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Driving Down Cost: How to Manage and Cut Costs- Intelligently: How to Manage and Cut Costs- Intelligently by Andrew Wileman

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6 Cost Cutting Case Study

In 2006 I did a classic cost-reduction program for the European division of a US-based business services company. The business had operations in most main European countries, including Turkey, with strong regional and country management structures as well as a central European head office. In Europe it had (by order of magnitude; I’m disguising the real figures) around $2 billion sales and 10,000 employees. To cover interest payments and start paying down debt, it needed to increase operating profit by an extra 4–5% of sales. Achieving this via revenue growth was not a realistic option, so a big chunk of cost had to be cut.

Management set up a project team, including outside consultants, and I was brought in to lead ...

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