Optimizing Supplier-Based Expenditures and Improving Your Bottom Line
- with Mike Roberts

Mike Roberts is a Consulting Partner with Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA), one of the world’s leading specialists in cost management. For nearly 30 years, ERA has helped thousands of clients find extra cash flow and improve operational efficiency in more than 40 expense categories. 

Mike has decades of experience successfully optimizing costs and increasing margins so that businesses realize tangible and sustained bottom-line improvement.  After nearly 20 years in executive leadership in the Hospitality Industry, Mike took his unique skill set and track record of creating efficient, high-performing, and profitable business units to ERA in 2022. He is a detailed strategic thinker who constantly leverages his deep financial knowledge and outstanding operational skills to improve the bottom line. In his time with ERA, Mike has leveraged his experience driving profitability, to save his clients north of 2 million dollars across over 25 successful projects.   Mike has a passion for helping businesses to optimize and deliver results that exceed expectations.

EPISODE SNAPSHOT

[01:00] Introduction to Mike Roberts and Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA).
[4:30] Overview of ERA’s approach to cost reduction across various expense categories.
[8:15] The significance of non-core business expenses and ERA’s specialization in 50 categories.
[12:50] ERA’s global presence and the types of businesses they work with.
[17:00] Average savings ERA aims to achieve for clients and the impact on their bottom lines.
[22:25] The process ERA follows to integrate with client teams and manage cost reduction.
[27:40] Success stories and the value ERA brings to businesses beyond mere cost savings.
[32:15] The educational aspect of ERA’s services and the future of cost reduction strategies.1:00

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

In this episode, Scott Reid speaks with Mike Roberts from Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) about the various ways ERA helps businesses cut costs. Mike explains that ERA focuses on identifying and reducing non-core business expenses across numerous categories such as insurance, shipping, and credit card transactions. For companies with significant labor, ERA can delve into human capital expenses like payroll processing and uniforms. They also tackle expenses related to physical assets, like fleet management and facilities maintenance.

ERA’s approach is tailored, leveraging specialists for each of the 50 expense categories they cover, ensuring expertise in every project. Their global reach, originating from the UK, spans 60 countries, allowing them to serve a diverse clientele. Typically, ERA aims to save businesses an average of 20% on reviewable spend, with savings significantly impacting companies’ bottom lines. Mike emphasizes the value ERA brings, especially to businesses without the internal resources to manage such cost reduction strategies effectively, highlighting the seamless integration with client teams and the broad spectrum of industries they serve, from manufacturing to healthcare and education.

The discussion underscores ERA’s role as a strategic partner in financial optimization, offering not just cost savings but also an educational component by sharing industry insights and practices. Mike’s enthusiasm for his work shines through as he describes the satisfaction of delivering substantial savings and operational efficiencies to businesses, illustrating ERA’s commitment to enhancing their clients’ financial and operational health

MENTIONED DURING THIS EPISODE:

Mike Roberts LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-roberts-a3869312/

Expense Reduction Analysts: https://us.expensereduction.com/

SPONSOR

This episode is brought to you by Ecommerce Optimizers

At Ecommerce Optimizers, we specialize in helping Ecommerce brands in one focused area: and that’s making your website easier to use so that more of your visitors buy from you. 

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Scott Reid 01:00
All right. Today on the E commerce optimizers podcast, we have a special guest, a guy by the name of Mike Roberts, Mike was introduced to me by a mutual business acquaintance, Carrington, Crothers. And Mike is a representative of a company by the name of expense reduction analysts. And it’s a very, very intriguing business model. When Mike and I were talking, I said, Hey, would you would you like to be a guest on the podcast, because as I listened to what he did, and the benefits that he brings to his clients, I instantly thought that it would be a great synergy between what he does and what many ecommerce brands might very well be looking for, which is to reduce expenses, because who doesn’t want to reduce expenses, if you are a for profit business, and even if you’re a non not for profit, business, expense reduction is always and should always be a key component of your business strategy. So Mike, without any further ado, why don’t you Well, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do, and then we can take it from there. Yeah,

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 02:12
that’s, that’s great, Scott, and I appreciate you having me on today. And, you know, it’s nice to nice to be you know, on your podcast today. And I know you have a great, great audience here that I’m hoping to add some value to So, so So thank you, you know, so as far as I’m concerned, I joined era or expense reduction analysts, and we will be rebranding, which I can announce today, we will be coming era group here in 2024. So, the reason for that is, you know, we’ve been around since 1992. And we’ve been called expense reduction analysts since 1992. And the name hasn’t really caught up with what we’re doing. Right. So we add value in a lot of ways outside of just being an analyst. Right? We were really viewing ourselves as trusted advisors for our clients. And there’s, there’s a knowledge share that’s happening there in that process, right, that’s not really captured with expense reduction analysts. I just wanted to share that we’ll we’ll be rebranding to era group here in 2024. And so myself, and what makes me a little bit unique in this space. And, and yes, we’re considered expense reduction consultants. But nowhere in our playbook is simply reducing price. The only objective, right reducing prices is part of the process. But it’s its operational fit, its value, right? And then there’s, there’s price reduction, right, that’s an associated byproduct of going through that process. Right. So when you’re looking to optimize your expenses, yes, you want to reduce your costs, right, but you want to do it in a way where the quality is there, the operational phase is there, right, those two components have to be there to reduce price, I just wanted to kind of start with that differentiation. Because sometimes folks get scared by a lower cost, right, they assume worse quality, right? That’s never the case of what we do. So, so hopefully, that’s helpful. One other thing I wanted to share is that you know, that I did sit on the other side of the table, you know, I ran businesses for about 20 years, right? So having that unique perspective with p&l control, and really focusing on driving margins was essential to what I did for so many years to be able to, to sit on the other side of the table and help folks that were like myself now is is is really is really, you know, been rewarding for me. So I just want to start with that.

