Cost Map, Categories, Save on Overheads, Reduce Costs

By: Business Cost Management  05/12/2011
Keywords: transport, packaging, waste


Office expenses are often overlooked because they appear to be modest. This type of expenditure can sometimes bypass the company's standard purchasing procedures. Indeed office contracts are often negotiated completely outside the system on an ad-hoc basis.

Once all the office expenses are combined, streamlined and treated as a single system they no longer appear modest and substantial savings can be achieved. Typically office expenses include:

  • Stationery
  • Computer Supplies
  • Printing Supplies
  • Office Furniture


Everybody likes to do their bit for the environment. The good news is that environmentally aware companies save money on waste. Over the last few years some company’s waste bills have doubled, some company’s bills have halved and some companies have turned their waste stream into a profit centre!

The Reduce, Re-use and Recycle mindset is a philosophy that works. We can show you how. Typical waste categories include:

  • General Waste
  • High liquid Content Waste
  • Recyclable waste
  • Toxic Waste
  • Waste Segregation/Bailing/Compacting 
  • Reusable packaging


It is crucial for any business that goods are successfully moved per schedule and undamaged. So much effort has been taken to manufacture or indeed source products that nobody wants to fall at the last hurdle.

The good news is that the process undertaken to reduce transport costs tends to improve the quality of service. Better rates are achieved because the ideal transport companies will have depots near your locations and won’t need to outsource deliveries or use middle men. Your company will save money because systems will become transparent and scheduling efficiencies will be improved. Inventory will be reduced because a good tracking system will be put in place.

Typical transport categories include:

  • Groupage
  • Couriers
  • Containers RORO
  • Containers LOLO
  • Air Freight
  • Liquid Bulk
  • Refrigerated


The three most important things you need to consider when evaluating telecoms are Change, Change and Change! It has been our experience over the last decade that rates change monthly, tariff structures change quarterly and technology changes annually.

We appreciate that it is unrealistic to change technology every year, however there is generally a tipping point every four or five years when you may have to. Rates and tariff structures however change all the time and constant monitoring will result in substantial savings.

We specialise on:

  • Landlines
  • Mobiles
  • Broadband
  • Optimal Line Structuring
  • Voice over Internet Protocol VoIP
  • Leased lines
  • Data transfer

Energy and Fuel

Due to the unstable price fluctuations of Petroleum products it is difficult for companies to forecast fuel & energy expenditures for more than a few months. Many larger companies use forward buying, however at best this is a black art where even giants like Ryan Air can get caught out.

At Cost Map we can’t predict the future, however we can ensure you are on the optimal tariffs for electricity and gas and are not paying any unnecessary penalties. We can also ensure your suppliers are only charging a reasonable margin on the base prices and are not taking advantage of the confusion associated with base price fluctuations. Finally we can show you how to plug any unnecessary energy leaks thereby saving money and helping the environment.

Typical Fuel and Energy categories include:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Fuel Oil
  • Heating Oil
  • Transport Fuel


The diversity of packaging is amazing. Confectionery suppliers don’t sell chocolates they sell chocolate boxes! At the other extreme the load bearing strength of steel strapping holding a trailer load of plastic pipes together is all that matters.

We save money across the entire spectrum. First we ascertain if the packaging is necessary at all, then we determine if it is possible to modify the specification, we then consider if the packaging is re-usable. Finally of course we ensure the product is being provided at the best available market price.

Types of packaging we review include:

  • Corrugated
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper bag
  • Pallets
  • Strapping
  • Bubble and Pallet Wrap
  • Shrink fit plastic
  • Novelty Packaging
  • Timber


It is necessary for businesses to build a good relationship with their bank. As with all suppliers relationships don’t develop between faceless corporations, they develop between individuals within these organisations. This is especially important with banks, because they are more than just a supplier and sometimes it may be necessary to ask them to show reasonable discretion.

Due to this special relationship, sometimes the services provided by banks do not undergo the rigorous tendering procedures that would be associated with other suppliers. We have the benchmark data and will be able to determine if your bank is charging you the best available market rates. We review:

  • Automated Credits
  • Automated Debits
  • Credit Card Charges
  • Debit Card Charges
  • Money Counting Charges


Most companies know what the various maintenance contracts cost every month, however many companies don’t know exactly what they get for the money! 

One years free maintenance was provided when a new computer system was installed three years ago, however you have been paying for support ever since and are not really sure if you need this level of cover.  Does it really take three contract cleaners 18 hours a week to clean a 1,000 SQM building?

The first step with any maintenance contract is transparency. We determine exactly what is being provided and exactly what you need. Procedures and pricing are then formalised and often restructured. We then ensure our customers get the best available market rates. We review:

  • Contract Cleaning
  • Facility Management Contracts
  • Computer Maintenance Contracts
  • Communications Maintenance Contracts
  • Fleet Maintenance Contracts

Work Wear

It is vital that staff are provided with clean, safe and fashionable work wear. Some companies can outsource the provision, collection and cleaning of work wear to a third party and simply pay a fixed monthly payment. Other companies handle the process internally, sometimes with the assistance of staff who may agree to clean their own uniforms.

Depending upon factors like the frequency of issues, hygiene requirements and market prices we may recommend either option. If a decision is made to handle work wear internally, it is especially important to formalise a procedure that standardises the garments, number of issues, cleaning requirements etc.

We review:

  • Corporate Garments
  • Industrial Garments
  • Clean room Garments
  • Catering Garments
  • Food Manufacturing Garments

Hygiene Supplies

The cost associated with hygiene supplies can be hidden as they are often shown as a single line item on contract cleaning invoices.  Even if separate invoices are provided, products associated with Janitorial Supplies are sometimes ignored by staff.

This is generally a low spend area, however it is worthwhile evaluating because the percentage savings are extremely high. By controlling distribution, installing discrete measurement machines, using concentrates, switching to generic products and negotiating best market rates we generally half the expenditure for this category!

Our review includes:

  • Floor and Surface Cleaner
  • Bin Liners
  • Paper Janitorial Products
  • Dishwasher liquid
  • Soap Cartridges

Food & Beverages

There are few categories so far removed from a company’s core area of expertise as a staff canteen. You may employ somebody to handle the canteen internally or perhaps you outsource the entire operation to an external catering company. Either way we can almost certainly save you a lot of money.

Within the last five years we have worked for over fifteen restaurant chains with hundreds of locations. The greatest savings have always been achieved on food. Apart from price reductions substantial savings can be achieved by standardising the level of preparation and the internal ordering systems. Food waste can be reduced by standardising date rotation and machine calibration. Ordering can become more transparent by clear invoicing and monthly reports from suppliers.

Common products include:

  • Raw meat & fish
  • Cooked meat and fish
  • Dairy
  • Fruit and Vegetables
  • Dried and Frozen Goods
  • Bakery products
  • Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages  

Keywords: Maintenance Contracts, packaging, transport, waste

Contact Business Cost Management


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