How cost consultants can turn cost planning activities into client value, boost productivity and reduce risk – simply by unlocking a hidden asset in their business
Nothing frustrates a leader more than seeing avoidable waste – and that frustration can be particularly intense when it’s your own business.
That’s why we find it puzzling that many cost consultancies seem to accept so much repetitive work around their cost planning activities. Each time a project is completed and filed away, so is the cost data that you’ve spent time, effort and money creating.
What are we talking about? Historic cost data, of course. Getting a handle on your historic cost data within a structured framework to make it accessible, usable and a driver of new client value can seem like a big hurdle. Yet there are many benefits of doing so – including:
- Investing expensive PQS time where it can best add client value
- Producing outputs faster, more accurately and at a lower cost, so you can process more projects
- Building a trusted benchmark database that supports you and enables new services
- Closing information gaps whenever data is patchy or unclear – no more guesstimates
In a similar way, most businesses go out of their way to reduce risk. Of course, cost planners and cost consultants are part of the process of risk reduction for their clients. It’s a concern that they sometimes accept significant and unnecessary risk in their own business. One that could so easily be mitigated.
We’re talking about spreadsheets. We know you and your teams are comfortable with spreadsheet solutions and have spent time creating great templates and linked sheets to bring consistency to your approach – but in doing so, are you aware of the risk you’ve created? If not, you need to be. Risks include:
- Ease of editing means cells, lines and calculations can too easily be deleted or overwritten
- Clunky and limited ability to search for data or query them for comparables
- Templates are easy to alter and vary, creating drift from established best practice over time
- Inevitable duplication with versions distributed across laptops, USBs and email attachments
Spreadsheets seem free, but they carry a big cost of risk. Even careful comp checks may not catch every issue, and if you don’t know where your data is, it can’t be backed up securely and reused – meaning your team inevitably reinvent the wheel again and again.
This is only the start. We’ve written a comprehensive e-book “Hidden Assets: How cost consultants can turn cost data into increased client value” which covers this and more. It provides a step-by-step direction you can take towards unlocking new profit opportunities through added client value while reducing risk at the same time.