Your supplier has just put their prices up, now what?

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on September 24, 2013 No Comments yet

The six questions you should ask when suppliers put their prices up.

 

We often come across this issue with our customers, in fact it is often the trigger to bring us in to help.

Here are questions you should ask;

Does our contract with them allow for price rises?

Do we have an option to come out of the contract?

Are the rises justified, is the market moving in the same direction?

Should we explore other options with other suppliers?

Can we negotiate with our supplier to try and reverse the increases?

Do we have the time for any of this?

 

If you do not have the time to find the answers to these questions, then your costs

will just continue to rise putting more and more pressure on your profitability.

 

You should also be aware, especially for those suppliers that you do not have a contract with, that they can put their prices up without even telling you. Do you check that this is not happening or do you just take it without doing anything about it?

 

The economy is supposedly turning a corner, so many suppliers will be taking the opportunity to put prices up.

Our advice: Just say no.  Keep Calm

 

 

 

If you need help saying no then just drop me a line on Marcus@TheCostDetectives.co.uk

Share

How to save money with employee Benefits. Get them reviewed!

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on August 1, 2013 No Comments yet

How to save money with employee Benefits.  Get them reviewed!

In a major survey of employees , the overwhelming majority rank Private Medical Insurance as their second most important benefit after a company contributing pension scheme.

There are many schemes available; anything from basic cover to get your staff back to work quickly, to full cover, that attracts and retains the most skilled members of your workforce.

Other benefits like Gym Membership, Health and Wellbeing Programs and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) can also be combined with your Medical Insurance to add value to your employee’s benefits package and help them keep fit and healthy.

You may have Private Medical Insurance cover but is it the most suitable or are you paying too much?

Auto Enrolment for pensions is already here and rolling out to EVERY company in the next few years..even if you have a pension scheme in force, you should take advice on its suitability and compliance with the new regulations, many do not comply.

Basic Life Insurance (Death in Service) and Income Protection are also valued benefits,  giving employees the peace of mind that if they get ill and can’t work, or the worst happens, there would be a safety net for them and their families. These schemes are cheaper thank you might think.

This is especially important if you are a smaller firm trying to attract personnel from the larger companies. Even as a one man band, you can still benefit from the tax efficient life insurance that’s paid for by your company.

Get in touch to cost save without removing the effectiveness of all your employee benefits, or if you have nothing in place yet and you know you should.

A big thanks you to Seth Thomas at Ample Financial Services for doing most of the work for this blog.

Share

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 Marcus@TheCostDetectives.co.uk 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!

Share

What to do if your Energy Supplier wants to change the meter? by The Cost Detectives

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on April 22, 2013 No Comments yet

What to do if your Energy Supplier wants to change the meter?

 

Smart meters are all the rage at the moment and indeed to be encouraged so we can all get rid of the ridiculous process of estimated bills.

When you get the call from your energy supplier that they want to change the meter, then ask yourself this question, “Why now?”

We have been told stories by our energy experts of cases where the supplier wants to change the meter because your current one is faulty. A good thing surely to change it then?

Not necessarily, what if your current meter is saying that you are using more than you actually are? Meters do go wrong especially the older ones with the spinning wheel. They are mechanical and parts wear out, allowing the wheel to spin more freely, and thus your readings are higher than they need to be and you end up being overcharged.

Energy MeterThe lessons here are to monitor your electricity usage via the meter, once you build  up a picture then you can look at the trends and decide if something out of the ordinary is going on. Make it the last thing you do every Friday before you go home.

Once your supplier comes into change the meter then the evidence is gone, they throw the old meters away, so how are you going to show that they have been over charging you now?

We have experts who can monitor your usage with their own meters if you are concerned, or if you just want to get cheaper electricity and gas then we have the experts who can help and are best suited to you and your business.

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 7,300. MarcusKing@TheCostDetectives.co.uk

 

Share

Costs are like dogs!- The Cost Detectives

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on April 7, 2013 No Comments yet

Costs are like dogs!

 

We spend a lot of time with clients looking at the actual cost of things that they are paying for, because that is the area they want us to concentrate on.

