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What are the Best Strategies for Effective Cost Management?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 April 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Creating and following an effective cost management plan is important for just about any business. While the specifics of the plan will vary based on the size and type of business involved, there are a few basic approaches that will be part of any type of viable cost management initiative. By considering factors such as the setting of clear and concise objectives, accurately assessing the true costs associated with running the operation, and educating all personnel regarding the management of anticipated expenses, the chances of successfully developing a solid cost management place are greatly enhanced.

Cost management often begins by identifying and setting objectives. Those objectives may be somewhat broad, but they also should be easy to grasp and to relate to every financial transaction that takes place within the operation. For example, a company may have an objective of keeping operation costs within a given range. In order to do this, understanding how to implement that objective by making sure each staff position is necessary, and eliminating waste of resources in the production process is important. The right objectives help to set the goal but allow everyone to participate in identifying specific procedures and activities that will make it possible to achieve that goal.

Along with objectives, effective cost management also means developing an understand of the true cost associated with each activity conducted by the business. This includes identifying the purchase price of necessary goods, but also the transportation and delivery costs associated with the transaction. If the purchase is made using credit, factoring in the cost in terms of interest is also key to determining just how much those purchased goods cost the company. By understanding the true cost, it is easier to determine if the purchase will result in a satisfactory level of returns over time, or if a different approach to the purchase would be in the best interests of the company.

In order to set viable objectives and to determine the true cost associated with purchases, it is imperative that everyone involved with the operation understand how and why resources are managed in a specific manner. By helping everyone to have some idea of the negative impact that waste has on the business, including its ability to offer benefits and higher wages or salaries, employees are more likely to work with managers toward developing procedures that are in line with company objectives and actually following through with those policies and procedures. This approach of involving everyone in the cost management initiatives has the added benefit of helping to create greater harmony within the workplace, which in turn may aid in increasing productivity, since everyone perceives a vested interest in the ongoing operation of the company.

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