Cost Reduction: Is Downsizing a Last Resort, or Merely the Road More Easily Traveled?
That’s why I don’t believe in downsizing, rightsizing, layoffs, cutting head count or whatever euphemism you call it in your company. To me, that’s taking the easy way out — the path of least resistance. And I see it as a sign of weakness, unless all other options for cost cutting and revenue increasing have been completely and thoroughly exhausted.
If not, you’re going to mess up the lives of some people who deeply care about their jobs and your company. And desperately need their jobs, too.
The job outlook is bleak. Many of your employees who are let go will absolutely have a hard time in this economy. Your actions could have devastating consequences on these people. Some could lose their homes, and money troubles at home are one of the leading causes of divorce.
At some point, you really need to look deeply at your company and take the hit. It’s not the market, the economy, your products and/or your employees who got you into this mess. As the leader of the ship, it’s your responsibility.
There’s Hope … Just Follow My Lead
All you have to do is look and I guarantee you’ll find ways to cut costs in your company — and do so without negatively affecting quality. In fact, if you look in the right places, you’ll likely increase quality.
I implore you to look at processes, not people. I beg you to take the high ground here, the road less traveled. Forget about head count; get past the political BS your executives tell you. Remember, they’re scared of losing their jobs, too. Get out and speak with lower-level employees. If you find one who isn’t too scared to tell you what you really need to know (translation: the unfiltered truth), then listen.
And finally, this is my challenge to you: If you cannot find where to cut costs, contact me and I’ll help you. I’ll choose two companies to do this for, pro bono (but only if you let me use the results of my help in a future column here).
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.