The Challenge

Due to economic conditions and internal competition, the business had to reduce its operating costs significantly. This challenge was even more difficult as other producers in the group were also being asked to reduce costs, so this had to be taken into consideration when setting its goals.

A branch of an international business was faced with delivering significant reductions to its production costs. Due to regional differences, the organisation had the highest unit costs for utilities and one of the highest priced labour markets, both of which had seen historical upward price movements. In addition, they were faced with an ageing plant which still needed to be maintained.


– Idea generation (with no boundaries)
– Historical cost analysis
– Development of standard methodology and procedures
– Idea evaluation, risk analysis and priority ranking
– Calculation of potential cost savings
– Incorporation of saving into annual budget


– Renegotiation of existing contracts
– Collaboration with major suppliers to reduce costs
– Adoption of hedging strategies for utilities
– Engagement of entire workforce to deliver cost reductions
– Cost reduction incorporated into annual bonus scheme


– Costs reduced by in excess of £3.0m per annum
– Greater understanding of existing processes and associated costs
– Existing problem solving skills utilised to increase efficiency in working methods
– Improved team work