Smart companies have always been on a continuous search for efficiency. Historically, it has been widely accepted to hire external consultants for services such as recruitment, financial expertise, marketing or strategy in order to work hand in hand with the internal departments to improve their results. Today, in the current fast evolving environment, the quest for cost optimization has become crucial. However, the procurement department is the only one that does not rely on external expertise. Even if your company has a procurement department to keep the general expenses under control, there are good reasons to open up to external experts. We list a couple of them below.
1. The general expenses
IT, HR, Logistics, Facilities, Energy, Marketing… There are a great variety of general expenses. It would be extremely arduous to master all these areas. Indeed, each and every category of cost has its own specificities and requires completely different approaches. Working with external consultants allows you to concentrate your efforts on the strategic matters of your company and externalize the optimization of the general expenses.
2. The changing markets
In most of the companies, internal buyers will negotiate the contracts only once every two or three years. Between two tenders, it is almost a full time job to keep track of all the changes that occur in the market. New suppliers, new technologies, new best practices are precious information that can reduce general expenses significantly. By hiring external experts, you will benefit from the expertise of consultants whom negotiate contracts on a daily basis.
3. The best price
Are the buyers absolutely sure that they have the best price on the market? It is basically impossible to know if the price you negotiated is the absolute best you can have. Indeed, even the greatest buyer will only have an overview on the best results of a few companies. Thanks to a great variety of clients, external experts have a clear view over the market and know exactly what is the best price possible for a given client. At Bridgewater we have developed a benchmarking tool that allows to identify potential savings considering the client’s required level of quality and service.
4. The ever changing environment
Today we live in a fast paced climate. The energy prices you have negotiated today are already out-dated tomorrow. And that goes for many of your general expenses: transaction costs for payments with bank cards, IT licences, express deliveries, … Working with external experts that have a vision of the future allows you to anticipate events and cut unnecessary costs across the board. Our external experts have, for example, already reduced transactions costs for numerous retailers even before it was common knowledge that a European directive would put a cap on the banking interchange fees.