We met with Sidsel for a chat about cost reduction programmes in the public sector and how she contribute in the area.
- Why do you work with cost reduction programmes in the public sector? “First and foremost, I consider the public sector the foundation of the Danish society and therefore I think it is very important not only to appreciate the work that is being done but also constantly to develop and challenge the way of working. The reason is that our common resources in terms of tax money are limited and therefore it is of utmost importance to ensure that we all benefit from the most optimal allocation and use of tax money. That is exactly what we assist our public sector clients with in cost reduction programmes and what drives my motivation for working in this particular sector. In close collaboration with the client, we help shape the public sector of tomorrow making a clear impact on the way they work. During my career, I have assisted a number of different ministries and public organisations, and in all projects we have identified a potential for optimisation and efficiency improvements.”
- What are the biggest challenges associated with carrying out projects resulting in cost reductions? “Cost reduction programmes are associated with tough decision-making and prioritisation of the client’s activities that often involve some sort of trimming or elimination of activities. This task involves making key choices notwithstanding the fact that those activities are still considered important to the client. Our job is to help the client make tough decisions under uncertain conditions. Hence, it is crucial that our recommendations are based on solid groundwork and analyses to ensure that the client is able to follow the reasoning and able to implement the suggested changes. To enable the solid groundwork, it is my experience that the data-driven analyses are a cornerstone of our recommendations in cost reduction programmes. Moreover, I think it is vital that we work closely together with the client to ensure that we are able to mutually agree on the identified challenges and hence also the solutions.”
- Can you highlight one interesting case in this space? “I would like to highlight the Royal Danish Theatre cost reduction project that we made with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Culture. This project was especially interesting because we did not only focus on the cost side of the business but also had the opportunity to optimise the income-generating activities. In addition, the project is a great example of our data-driven approach. Based on wide-ranging data collection and processing we were capable of leveraging a solid understanding of the activities and cost drivers for the theatre’s activities. Our approach enabled us to quantify and visualise the unrealised potentials that existed in the theatre’s business and thereby identify strategic areas for efficiency improvements. It was a challenging project, which ultimately became a success due to my team’s high expertise within data-driven analysis and the deep understanding of the cultural sector.”