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Strategy

Cutting Costs

The Service Costs Forum will help the departmental divisions to reduce their overhead costs. The 2017 results are now in.


The Material Costs Forum is something many employees are aware of. For years, the forum has been working on reducing material costs in vehicle production. As of last year, an entity called the Service Costs Forum ("Forum Servicekosten," or FSK) is now also working to determine how to reduce the Volkswagen brand’s overhead costs. This includes any costs that are not directly associated with vehicle production. "We’ve actually slightly exceeded our aim of reducing overhead by ten percent in the first year," reports Katharina Kunze from the FSK. All in all, we saved 170 million euros in Germany alone in 2017.

The FSK put its framework agreements with service providers under the microscope.

Together with the respective department, it investigated where potential savings could be made. 
One example provided by Kunze was the sales literature that Marketing creates for dealers. "Together with the Marketing department, we analyzed all the sales brochures. Just by reducing the amount of technical refinements, such as high-gloss finishes, we can save 800,000 euros per year," says Kunze. The FSK even scrutinized 
the printers. 
Many departments had more devices than necessary. "What’s more, 
the proportion of expensive color printing was disproportionately high," the buyer notes. 
To change that, every computer is now configured to print in black and white by default.

 

"We want to use our work to help departments achieve their overhead targets," says Kunze and stresses, "We are not cutting any funding from departments." The Service Costs Forum will be continuing its work over the course of this year. Its aim is to 
further reduce overhead costs by more than 50 million euros.

Initiative Has Branches Around the World

The Service Costs Forum is anchored in Brand Initiative II of the TRANSFORM2025+ strategy and is supported by executives Arno Antlitz (Finance) and Andreas Tostmann (Production). The FSK’s work extends beyond the brand’s German locations. It now has regional offshoots in Brazil, Mexico, the US and Slovakia, for example.