As many of you may know, at the start of every year the Council sends out an annual poll to gain insight into our members’ top challenges and concerns. This generally helps feed into our research planning for the coming year, and it’s helpful to hear what challenges emerge and how they compare to years prior.

Looking to 2012, cost management seems to be top of everyone’s minds. 43% of executives expect increased cost pressures to be the dominant challenge they face this year, far more than any other options given. (To put this in some perspective, this was a significant jump from 2011, when 28% of executives named this as a top concern). Two things jumped out at me from our survey that highlight the acute pressures that executives face in managing cost concerns:

 

1) The need to show short-term results

Almost 3 in 4 executives say they are expected to achieve cost reduction goals within the next 12 months.

 

2) An increasing challenge to achieve continued year on year cost reduction

Despite the significant cuts that many firms have already made in the past several years, 60% of Operations executives must reduce their budgets further this year.

To address the second point, over the next few months we’ll be spearheading a major research study on sustainable cost reduction and eliminating hidden sources of cost waste.

However, we wanted to give our members some tools and best practices they can begin implementing now in order to start seeing results within the coming year. To learn more, read our brief on Window on the Future: Cost Reduction in 2012 for a guide on short-term cost management to start seeing cost savings results in 2012.