How much did we save our recent Legal client?

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on March 3, 2014 No Comments yet


January 2014                                  Legal Firm Savings


As Cost Reduction specialists we a have a very simple philosophy and approach to our clients.

No big contracts just an email exchange is enough for us, plus of course an NDA if you need one.

Unlike other competitors who are known to charge fees and over 50% of identified savings,

we do things a little differently.


Our 3 step approach is;

1                   We review all costs within the business, [but we will not teach anyone how to suck eggs].

2                   We will agree those savings with the client. [There maybe a contracts in place which mean the savings cannot be made, we do not count that as a saving]

3                   Our charge of 10% is based on an agreed calculation of the 1st years savings.

We sit quietly in a corner of the office going through the last years worth of invoices and costs and the over the next few weeks will feed back areas where we think savings can be made.

How do we identify savings/ We ask three questions of each and every cost.

1                   Is that cost really necessary? [Can we just get rid of it?]

2                   How can we encourage efficiency when incurring the cost?

3                   Can we renegotiate with your existing supplier or better ones?

We have attached an example of savings that we have made at a London based Legal Firm recently, as an example of our work.



% Saving

Waste Collection


Telephony Costs


Document Storage


Confidential Shredding


Washroom Services






IT Costs


Private Health Cover






For this four partner, firm savings were in excess of £15,000 and are still climbing as        contracts fall due. Our charge for this was 10% of these agreed savings.


If you would like us to do the same for your firm then just get in touch with our Managing Director on and we can organise a time to meet



What do we charge and How do we find savings?

Posted in Cost Detective, General by Marcus on November 27, 2013 No Comments yet


Cost Detective


Not surprisingly prospects ask us how we do what we do and what are the costs if they engage with us.


I thought it would be  worth writing a short blog, as our methods are transparent and  our costs are there for all to see.




After we have been appointed by a client the process usually runs like this;


1.  Meet with the boss for 45 minutes to understand the business and what its priorities are in terms of costs. Get introduced to finance team.

2.   Sit down with all the invoices etc for the last 12 months and gather information, just a desk and a photocopier/scanner are fine, no need for input from staff.

3.  Take the information away, get clarity from staff on a few items and then start reporting back savings that we have identified via email.

4. First savings are  usually identified  within 10 days, and once we have completed we will summarise all the savings in a nice short report.

5.  We will agree the savings with you the client.

6.  Done


How do we identify savings?  We take a 3 step approach  to each and every cost.

OK I could not find an image with 3 steps!


1.  Is that cost really necessary? Can we just get rid of it?

2.  How  can we get you to use less, to  be more efficient, whether that be energy or processes.

3.  Can we renegotiate with existing suppliers or suggest new ones?


Once we have applied these three questions to all costs we have always identified savings for every organisation we have worked for.


How much does all this cost?

It is very straight forward, remember number 5 in the process, We agree the savings with the client? Once those are agreed then our share of that is just 10%, so the client keeps 90% and does not pay any other fees. The 10% also only applies to the first 12 months worth of savings not for years to come like some of our competitors.


So there you have it the How and How Much questions answered.

By the way if you are a charity or know of one, we do not charge them even the 10%, so they get the service for free.


If you have any questions then just email me on



Is your business paying any of these prices? You are paying too much!

Posted in General by Marcus on July 16, 2013 No Comments yet

Is your business paying these prices for goods and services?

Markets change, wholesale prices move, relationships are important, we hear all of this but they always result in a price increase from the supplier, not so much a negotiation more of a take it or leave it.

We thought we would give you 10 prices for items that if you are paying in excess of then, it is probable that you are paying too much.

You should also check our other posting that showed 10 suppliers that we have made significant savings against recently to see if they are supplying you. Cost Detectives list of Shame. Or are you one of them?


Are you paying more than…..

1                    1pence per minute for national or local calls?

2                   5.5 pence per minute for mobile calls?

3                   £11 per collection for an 1100 litre waste bin?

4                   Zero to have your Merchant credit card bill sent to you?

5                   £15 for your PDQ machine?

6                   £3 per payslip all inclusive for outsourced payroll?

7                   £9 per collection for Feminine Hygiene Disposal?

8                   You did two years ago for print of any kind?

9                   £8.70 for a case of 200ml Coca Cola?

10              Zero for insurance charged via any of your lease agreements?


These are just a tiny fraction of prices that we have identified that are too high, if you are paying in excess of any of these then just drop me a line and we can help.

Equally if you would like to check a price for anything just email us a current invoice, any cost from A-Z; from Live Lobsters to a taxi to Heathrow!


How your costs can be like the Olympic Cyclists! by The Cost Detectives

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on March 10, 2013 No Comments yet

How your costs can be like the Olympic Cyclists!


I remember watching an interview whilst the Olympics were on , with some of the management team of the British 2012 Olympic Cycling team, the most successful we have ever had.

