One would think this would be obvious by now, but it’s not. Most organizations still talk about savings, savings, savings long after there are no savings left to be had instead of cost avoidance (and the successor topic of value generation). The best way to save money is not to spend any in the first place.
More specifically, it’s great if you negotiate the cost of a case of paper from $50 down to $40 but it’s even better if you don’t buy the case in the first place! That’s a 100% savings instead of a 20%! Now, it’s probably safe to say that paper spend can’t be eliminated, but most printing goes into the recycling at most companies the day it is printed, and that certainly can. How? Look at why people feel the need to print reports, articles, invoices, etc? Is it because they are in AP and they have to manually enter data coming in on a scanned PDF that can’t be properly parsed with OCR into the AP system, and they only have one monitor? Is it because the sales team / executives only have a small laptop screen and can’t see the report details adequately? In the first situation another standard monitor for $150 will eliminate the need for the AP staff to print out paper every day and save you cases on a monthly basis for years to come! In the second, spending $300 to $500 on a large screen will save the executives from having to print.
And SI is really glad to see it’s not the only blog taking up the cost avoidance cause. In a recent post by the maverick on the new CPO site (in which the doctor is currently doing a lot of collaboration to define what a CPO is, what she needs to know, what she needs to do, and what no other site will tell you) in which he addresses how Most Firms Ignore Cost Avoidance [And] Destroy Economic Value, we find out that it is just important, if not more so, because, to be blunt, cost savings is just a special cast of cost avoidance where you avoid paying the supplier more than you need to in order to acquire the product (while insuring the supplier is still sustainable).
At the end of the day, it’s all about spending as little as possible to get what you need in a sustainable manner. This essentially says it’s all about avoiding as much spend as possible while still getting what you need in a sustainable manner. Cost Avoidance is key, regardless of what your definition is.