07 November 2017

Is your business leaking cash invisibly?

They may not realise it, but every day businesses across the UK are leaking cash invisibly. They might be incurring extra and unnecessary costs through adopting the wrong telecoms technologies or failing to manage the process of change. They could well be paying for products that they don’t need or don’t even have any more.


We arrive at these conclusions after 25 years of knowledge-gathering in telecoms, analysing and sourcing data, using specialist tools and our experts in the field. They are based on real-life experiences, working successfully with FTSE 100 companies and other large organisations across all sectors.

And the really worrying thing is many companies losing money don’t even notice it. Here are ‘seven deadly sins’ when it comes to cost control and systems management:

1. Failure to follow requests up

It’s about making sure your suppliers follow your process - ensuring that things are followed through. 

Checking you are genuinely receiving what you asked for and that it’s being correctly billed is a good starting point.

Chase your requests, check the information and acknowledgements you’re getting back in detail. Make sure all the information you have asked for is correct. Follow up purchase orders and keep on top of your supply needs.

2. Incorrect information

Are you checking that people are putting the correct data into their systems? Again, it is about being in control of important information, spotting if incorrect figures, services and details have been inputted. It’s also knowing where to look and having the expertise to dig into the ‘hidden’ data that sits behind every purchase order to uncover mistakes you may not even be aware of.

Not checking can cost you. Don’t just assume everything is right, that’s the way to lose money.

3. Being too busy to prioritise

Businesses are busy doing their day job – servicing the needs of their clients. But this can lead to not taking the time to gain the knowledge about where costly errors can occur and forensically analysing all the billing data you receive.

How much time and resource can you put into managing your cost control and systems management?

Do you need additional expert resources from outside to make sure it’s done properly?

4. Switching suppliers and not managing that change

This can also lead to errors, which may not show up on the bill.

Are the charges correct? Are you paying the right price for the product you are receiving? Do you know the services you have and why you have them? Are you still paying for services you have stopped? Just because your bill looks the same amount as the month before doesn’t mean it is right.

Are you managing change correctly? Switching suppliers needs extra attention and, if your bill has changed, do you understand why. Even if on the surface it seems right, it doesn’t mean it is.

Do you know the right questions to ask?

5. Not asking enough questions

Are the products and services you have the right ones for the business? Do you have the right number of mobile phones and telephone lines?

Are your telecoms delivering what they say? Are they cost effective? And are they actually needed? Also, what products are available to you – there might be something out there that is more beneficial? Are you utilising the latest technologies?

There may be associated costs that come with a telephone line that you might not have been aware of when you ordered it. Is it your network running as efficiently as possible?

When was the last time you asked any of these questions? And do you know where to get the answers from? Without the answers, again you could be leaking money.

It can be time-consuming, but there has to be a continual process of challenge, management and validation in the organisation.

6. Staff turnover

If you lose the people who know your systems and your processes and replace them with people who don’t, you are making it harder for yourself to spot errors and make savings.

Once the knowledge has walked out of the building, it can be difficult to get it back.

Make sure you have the training processes in place and ways that information can be shared.

7. Not having someone in control

Finally, businesses that don’t have a champion driving the process of challenge, management and validation will leak money.

It’s that someone who is on top of the issues of cost and efficiencies – a single point of responsibility. It’s where the buck stops.

Good communication is the key to this – the ability to talk to people at all levels of the business, creating the right culture in your organisation, where it’s not a sin to keep on asking sometimes uncomfortable questions.

If you think any of these ‘seven deadly sins’ apply to you, please get in touch with our experts to discuss how you can solve some of these problems and challenges.

PCMG (Professional Cost Management Group) is a world-class operating cost consultancy, working across the private and public sectors.

Our commitment is to deliver a clean bill of financial health for all our clients – working with us will leave you safe in the knowledge that your organisation is as fit, lean and strong as it possibly can be.

We will maximise your organisation’s liquidity by applying highly specialist expertise to reduce your operating costs and improve performance in the areas of energy, telecoms, water and accounts payable.

Part of Ayming (www.ayming.com), Europe’s leading business performance consultancy. with over £1bn recovered for clients across the group in 2016 and operating in 16 global markets, we have over 30 years’ experience with audits delivered in more than 30 countries.