"The day where I reported my personal coffee maker and made the last machine Cree, leased 600 euros per month, one of the engineers told me, concerned: if it comes to coffee, it is that it is really the end". This was only the end of the coffee in profusion. "But it marked the spirits," remembers Damien Valicon, head of Dental On Line, an SME 11 employees, established in 2000 and publishes software for dental offices.
Before facing heavy investments, the contractor has launched a more drastic savings plan that the crisis occurred. Its premises, near the Montparnasse train station, may be amputation of 50 square metres. Travel and hotel expenses have been reduced to a minimum, as participation in trade shows an economy it is estimated that 350,000 euros per year. Finally, service cars have been surrendered. And on the payroll cards, the premiums have been removed. "At the beginning, this has generated a lot of misunderstandings, recognizes." Also, Damien Valicon invited, in turn, each employee to lunch for implicating him in his approach. "Must be constantly why we take such decision and what will be the gain generated.". This requires great efforts of transparency.
However, the message passes often with employees. Logic, according to Joel Roques, Director General of The Hackett Group, strategy consulting: "even though it communicates enough, touch on a daily basis and the personal portfolio of employees is often not lived."
Originally of a study on the cost reduction conducted, last April, with 1,000 companies international, JoŽl Roques assessed to 292 million euros per year savings for each. Provided follow a few basic rules, such as for example coherence. "It is too common to see that in some companies, it decreases the costs of travel but at the same time the bonus of the CEO, he increases." "It must be exemplary leader and embodies this program", says Gerardo Marcotti, partner at Say Partners, consulting in strategy and organization.
"Of the prospects for the future."
Station end of candle economies which have a significant impact on the motivation of teams. It is valid for the coffee or the car of function, which brutally disappear benefits in kind, but also when lack of budget, projects are delayed.
For the accession of the employees, the policy of cost reduction must register in a more global strategy of sustainability or corporate development. "In times of restriction, is whether giving a future", observes JoŽl Roques. To achieve economies are then more one end but a means. It is the Party took Pierre Dalmaz, CEO of Sfeir, an overview of 200 employees in France. Faced with major difficulties, his company had to act urgently. On the merits, the recipes were classic: move from Paris to the suburbs, reducing the size of the offices, renegotiation of the contracts of mutual and provident, decrease the number of cars in service... But these measures have, from the outset, been integrated into a business plan, with a clear message: make Sfeir SMEs at the forefront of technology and triple sales in five years. "This has allowed to communicate on something positive rather than on the savings to." A year later, the result is: spending was reduced by a third party on the support functions, the turnover increased by 25 and the company, this summer, is again beneficial.
"Approach to optimization".
This strategy entails not only to cost reductions but also to act on productivity. In other words, notes Marc Pagezy, President of Eurosearch & Associates, management consulting, "should not focus on the charges but register in a process optimization". Reduce manufacturing costs, optimize purchasing management or even to form the trade to increase their effectiveness... It is the line of conduct followed by Altran, launched in early 2007 a plan which has pushed its overhead of 28 to 25 of the turnover ( 1.7 billion).
The objective of this firm in computer science is to achieve the 20 term. Its recipe: identify what is being done best in the various entities of the business, in France and abroad, and try to make a general principle. "This has much more weight to the teams because they know that the degree of excellence that we wish to achieve already exists and, therefore, that it is accessible", note the Deputy Director General, Cyril Roger. Practical example: If the business always receive function cars, they now must choose between a more elaborate model and a standard options. "It is a logic of budget, but, as it leaves them the choice, we avoid a source of unnecessary harassment", adds Cyril rock. This is not entirely the opinion of the trade unions, gnashing of teeth and denounce certain practices. "In the name of this plan, the cost of consultants are, since a few months, more reimbursed in part", is alarm Jean-Christophe Durieux, delegate Union CFDT group.
Of course, involve employees in a cost reduction plan is not a simple process, but it is much more profitable business term.