are heading north, shouldn’t all businesses be watching their operating costs?
Just to set the scene here’s something that came from Fujio Cho, President of Toyota. Toyota always ask “Where are we wasting resources like time, people or material? How can we be less wasteful?” So you see, cost savings and ongoing cost management are not only for the big players.
There’s no doubt that cost management was not a big issue during the good times but now that we’re in the middle of a recession it is good business practice to examine where you can save your business money.
Research show that 1 in 4 businesses are worried about their fiscal state generally and 75% are worried about their rising costs
Importantly there is no need to be embarrassed about looking for savings; so many businesses are introducing cost management and cost reduction processes into their normal operating procedures. We can assure you we go about our business fully aware that our clients want a confidential and discrete service.
Fortunately, the UK telecoms, electricity and gas markets are unregulated which obviously means you have the right to switch supplier. In terms of business cost reduction within these 3 areas the switching processes are in place and regulated by either Ofcom or Ofgem.
Switching to new suppliers is top of any money saving list. Your telephone, electricity and Gas suppliers can all be changed if not immediately then over time as contracts come up for renewal.
We can also look at your Commercial Insurance Policies
Generally speaking all we need is copies of your latest bills and your current contract. We can then plan out when you are able to switch and get you organised in time for your contract renewals in a timely fashion.
For Commercial Insurance we need details of your current policies and renewal date – we can then look to get you a better deal. If you are after a new policy it’s best if we speak to you to go over the details of the cover you need.
Just call to arrange a discussion
If you have concerns about switching, stop for a moment to consider the sheer amount of switching that happens today as businesses look to reduce their essential operating costs. Switching suppliers is a common occurrence across the board in the utilities industries. Yes, some mistakes happen but they are few and far between.
Interestingly, we note that many businesses we talk to have a certain fear of changing. Fear of the hassle, fear of losing services or suffering downtime on broadband. In our experience these fears are groundless. There are strict processes in place to protect businesses from problems. You really can be relaxed about switching. When you switch electricity or gas supplier you will not be disconnected at any point, nor are pipes or cables changes. Likewise switching telephone services carries little risk. If there are any problems (very unlikely) you will be notified and kept fully informed. All suppliers are obliged to follow these procedures and they are enforced by either Ofcom or Ofgem.
We would encourage all businesses and enterprises public and private, to start looking at cost savings across all of your suppliers of all services, supplies, and materials. Make this a routine part of your management structure and embed it into your organisational ethos for the long haul.
There are websites out there which will compare prices for you but we believe using a broker will result in better quotations. Why is this? Simple, brokers do not have the overheads of the bigger companies including web based companies, plus you will be dealing with a friendly human being. Brokers like ourselves save you time and effort, comparing all those prices and making enquiries can take HOURS, sometimes days. Working with a trusted broker means that in effect you get a dedicated account manager for free to take away all the time and effort you would need to put in yourself. Without trust we don’t have a business so building trust is top of our agenda at all times.
None of this is to say that the cost comparison websites won’t produce results, they do, but ultimately the choice is yours!
Taking Cost Management into the future
We hope all this will go on to energise you to look at other ways to save costs specific to your business area.
Cost management needs to become an ongoing business tool in your business.
More and more a business’s survival will depend on keeping costs under control. Cost management needs to be a major management tool and a line item on key business meeting agendas. The money saved will help a business survive or can be re-invested back into the business. Very often new thinking about creative ways of operating can feed into other business areas. For example cost management could lead on to operational efficiency. Embedding cost management and cost control into an organisations mindset can enhance an organisations survival prospects as serious money is saved.
Bridge Future Solutions can provide you with additional help and cost management consultancy. Useful where suppliers might have been with your business for some time and it might be difficult to review this, especially if it leads to changes. An independent consultant can make dispassionate decisions.
The risks of a dip in Customer Service and in staff morale need to be managed carefully.