Barometer Cost Management: Companies have learned lessons from the 2008/09 crisis

Companies in Europe are well prepared for the current financial and Euro-crises.  These are some of the results from the Barometer Cost Management. Top managers from 215 companies were interviewed for the survey, conducted by the EBS Business School and Expense Reduction Analysts. 
 
The companies’ self-assessment shows that they had already set up an efficient cost management before the financial and Euro-crises. “It seems that companies have learned their lessons from the 2008/09 crisis and have prepared for all eventualities”, says Fred Marfleet, Founder and Chairman of Expense Reduction Analysts, of the results. 9 out of 10 companies have even improved or stabilised their cost situation with regards to turnover since the outbreak of the crisis. In addition the savings achieved have long-lasting effects. “Companies opt only sporadically for quick-wins. For most companies, it is essential to improve their own cost structure in the long-term in order to be less vulnerable against crises” says Marfleet.
 
The survey shows that the top 15% of companies in particular are continuously looking for ways to improve their cost management. Measures such as optimisation of operations and processes (30%), reinforcement of employees’ cost awareness (29%), improvement of the reporting system (18%) and introduction of new tools and methods (13%) are of primary importance. Marfleet: “Companies have acknowledged that they cannot rest on their successes but instead must at least try to maintain their status quo.”
 
The size of companies is hardly reflected in the response to the financial and Euro-crises. Only in the introduction of new methods and tools can a significant difference between large companies and SMEs be seen. There, large companies with over 1,000 staff are considerably more active. On the other hand, smaller companies focus on the optimisation of operations and processes.
 
In the comparison per country, companies from Austria and Germany had an efficient cost management even before the financial and Euro-crises. In Finland and the Netherlands, companies were especially active in their cost management during the financial and Euro-crises whereas Belgian and Swiss companies remained passive with regards to further optimisation of their cost management.

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