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.


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.




Do you have the fairer sex working for you?

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on September 13, 2012 No Comments yet

Do I need to provide sanitary disposal?

Even if you only have one women working for you these regulations apply.


Each company has a duty of care under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The Regulations updated in 1992, stipulate that “In the case of water closets

used by women, suitable means should be provided for the disposal of sanitary dressings”.

 This applies to all commercial premises in the UK.

One of the things that you need to be aware of is that if your building cleaners are just emptying the bins into the general waste bags then you are breaking the law.

So using a highly reputable Registered Waste carrier is essential.

How much should I be paying for the service?

If you already have this service in place with a properly registered Waste carrier then check that you are not paying too much.

Our research shows that if you are paying more than £9 for a monthly collection of each bin then you will indeed be paying too much. If you have a lot of bins that need collecting and servicing, then the price should be less.


Of course if you would like us to help you check your existing contract or put you in touch with a supplier then just drop me a line to and we will do all we can to get those bills reduced.


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.


What a Care Home should know on a daily basis? What are your KPIs?

Posted in Finance Director, Systems Manager by Marcus on August 15, 2011 No Comments yet

What a Care Home should  know  on a daily basis!    What are your KPIs?

Businesses should have KPIs  they look at each day, each week, and month end.

If I was running a care home what would be 3 of my daily KPIs?

  1. Food waste, what was the weight of food I threw away today?
  2. Alarm activations, how many residents pressed their alarms today?
  3. Activity participation hours- you have 30 residents at 10 hours a day what % of the 300 hours was spent on activities?

Want to know why or do have others then email



Our Cost Detective asks , Does your business rubbish look like this? Then you are paying too much!

Posted in Cost Detective by Marcus on July 27, 2011 No Comments yet

Does your bin look like this each week? Do you collect all your waste and put it in black plastic sacks? Are your cardboard boxes thrown into the wheelie-bin without breaking them down?  If that is the case you will probably be wasting hundreds of pounds a year, and from September you will probably be failing the latest waste legislation.

The alternative is to adopt simple segregation, meaning that you can recycle a greater proportion of that waste. That is good for the environment, but also for your bank balance. Remember, it is now often cheaper to recycle your waste.

Does your rubbish look like this?

This could be costing you money