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FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about our company and cost reduction and profit improvement in general.

1.      Why do you offer a FREE initial telephone and/or email consultation?

2.      We’ve been cutting costs for years.  What’s next?

3.      What can we do if our cost reduction efforts have stalled?

4.      Why do layoffs sometimes cost more than they save in the long run?

5.      What does a world-class profit improvement initiative look like?

6.      What can I do if I don’t have a budget for consulting help?

7.      Does Business Solutions work on contingency?

8.      Why is management support critical to any profit initiative?

9.      How can management support for change be won?

10.  How can staff support for change be won?

11.  How much does a profit initiative cost?

12.  How can you say that 25 to 50% of all reported cost reductions are “phony money?”

13.  What size companies can use profit initiatives? 

14.  Do you have limits on who you will consult with?

15.  Where do you work?

16.  What is the duration of a profit initiative?

17.  How have you increased company profits by over $100,000,000?

Answers

1.  Why do you offer a FREE initial telephone and/or email consultation?  A telephone conversation is an efficient way of finding out what your needs and opportunities are.  We are happy to help you sort out what the next best step for you might be and whether or not others or we can help you achieve your goals.  We can often help people over the phone or by email at no- or low-cost.   Please contact us.

2.  We’ve been cutting costs for years.  What’s next?  There is much more to profit improvement than just cutting costs.  No company has ever cut its way to long term success.  As the profit equation shows, you need to consider loss and revenue as well as costs.  Many times the greatest benefits lie in areas that have not been considered to date.  The Profit Improvement Process finds the hidden gold in companies that have been cutting costs for years.

3.  What can we do if our cost reduction efforts have stalled?  All initiatives go through phases and things will slow down for at least some time sooner or later.  This does not mean that there’s nothing left to do.  We have found that we can breathe new life into any profit initiative by engaging more people in creative problem solving sessions.  We can help you create hundreds to thousands of new ideas in just a few days.

4.  Why do layoffs sometimes cost more than they save in the long run?  The dirty little secret of layoffs is that the negative cultural and individual impact of layoffs can cripple morale and productivity.  Cuts are often made so deeply as to make it very difficult to respond to new opportunities for growth that should come with normal economic cycles or corporate initiatives.  Cutting through layoffs often becomes a self-defeating behavior.  Stock prices may favorably respond temporarily but are rarely sustained.

5.   What does a world-class profit improvement initiative look like?  See our ten-question evaluation to get a view for how your company stacks up against world-class.

6.   What can I do if I don’t have a budget for consulting help?  Our work is designed to provide a fast cash payback.  Clients will often set up a special fund to pay for the work and credit it with the cost savings and other profit improvement projects that are first undertaken.  Our consulting is a short-term investment that will reap large rewards.

7.   Does Business Solutions work on contingency (i.e. a success fee based on a percentage of new profit)?  We try to avoid contingency work for your benefit.  Phone and freight auditors will often charge you nothing up front and take their fee from a percentage (usually 20 to 40%) of what they recover.  It’s usually clear-cut in such cases as the money flows as rebate checks from the vendors.  In our case, the new profits are going to flow from internal cost reductions, reductions in loss, and revenue initiatives over time.  The accounting is all internal and sometimes complex.  We don’t want to be auditing books to determine payouts.  Further, if we were to charge 5 to 10% of the first year’s savings/profit improvement on suggested projects, you would get tired of writing us big checks far beyond what a simple consulting arrangement would have cost.  Our approach pays off.

8.   Why is top management support critical to any profit initiative?  Cost reduction and profit improvement initiatives require resources and support from all areas of the company.  They also require unflagging leadership to set priorities and goals and then keep them clearly in front of the hardworking staff.  A failure of top management support will doom any initiative to failure.

9.   How can management support for change be won?  We are often contacted by middle-management people who want to get something done.  Since top management support is critical, we can help you create the case to bring them on board.

10. How can staff support for change be won?  Even after layoffs and cost cutting actions the staff can usually be engaged and brought on board with a properly designed and implemented profit improvement process.  The people of the company are given the tools and support to help build profits.  Change process support is built into the initiative to overcome resistance.  The profit improvement process is more about building than it is cutting.  This is a positive approach.

11. How much does a profit initiative cost?  The answer is - they cost nothing.  They offer a significant return on investment after the initial cash outlay for consulting and training.

12. How can you say that 25 to 50% of all reported cost reductions are “phony money?”  People are so anxious for success that they accept estimates and accounting that is not rigorous enough to cut out even the obvious exaggerations in savings.  I’ve even seen example Six Sigma and Lean projects in print that claim to be saving large amounts of overhead expense when those expenses for the most part were actually fixed and not impacted by the project.  Others will ascribe dollar values to feel-good projects like improving the look of an internal newsletter.  One plant we know of “saved” so much by fixing steam leaks that the steam plant appeared to be generating a profit (Of course it wasn’t!).  The structure (i.e. policy, training, and management) of our profit improvement process is designed to produce only real profits.

13. What size companies can use profit initiatives?  Any sized company can benefit from a properly scaled initiative.  We’ve worked with companies with a few individuals and tens of thousands of staff.  No company can afford not to focus on profits.

14. Do you have limits on who you will consult with?  Business Solutions will only work with companies whose management is committed to achieving positive results.

15. Where do you work?  Business Solutions has a primary focus in the United States but we have and will work almost anywhere in the world given a good client.

16. What is the duration of a profit initiative?  Short-term initiatives can last a few quarters to a year or so.  Long-term initiatives should be integral to the ongoing conduct of business.

17. How have you increased company profits by over $100,000,000?  This is the value of the projects and initiatives that had our names on them as author or co-author over the last 30 years.  It does NOT include the value of projects that clients generated on their own using our methods.  We have no way of estimating that value but is much larger than $100 million.  One client alone had $100 million of projects in backlog waiting implementation when we left.  We have condensed this 30-year experience into an easy to use profit improvement process that is available to you right now.

 

 

 


 

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