Reducing operating costs is a challenge faced by every company, at any time. After all, it is precisely the reduction in expenses that paves the way for improving the profitability of the business as a whole. And, in practice, this has a number of direct and indirect benefits. Therefore, cost reduction strategies in companies are essential.
In addition, high costs are strong indicators of internal problems that have gone unnoticed, such as:
- lack of optimized processes;
- waste of materials;
- high defect rate in the production process;
- service contracts above the market average;
- very high fixed expenses.
- Therefore, it is up to the manager to find out which are the bottlenecks and those points that most impact costs. With this information in hand, it’s time to go after the appropriate solutions.
What advantages does cost reduction bring?
By noticing problems caused by high operating costs, it is possible to identify what a reduction would do for the company.
Check out now some of the most important benefits provided by the application of good cost reduction strategies in companies!
The most basic of all (and one that involves the rest) is increased profitability.
What we need to emphasize here is that, for a certain sector or even the entire company to present better results, it is not necessary to increase the number of operations. In fact, it is often only necessary to improve and optimize the way it operates in the market.
Imagine that a company has as a goal for the year a 10% increase in its net profit, in absolute values.
What would be the easiest way to reach this goal? Thinking about increasing sales volume, right? After all, more deals done bring more results.
But what if you think of better results? The smartest solution is to focus on quality rather than quantity. Yes, you can achieve a 10% increase in profit, wiping out unnecessary operating costs.
So that there is no doubt about it, it is worth noting that in practice, when the focus is on increasing sales volume, a series of other expenses come together, such as:
- Increase in the volume of purchases;
- overtime pay;
- Increase in staff;
- Increase in fixed bills — such as water and energy;
- Greater depreciation of machinery, which works harder, among other expenses.
- On the other hand, by reducing operating costs, you achieve the exact opposite of all that was pointed out.
Your business can reduce purchase rates, stop paying overtime and save on its entire infrastructure. Much better, don’t you agree?
Competitiveness in the market:
Due to all this, the implementation of cost reduction strategies in companies makes the corporate side more competitive, since the business starts to produce more with less.
This is important to keep active and at the same level of the market, since the prices charged to the consumer are leaner.
Furthermore, with the savings generated, it is possible to carry out promotions, actions of engagement and encouragement among teams, promote means of dissemination and invest in new marketing strategies.
Not to mention that the improvement of the production process is reflected in the quality of the final product, which arrives with higher quality and lower cost to the market.
Availability of capital:
As a result of the reduction in operating costs, the company is faced with a possible surplus of cash in relation to its previous results. Used intelligently, this margin brings more strength to the business, which can invest in internal improvements and financial investments.
When the company makes investments, it increases its financial income, which, in turn, increases its results, as the money invested complements operating margins.
Can you understand how the business wins on two different fronts? In addition, there is still the possibility of investing in internal improvements, such as:
- Staff training;
- Improvement in the company’s physical structure;
- Expansion or renovation of machinery and facilities;
- Purchase of better quality inputs;
- Benefits that bring satisfaction and comfort to employees.
- As you can see, the economy promotes a positive cycle that benefits the product and increases its ability to gain market share, generating even more profit for the business.
How to establish really efficient cost reduction strategies?
There are several work fronts to reduce operating costs. As the focus of unnecessary spending can be in several places, there is no single path.
Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the variations of the business to find the causes. To help, how about checking out 11 ways to identify and solve production bottlenecks?
Map internal processes:
To start the process of reducing expenses on the right foot, it is necessary to map the entire company. This is a somewhat complex activity, but one that is well worth it as production bottlenecks are found.
You can bet: by sifting through all the activities and processes of the business, you will surely come across unnecessary expenses and opportunities for improvement.
It can happen, for example, that a company has two similar and paid tools (such as licensed software), although only one is used. It may also be possible to replace these tools with another unique, more complete, cheaper and modern solution.
Analyze the cash flow:
One of the best cost reduction strategies in companies that does not imply reducing the quality of products or services in their portfolio is to carry out a careful analysis of their cash flow.
When evaluating the business’ revenues and expenses, the manager can clearly see which are the biggest sources of output and resources of the corporate cash. Here is the another option
Based on this diagnosis, the next step is to investigate the reasons for any cost increases. It may be in input prices, which fluctuate, in the growth of logistical expenses and so on.
Only after finding out where the resources are going is it possible to decide which are the right cuts to make. Remember: the cash flow history is extremely important, as it allows you to compare the evolution of costs.
Renegotiate existing contracts:
By analyzing the history of costs by segment, it is possible to discover, for example, that the supplier that was most advantageous for months has changed its conditions.
Now, therefore, another can offer better business opportunities. Evaluate the options available on the market.
By analyzing the expense with each contract, you can compare that value with the services and products you enjoy.
Sometimes, the negotiation involves items that end up being underused and can be cut from renewals without any internal damage. It is therefore worth reviewing the conditions of existing contracts, for example, in relation to:
- Values practiced;
- Negotiated parcels;
- Interest rates;
- Annual readjustment indicator.
- Along this path, if you identify less advantageous contracts, try to negotiate better terms or, if the supplier does not have enough flexibility for this, go out in search of others.
Another cost reduction strategy for companies is to opt for equipment rental instead of acquiring it.
Of course, this measure needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but, in general, the rent is indicated for equipment that is rarely used or for specific jobs, which would not justify immobilizing capital to have these machines on a continuous basis. You can use forklift to reduce the Cost in Company
It is worth remembering that it is the owner company that bears the depreciation, preventive and corrective maintenance, as well as the downtime of its machines. So when you rent equipment on demand, you reduce this cost.
The opposite is also true. How about being the lessor, renting underutilized equipment to generate more revenue for the company?
With this alternative, if there is idle machinery, you can reduce costs not only related to idleness, but also with regard to maintenance and storage of equipment, generating extra revenue for the company.