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Cost improvement practices and trends in Europe

Thriving in uncertainty: Deloitte’s first biennial cost survey

December 2016


Global macroeconomic factors are having a major impact on cost management efforts at large European companies. The challenging economic environment has created a cost/growth paradox we call “thriving in uncertainty,” where companies are simultaneously pursuing the seemingly conflicting goals of aggressive cost improvement and aggressive growth. Deloitte’s first European biennial survey of cost management and cost improvement trends explores how companies are managing costs in this challenging environment. For details and practical insights on tackling the cost/growth paradox, download the full report - or read on for some highlights.

Deloitte expert viewpoint

What we are seeing in today’s environment is a situation called ‘thriving in uncertainty’ that combines the elements of the ‘distressed’ category we saw following the financial crisis and the ‘positioned for growth’ category that emerged in the years following. There is an element of real macro uncertainty as well as defensive stance of boards. This is leading to cost reduction emerging as a top strategic priority. Does the strategy of ‘thriving in uncertainty’ reflect a new and permanent state of cautious optimism? Or is it simply a by-product of today’s global macroeconomics–and ultimately just a temporary stepping-stone to one of the three traditional cost management categories? Only time will tell.

Simon Brew, Partner