"Retrenching the workforce should be the last resort due to high humanitarian cost"

Gajanan Gandhe, country head, Dana India on five ways to manage costs during a downturn

Published 4 years ago on Jun 18, 2020 1 minute Read

Checklist every option: Review every possible opportunity for cash preservation by examining all fixed and variable costs. This includes negotiation of fixed rate contracts (with landlords and consultants). Negotiate with your existing bankers to bring down financing costs.


Monitor material cost: Finding alternative material and part suppliers and better means to manage freight and packaging can help reduce input costs. Leverage existing relationships with suppliers to reduce procurement costs by entering into long-term agreements.


Go slow on capex: Defer capital investments, and ask for payment deferral and improved payment terms from suppliers for ongoing projects. Focus on inventory management to ensure minimum idle and locked cash. Renting or leasing instead of buying should also be considered.


Curtail discretionary spend: Most discretionary spending - travel and entertainment, training, participation in exhibitions and conferences, hiring external consultants etc, need to be done only if unavoidable. Where possible, encourage work from home to cut down on allied working and commuting cost.


Get buy-in for salary cuts: Most employees are aware and would be willing to share the pain at the cost of losing their jobs. Eliminating discretionary benefits and temporarily reducing compensation can be short-term measures to reduce cost and save cash. Retrenching the workforce should be the last resort due to high humanitarian cost and loss of morale.