Today we are please to publish the first in a short series from Michael Wydra of REL, part of the Hackett Group
Cutting costs is a recurring and sometimes even a permanent imperative in most companies. But when firms need to slim down, their efforts usually focus on reducing direct expenditures, even though indirect spend areas provide higher improvement potential that is often easier to realise.
“Indirect” spend covers goods and services that are not used in the manufacturing of an end product or development service. This area is often referred to as “nonstrategic” spend, since it has low strategic relevance. Indirect categories include office products, travel, car hire, waste management, energy, facility management, security services, insurances, telecommunications, IT, packaging, and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) items. Because these areas are not always covered by central procurement, they may not be managed in a professional manner, resulting in a lack of visibility and control. However, these expenditures can add up to large amounts, making indirect spend worth a closer look.