While there can be no doubting the importance of saving on big-ticket expenses like rent, materials, resources and salaries, there’s a great deal to be said about bringing down smaller, ‘unseen’ costs as well.
It’s something Rozlyn Ahier, managing director of Cost Concepts, excels at. Her company helps SMBs to bring down indirect, non-core monthly expenses like landline telephone, cellphones, electricity, internet, freight and stationary. “We do the work for the company because they don’t necessarily have the time or resources to devote to this kind of cost-cutting. For example, an organisation might have a policy of getting three quotes before choosing a supplier, but we’ll get 200 quotes every few months so we know exactly who’s offering is the most cost-effective at almost any given point in time,” Ahier explains.
She says telecommunications is the biggest area where companies can cut down on unnecessary expenditure. (To date, there has not been a single company for whom Cost Concepts has not been able to reduce monthly telecommunication expenditure by at least 9%, and its greatest saving was 77% on a small construction company’s internet expenses).
“The first thing you need to do is check that you are using all your resources – many companies have telephone lines that they are paying for but not using or they’re only using 40% of the ADSL or wireless internet service that they’re paying for.”
Ahier points out the importance of optimising cellphone tariff packages. “Companies typically pay for a standard package for all employees but our analysis shows that some employees might not use all their minutes each month, while others will use more. We analyse usage patterns and recommend a package that’s suited to specific employee’s usage.”
Frequently, Cost Concepts’ analysis will pick up on cellphone abuse or misuse by employees. “Subscription packages are one of the worst culprits because people don’t realise that when you subscribe to a ringtone for example, you pay a monthly fee until you actively unsubscribe from the service. In one instance, we found an employee who had 36 subscriptions on his cell phone. And because the bill goes straight to the company, very often the individual isn’t even aware of how much they’re being charged,” says Ahier.
Ahier’s cost-cutting advice includes:
- Conducting a needs analysis so that you only purchase things that need
- Monitoring abuse of resources
- Making use of free services such as incoming fax-to-email – it not only saves on the cost of a fax machine and line, but also save on paper and ink
- Researching new technology that can offer saving opportunities
For more information visit call +27 83 578 7147, +27 11 432 0353 or visit www.costconcepts.co.za