4 ways to slash overhead costs in the new normal

From CFOdailynews: Your team has clear insight into the financials that can help your company uncover new ways to save. Take overhead costs, for example.

Finance staffers see all the bills that come in for things like rents and leases, electricity costs, office supplies and maintenance. And as their role transforms from a back-office function to a strategic business partner, staffers can better use that insight to lower overhead costs.

Check out four tips, inspired by the finance pros at Stampli, that you can share with your team to cut overhead costs:

1. Reassess your space
In the age of COVID-19 and remote work, many companies are finding they don’t necessarily need the big office they once did. Now, as employees are making their way back into the office, it’s important for Finance to ask questions like:

Does our current office make sense financially?
Are we in a popular, expensive area when a smaller, less-centralized location could work?
Do we genuinely need the amount of space we have, given the shift to remote work?
If you’re finding your company is spending more than it needs to on space, consider if you could sublease some of the space or move to a cheaper location to really lower overhead costs.

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And be sure to take your future work-from-home arrangement into account. You may not need as many offices, cubicles, etc., as you once did if not everyone will be in the office at one time.

2. Clear out storage
Most companies can probably think of at least one closet – or even a whole storeroom – that tends to become the dumping ground for outdated tech, miscellaneous stock, etc. And given that people spent less time on-site last year, other office spaces may have become clustered and crowded, too.

Have employees review what old or outdated items are taking up space, Stampli advises. And before you throw out no-longer-used tech, see if you can salvage and sell anything. What you deem as “old” or “outdated” may seem perfectly usable to other businesses or individuals.

Bonus: This clearing out step may help you assess whether the space you have is more than you need, as discussed above.

3. Reevaluate phone and internet services
Depending on your industry, you may also be able to cut back on traditional phone services that aren’t needed today, thanks to other modern tech.

In fact, switching to VOIP (voice over internet protocol) could save your company up to 73% on phone costs, according to Stampli. (And think about the number of devices, too. Can you cut back on phones if employees mainly use email, software and chat apps to communicate?)

Internet services are another facet your company can reassess to cut overhead costs. If you haven’t already, be sure to bundle your phone and internet. And if that’s not possible, Stampli says you can still save by:

removing features that go unused or are redundant because you have them elsewhere (e.g., web hosting, antivirus protection)
reviewing bills for repeat or unnecessary charges, and
purchasing routers to save on monthly rental fees.
4. Encourage paperless practices – everywhere
According to Stampli, the average company spends between $77 and $92 per month per employee on office supplies like legal pads, pens and printer ink.

As employees transition back to office life, you should take advantage of this “new normal” to create new practices to reduce overhead costs. Going paperless in everyday operations – even things as simple as encouraging laptops instead of notepads in meetings – could save you lots over time.

You could also make announcements or send memos encouraging people to only print the necessary documents and to be reasonable when taking items from the office supply room.

Finally, think past office tasks and items. Consider all the paper products in break rooms and all the paper towels in bathrooms. Getting creative and making small switches (say to reusable cups and hand dryers) can cut your business’ paper usage, too.

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