Cutting Costs while Adding Value: Is it possible?

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Can we reduce costs and add value at the same time? Yes. You can. But it takes some objectivity, some research and reflection and a willingness to change.

Cutting costs while providing more value sounds counter-intuitive but it need not be.  My experience in consulting, and in management prior to that, is that necessity is the mother of invention.  When you are forced to produce something for less you can come up with ways to produce more value for clients or customers.  A strategic review can turn things around. The key ingredients are:

  1. At least one fresh set of eyes – to look at your business from new perspectives
  2. Some fresh data – from customer research, new reports, value stream mapping etc
  3. Analysis, reflection, synthesis and presentation of findings
  4. Open minds to consider the evidence being presented
  5. Willingness to act – to do some new things and stop doing some old things

There is an inherently human assumption that what we are currently doing is safer than doing something new.  In fact, keeping on doing what we are currently doing may be the riskiest option. We may not have changed but the world around us has done so. There are new competitors, new technologies, new ways of working, new sales channels, new products and services and new customers with different preferences and more choices than the old customers.  There is almost certainly a cheaper, more effective way of providing value to customers than the way you do it now.

Here is an example from personal experience:

A client had twice run projects to migrate data from an obsolete information system to a new system. Both projects had failed miserably and the money allocated for the task was used up. We were asked to help.  The third project had started and there was a tight deadline.  We stopped the work.  We called everyone together and did a post-mortem on the failed projects.  Everyone thought it was someone else’s fault.

We cleared that up quickly and identified plenty of faults all round but we didn’t dwell on that.  We set up a charter for how we would do things differently and we enforced that charter rigorously. It included rules about attendance, behaviour, methods, technical approaches and communication. It was hard work but, collectively, we got the job done … and reset a lot of behaviours, processes and policies along the way. The old ways of working needed to change to get that job done and to deliver broader value to customers.  The new way of working was cheaper, produced better value and dramatically improved the quality of work for key people.

You can cut costs and provide more value if you take the time for a structured strategic review of how you provide products and services and add value in your unique way.  We love to work with people to implement strategy effectively and we have a wide range of tools, approaches and experience to help make results happen.  Contact us for a Strategic Review or just a free, no-obligation conversation about what you want to achieve.

Phil Guerin, Consultant/Director, Hague Consulting Ltd. © Hague Consulting Ltd 2024