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Our Productivity and Industrial Engineering Books, click cover for contents. Cost Reduction is a high powered book, full of good ideas. Industrial Engineering book includes the contents of Time and Motion Study, Layout, and Cost Reduction; but not Construction Piece Rates .


Cost Reduction - A Vital Practice in any Economy
Does your business take cost reduction seriously? Chances are, you have already started.
This page offers some specific ideas, and resources, on this difficult topic.

Specific cost reduction

First, please consider your entire organization, not just direct labor, to optimize results.

Second, platitudes and buzz-words alone won't do the job. Successful cost reduction requires a hands on approach, literally a line by line analysis. Where to look? Your business is unique, but these insights are often useful:

  • Find the highest value opportunities in your unique circumstances; show me the money. "Opportunity" combines both the overall cost, and the potential actually to create an improvement .
  • Cut waste. Just what is waste? A March 2009 "Business Week" article presents this test:
    Will a customer pay for this activity?
    Will my service fail without this activity?
    Will I go to jail if I eliminate this activity?
    Answer "no" to all three, and the activity can essentially be defined as waste.
    Sounds good to me.
  • Find and manage constraints, bottlenecks, delays; that extend the cycle time of any activity.
  • Quantify expectations, measure performance, ask for accountability.
  • Cherry pick on the floor; look for delay, workload imbalance, high scrap.
  • Cherry pick at the management level, non-value added activity, inventory policy that causes changeover or out-of-stock. Match throughput to customer demand, match facilities and workforce to customer demand. Do your internal operating practices or paperwork interfere?

    Put cost reduction into effect

    The immediate needs for your organization will depend on the general economy, the particular sector of the economy in which you participate, and unique characteristics of the organization. You may need to survive, or to recover, or to thrive at different times of your existence. Ideas for cost reduction and for good management are mixed interchangeably, just as in real life.

    By the way, real cost reduction results may well cause you to evaluate some hard choices. It is said that there are no fixed costs if one reconsiders the basic assumptions.

    Read more, or act?

    Read an on-line article on Cost Reduction; please click to read

    Read what I consider my most useful book. Please click here or the Cost Reduction cover above for more detail on the Amazon site.

    If you'd like experienced assistance
    to create effective cost reduction for your circumstances, call on JPR. We can perform a project, shepherd your staff, or tailor services according to client resources, objectives, timetable and budget.

    We welcome your questions and comments; please call call Jack Greene at 843-422-1298, to ask about cost reduction. There is neither charge nor obligation for discussions.

    Or please e-mail Jack Greene at or