published Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Tennessee: Distress brings attention to cutting costs Local company analyzes businesses’ expenses


by Brian Lazenby
Audio clip

Marlene Shaner

Businesses always are looking for ways to reduce their expenses, but during a recession it is even more important.

Marlene Shaner, who runs one of three local offices of Expense Reduction Analysts, examines companies’ expenses to determine areas where they can save. She said her group can find an average savings of almost 20 percent.

“Depending on the type of industry, it might be in freight, transportation or payroll,” Ms. Shaner said, referring to areas where savings might be found.

Expense Reduction Analysts, based in Carlsbad, Calif., has cost-cutting consultants in more than 20 countries.

Mike Lenzie, chief financial officer for Aqua-Chem, a Knoxville-based water purification company, engaged Ms. Shaner’s company to find extra savings in his maintenance and supply costs.

Click here: For complete Inauguration 2009 coverage

Article: Tennessee: Distress brings attention to cutting costs Local company analyzes businesses’ expenses

Article: Chattanooga: Tax plan outlook hazy Would tax middle-class credits be encumbered?

Article: Chattanooga: On campus, Obama message is must-see TV

Article: Chattanooga: Seeds of change

Slideshow: Local Inauguration viewings

Article: Chattanoogans witness history, join in the capital celebrations

Article: Chattanooga locals share inauguration stories

Article: Chattanoogans ready for change

Article: Presidential collectibles range from weird to chic

Article:Chattanooga: Author Goodwin sees hope in inauguration

Article: Tennessee: Area lawmakers mark historic inauguration

Video: Historic day

Slideshow: 2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Parade.

Article: Cleveland: M.L. King Day message is of helping others

Article:Chattanooga: ‘We R1 family’

Article: Tennessee: Democats say Obama will be fair to state

Article: Dalton: Obama excitement adds to M.L. King Day of Service

PDF: Historical articles

PDF: Race relations in Chattanooga

Video: Marching to the Promised Land

Article: Race relations in Chattanooga

Article: Chattanooga: Obama Effect - Local blacks consider political futures

Article: Energizing black voters: Group works to get out the vote for Dalton mayoral runoff

Article: Washington: Two area musicians to play for band

Article: Chattanooga: Market could have quick initial reaction

Article: Tennessee: Obama Cabinet lacks Southern flavor

Article:Chattanooga: Panel eyes change with Obama

Article: Chattanooga: Bringing the inauguration home

Article: Tennessee: Civility panel decries personal attacks

Video: Obama’s first 100 days

Article: Tennessee, Georgian societies sponsoring inaugural balls in D.C.

Article: Chattanoogans gear up to go to inauguration

Article: Chattanooga: Crises for president

Article: Tennessee: Area Guard members to assist in Washington

Article: The Tennessee State Society of Washington, D.C.

Article: Chattanooga: It was the economy in 2008

Article: Tennessee: A new year wish granted — inaugural tickets

Article: Tennessee: The hottest, most expensive ticket in town

Mr. Lenzie said Expense Reduction Analysts had predicted between 15 and 20 percent savings for Aqua-Chem but saved the company even more by helping it consolidate with a single supplier which opened a supply store in-house.

“Right now, when it is so tough economically, any nickel you can save is a good thing and this has really been good for us,” Mr. Lenzie said.

Renee Ford, a partner with the accounting firm of Joseph Decosimo and Co., said that before a company can begin cutting costs, officials must understand where they are spending more than is necessary.

“When you are talking about controlling costs or reducing costs, you have to determine what is and what is not controllable,” she said.

One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to locate redundancy, which is usually found in support staff duties. Those employees can be cross-trained into other areas to better use their talents. Seasonal workers or interns can be used and will often work for less than a full-time employee, Ms. Ford said.

Mitch Plumlee of Expense Reduction Analysts, who is based in Hixson, said the sagging economy is driving more companies to examine their expenses. They may first try to increase sales, but that is a difficult task in the current economic recession, he said.

“We are seeing a bit more interest now because people are beginning to see the value in it,” Mr. Plumlee said.

Cutting expenses is the quickest way for a company to see added profits.

“When you cut expenses, it goes straight to the bottom line,” Mr. Plumlee said. “If we save them $10,000, that’s about $100,000 in sales they would have to generate to see that on their bottom line.”

Ms. Shaner said a team of analysts will look at a company’s expenditures for the past year and develop a report that may indicate where savings can be found. She said her favorite question to ask a company executive is, “What do you lose sleep over at night?” depending on the answer, that’s where she will begin.

“Most company’s focus on what their product or service is, and that takes most of their time,” she said. “Most companies operate with a really lean staff and don’t have the resources to do this.”

Ms. Shaner said she enjoys showing a company owners how they can cut expenses and boost profits.

“There is something very rewarding about showing a company where they can save money without cutting jobs,” she said.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.