The thing that really struck me was how the interviewee said there are no big changes to be made anymore, no one thing is suddenly going to make everyone go faster. So what did they do? Did they just try and do the same thing did they just stop looking? No they listed out every single item and said how can we improve it even if it only makes a difference of a hundredth of a second, and they started to make the changes.


Low and behold all those little increments added together added up to a big something, more gold medals!Olympic Gold Medal


As we visit lots of businesses or talk to prospects we often hear, “oh no we have our costs under control thanks”, well I bet the other countries cyclists thought that as well and look what happened to them!

Making it known in the company that the little things are important will permeate through the rest of the behaviour and all sorts of benefits will accrue. Not only cost control and waste but customer care and delivery as well.Cyclist Finishing First

So have another think about your costs, if you do not have the time to find those last bits of savings then you know where to come.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @CostDetectives for great free cost saving tips, or do get in touch if you are looking for any contacts as we now have over 7,000.


Commercial Property Owner? Do you have cash waiting for you?

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on February 9, 2013 No Comments yet

Do you have a commercial property that you use for your business?


Did you know that hundreds of thousands of UK businesses are due tax rebates totalling £70 billion, according to estimates by tax experts.


UK companies are able to claim tax relief on fittings such as lighting and air conditioning as well as other assets added to the property, though the lengthy legislative process involved in valuing these assets often puts firms off filing relevant claims.

Accountancy firm Deloitte confirming that, in 90 per cent of cases, tax allowance reports will uncover a tax rebate for commercial property owners.

For obvious reasons, the Revenue isn’t shouting about it from the rooftops. But there could be cash waiting for you now, could your business do with some?

“My accountant deals with all of this sort of thing”, I hear you say. The truth is that most accountants can’t be expected to have the skill-set required to identify capital allowances. It requires forensic skills supplied by property surveyors who are not merely looking at invoices.

Capital Allowance claims are one of the many things that we help our clients with if you would like us to see if you are eligible then just let us know, all on a no win no fee basis of course.


The Secrets of Cost Reduction!

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on January 26, 2013 No Comments yet


The  Secrets of Cost Reduction.



We are often asked what approach we take to reviewing client’s costs.

The answer we give is straight forward and can be used by anyone in any organisation, whether you are one man band or a multi national.

We believe each and every cost in your business should be subjected to the following 3 questions.


Is that Cost really necessary?

Challenge every single cost within your business, what would you do if you could not buy it anymore? Can you find it free on the internet, can you barter it for something. Has the technology just got old and you should really have got rid of it ages ago, no matter what it is.

How can we use  less of things?

You can always be more efficient, whether that means setting the photocopier to automatically print both sides. Or going paperless altogether, or not leaving things on standby. Look at your business processes, map them and test them and look for where the delays and inefficiencies are.


Can I renegotiate, or find an alternative?

Sometimes it can be difficult to renegotiate with the large corporate, especially if you are a smaller company. But why not say to your other suppliers “We are looking to appoint you as our exclusive supplier for X, if we do that we would need to have 5% off” or “ For every £ we spend over last quarters spend we need a 10% discount”.

You will be surprised how many suppliers are keen to help and maintain their market share by keeping you as a customer.


I hope you have enjoyed these tips, please do not hesitate to ask any questions or indeed add your own. Don’t forget to share this article  if you found it helpful. Just send me an email if you would like our help.




What 20 words can you give me that I can ask, that will get you more business in 2012?

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on December 22, 2011 No Comments yet

A great exercise for any business. Fine you would like me to introduce you to my contacts, of which I now have over 4,600 on Linkedin.

But what do I say to them? Important to keep it short otherwise I will never remember it, so no more than 20 words! What is it that you can do for my contacts , what need what wish, what problem are you going to solve for them. This is not as easy as it sounds.

Mine currently is


Have you identified all the cost savings in your Charity—I know someone who will do that for free.


Prices of Online backups of data has fallen dramatically.

Posted in Cost Detective, Systems Manager by Marcus on August 18, 2011 No Comments yet

The cost of online backups has fallen dramatically. You can now backup a full terabyte of information for just £60 a year.

This now brings the costs to a level that everyone should be taking advantage, whether you are a business or an individual who just wants to save all those precious digital images.

I wonder how many companies lost data during the recent riots?

The backups are now fully automated, secure duplicated storage, iterative so now is the time to take advantage.

If you want a recommendation on which service to use then just drop a line to


The Cost Detective tells you why your office cleaner may not be as cheap as you think.

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on July 8, 2011 No Comments yet

The Cost Detective tells you why your office cleaner may not be as cheap as you think.
Most companies concentrate on hourly rates they are being charged for a clean, but many cleaning companies are now making more money from the supplies that they also provide, we have seen instances of 300% mark-ups from standard costs for products such as rubbish bags, toilet rolls, hand towels etc.
If you would like The Cost Detective , a member of the Part Time Experts team, to review these costs and other costs within your business then just contact us on