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Cost Reduction

Reduce costs without sacrifice

Global uncertainty and price demands have affected almost every industry, worldwide. Our clients are asking for help finding ways to cut costs without sacrificing client service or quality.

Over the past 20 years, we have developed a program that isn’t just about cost reduction – but also incorporates organizational development principles to help the organization learn how to adapt to change. Cost reduction is sometimes in the details: How can a process be done more productively? Our consultants are experts in Lean, SixSigma, 5S and SMED and we incorporate these ideas into our “System for Managing.”

Incorporated into the “Highland approach” is a key idea – change only happens when your people own the process. That means that our consultants do not come in and “do it for you.” Your people are an integral part of the process. From providing input into where cost reduction can be realized to training others on more productive processes and ways to work identified by our consultants.

We talk a lot about a “needs-based approach.” This means our work is scalable – whether you are a large global company or a national leader, we work with you develop a custom plan to fix your challenges.


Below are some examples of key actions in cost reduction programs we have implemented with our clients. Please review our related case studies for more details.

  • Designed and implemented a company-wide reorganization, including a new marketing function
  • Implemented process control and quality improvement programs to reduce process time and scrap
  • Improved overall equipment performance using 5S (sort, straighten, shine, systemize, and sustain) and SMED (quick changeover) techniques
  • Designed and implemented System for Management Reporting (top to bottom) and conducted Supervisory/Managerial Training Workshops
  • Developed and implemented a product development life cycle and project management system
  • Designed and implemented planning and scheduling systems for all areas of production
  • Created a barrier identification and elimination process utilizing cross-functional teams
  • Developed a worker/union involvement program allowing for flexibility to train hourly employees
  • Addressed manufacturing problems with Process Re-Engineering Teams – including machine operators, quality personnel and engineering
  • Created an Overall Equipment Effectiveness program to support smaller batches and reduce set-up time
  • Developed and installed a Demand-Pull Replenishment Based Production Scheduling process
  • Created and implemented a Product/Customer Rationalization program
  • Designed a program to reduce freight and warehousing costs through the use of direct shipments


Results achieved by some of our clients include:

  • Reduced fixed and variable operating expenses by 25%
  • Increased equipment utilization by 68%
  • Reduced waste by 22%
  • Increased throughput by 18%
  • Reduced customer service lead time by more than 50%
  • Reduced order-to-deliver costs by 3.5 cents per pound
  • Reduced finished goods inventory by $11 million
  • Reduced annual freight and warehousing costs by $2 million