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Easy ways to discover hidden costs, reveal surprising returns

Johannesburg, 21 Jul 2023
Wise cost control strategies in your office and at home can address weaknesses in budget planning.
Wise cost control strategies in your office and at home can address weaknesses in budget planning.

Everyone talks about the need to cut costs, but beneath the impulse to save a dollar here and there is a smart approach. Wise cost control strategies in your office and at home can address weaknesses in budget planning that, when remedied, can actually reveal sources of savings and even profit.

Why performing a cost inventory is important

For an instant, put saving money aside (as difficult as it sounds). Even in the best economy, looking at costs and fixing gaps is essential business and smart living. Reviewing your budget reminds us of those extra expenditures we generally forget – or think little of – until we add them up.

From paying routine electric bills to the buying of multiple and duplicate office supplies, basic purchases are a large spend sinkhole when we don’t pay attention. We also buy things that seem innocent enough on a day-to-day basis (think coffee, lunch out, magazines) but put a big drain on incidental spending.

Take a new look at the following areas of expenditure. Learn how you can discover hidden costs and turn them around to reveal cash at the end of the day:

Review bills and statements instead of paying them “on faith”. Mistakes can happen, along with erroneous fees and overages. You may also be reminded of recurring subscriptions that are no longer useful. And while you’re at it, shop around for other credit cards that offer perks, money back and/or better rates.

Office supply costs can be reduced by centralising ordering, with one person being responsible for all orders. Save money by eliminating duplicate purchases and buying in bulk.

Revisit printing and paper practices by having employees print on both sides of paper and reduce waste (20% of print jobs are left in the print tray) with advanced technology that requires the user to validate the job with a PIN code. Xerox ConnectKey technology offers a secure method of authentication, along with a complete productivity ecosystem to help you design a more efficient way to work.

Revisit memberships, contracts and insurance policies to check for hidden savings. Are you benefiting from that hopeful gym membership or Jam of the Month Club? The same goes for vendor contracts, since new pricing, offers and market variables can change every day. Consider joining your local trade associations and chamber of commerce for member discounts and group pricing offers.

Clear clutter and update procedures for a better handle on inventory and to create best practices on processes. Get rid of old or broken equipment, furniture, printers and supplies, and streamline files by converting them to digital.

Cut back on non-critical meetings to keep productivity high and handle long distance meetings via video conferencing. And when it comes to work time, be flexible with employees. Letting people work when and where they can be most effective improves productivity, improves morale, plus reduces office overhead.

Invest in more efficient office technology and you’ll score twofold by saving money investing in efficient/energy-saving devices and by choosing equipment that makes your life easier. Advanced technology such as Xerox ConnectKey printers can help workers replace manual processes like scanning, old-fashioned routing of documents and in collaboration by file sharing that helps keep everyone on the same page.