But we also look at how things are being ordered and why?  dog on lead 1

Companies struggle between empowering employees to do  right when they buy things, but equally wonder why their costs just keep going upwards.

There are things you can do to make sure that the balance works better.

Restrict who employees can order from, but equally make sure the door is open to new suggestions for suppliers as employees who are at the coal face often have an eye on new trends and options available.

 

Empower employees not only to spend but to innovate as well.

When was the last time you asked your employees, “What do we spend too much on?” If you did , did you take any notice?

If you have multiple sites how do you know when purchases are being made? Do you have a web based ordering and stock control system that can spit out reports at the drop of a hat.

There are many different ways of controlling day to day costs. Looking at costs two weeks after each month end is not one of them or even worse at year end!

Costs are like dogs you need to keep them on a leash, but there is no reason with the right procedures in place that it can not be one of those extendable / retractable ones. Not every dog tries to run away!

 

dog on lead 2

 

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. MarcusKing@TheCostDetectives.co.uk

Share

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.

 

MarcusKing@TheCostDetectives.co.uk

Share

10 Top Cost Saving Tips for any Business

Posted in Cost Detective, General by Marcus on November 10, 2012 2 Comments

Ten top tips for savings costs in any company or at home

 I Recently used this list as a basis for a presentation I did to 20 business women in North London, it was well received. Not only because all the tips are real ones that we have used with our clients, but because some of them can also be used a home.

              1.     Energy                        Make sure you know when your energy contracts are up for renewal. If you     don’t  you will be rolled over into a new contract at a higher than market rate and be paying too much for years to come.

 

                 2.   Energy Usage           A very simple tip, when you leave your business tonight take a reading of your electricity meter. When you come in tomorrow take another reading. He wonder what on earth have you left on all night that is costing you hundreds and hundreds of ££s a year!

 

3.  Fax Machines           Please tell me you do not still have one of these, they cost over £200 a year to run. You can now have a digital fax which means that any fax that is sent to you arrives as an email instead. No more worrying about ink or paper of that horrible squealing noise if your fax shares your phone line. We got rid of ours sometime ago and we now use this, http://bit.ly/MAsfQy  costs £2 a month.

 

4.   Print Costs                   These costs are still falling so you must ensure that you get more than one quote each and every time. We act as a print price checker for a number of organisations so if you need help with what can be a tricky area but full of significant savings then let us know.

 

5.    Telephony                    There are again huge savings still being made in telephony, but if you are a small company or a one man band then have you thought about getting rid of your landline altogether? You can still have a landline number and just point  it at your mobile or answering service and you can change the number it points to anytime.

 

6.    For the retailers amongst you.    You should all be taking credit cards as a payment method, but when was the last time you checked how much your Merchant Credit  Card Company is charging you? It is not all about the headline percentage charges did you now there are over 16 other charges that can appear on your statement? If you have lots of tourists buying your wares did you know there is a way of reducing your charges to zero, and we know companies who are actually being paid by their Merchant Credit card company.

 

7.      Business Rates                        There are still 41% of small companies in the UK who are not claiming the discounts and rebates available. Have a look at your business rates bill and look for the RV value. If it less than £25,500 if you are in Greater London then you should be getting rebates.

 

8.      Data Back ups                     Do you back up your data? Do you back up onto a drive that sits next to your computer? Thief will just take both. What about at home are you backing up those precious digital photos etc. A large percentage of companies fail within 2 years of a significant data loss, do not be one of them.  We use a service that charges £60 a year for a terabyte, incredibly good value, if you want the details then just let me know.

 

9.      Do you run a cafe or a restaurant?        Do you measure your waste food? This is a great way to answer questions like are  our portions too big? Do our customers like what we are serving today? If you simply scrape all the left overs into a bucket then weigh each day you will soon get a picture of what is working and what is changing.

 

10.      Telephony again.                Have a look at your business phone bill, I want you to look for 2 letters that will highlight the fact that you are paying too much. Those letters are “BT”.  95% of the clients that we work with have been paying too much if they have had BT as their Telephony supplier, are you one of the them?

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed these 10 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 Marcus@TheCostDetectives.co.uk

 

Share

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 save@thecostdetectives.co.uk

Share