Scott Reid 04:40
Yeah. And actually, it’s a great point to ask you about your experience, because I think that your experience is is really interesting. It’s unique. And it definitely speaks to what you just said in terms of managing p&l and all that. Can you talk about about your background and what you did before you started working for era? Sure, sure. So

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 05:02
yeah, I was an accidental hotelier like, like many are, you know, so I had a finance background and economics background and just kind of fell into the hotel industry. And I ended up ended up being there for many years. And I came up through sales, right. And I was on the sales side of the business for probably about the first seven or eight years of my career. And then I moved to General Manager in outside of Philadelphia, probably about 15 years ago. And then I was on that trajectory for about 10 to 15 years before I was a regional manager for Philadelphia area for a independent lifestyle hotel company. So we had about five food and beverage outlets, about 700 hotel rooms and about 200 residential units that we were overseas and so there was a lot of moving parts. And it’s, you know, it’s a very fast paced, competitive business. So it was great experience for me, to kind of to kind of really folk was on all the things that I’m doing now with the array.

Scott Reid 06:02
That is a lot, I bet you dealt with an awful lot of different vendors in that role.

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 06:07
Tons of vendors, you know, margins are always important. And I learned with my past life that’s still relevant today is it’s a partnership with vendors. They don’t they’re not solely your they’re not your employee, or they’re not to be treated in a way where you’re always looking to beat them down on cost, right? If you view it as a partnership, you end up getting the result that that you’re looking to achieve. So I think a lot of times folks view that relationship incorrectly. How

Scott Reid 06:41
did you get into working in the expense reduction side of the business? How did you make that? What was the point at which you made the jump? Yeah, the

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 06:50
inflection point was was during the pandemic. And, you know, I laid laid off three quarters of my staff, and we were actually bought out by another company. And I went through a transition where, you know, I was actually bought out for my role, right? So I had the luxury of, of, you know, kind of having some time to evaluate where I wanted to go and look at a bunch of different options. And I had no business coach as a resource, right? So I went through that whole evaluation process. And what I really keyed in on was, okay, what are my unique skill sets that I want to apply to whatever that next chapter is, and kind of looking back over the last 20 years, and it always been driving profit margins, really growing revenues, really making sure that businesses were running efficiently and effectively in a way that we were driving the highest margins for key stakeholders, whether it was ownerships, whether it was brand partners, that was what I had done well, for so many years that led to my success. Well, I said, How do I how do I leverage that? Do it in a way that’s in my own business, right? I wanted to have my own my own business, which I’m able to have here within a year. Right. So that’s kind of how I got here.

Scott Reid 08:01
Awesome. So in terms of getting started with a new client, how does that process work? Like, let’s just say that, us, let’s say, I’m an ecommerce brand, and I sell a bunch of different widgets. And I’m looking to increase my profit margin, I’m referred to you how does that initial as that initial interaction go? And what are those steps to start working with you?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 08:30
That’s great, great question. So we try to make it as easy as possible, obviously, but the key is to really know how we can help we have to, we have to evaluate the business, right? So typically, step one will be will get a copy of the 12 months of the general ledger for 12 months of the accounts payable by supplier, right. So at this point, there’s no commitment, right, there’s no contract sign, there’s no fee do to us, all we’re doing is taking a high level assessment of the business. And what we’re looking for is we have about 50 areas that we that we are experts in as far as cost centers. We’re looking for the presence of those 50 cost centers within the business, we’re evaluating against our benchmarks. And we’re saying, Okay, from a cursory perspective, here’s where we see potential opportunities to save money. And maybe here’s about how much we could expect to save based on 30 years of doing this and 30 years of benchmarks, right? And then it’s kind of what do you want to do? Right? Would you like some help? Now that you have these insights, would you like to tackle these areas on your own, most of the time, what we see is that, you know, people come to us because they don’t have the internal resources, the time or the expertise to tackle it on their own. So they’re really looking for some help in these areas.

Scott Reid 09:44
So you just so I understand it correctly, you get a copy of 12 months of the general ledger, and then you’re identifying opportunities across a variety of different expense categories. And then you’re presenting those, those opportunities, kind of like on a high level, to the, to the potential client

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 010:03
90% of time, that’s the case, you know, 10% of the time, someone may reach out say, Hey, Mike, we know we have a need in, you know, merchant processing, or we know we have a need and freight or insurance. We don’t need an entire evaluation, we have our pain point, can you just get started, okay, that can happen from time to time, 90% of the time, they don’t know where the opportunities are yellow for us to find it.

Scott Reid 10:28
And so once you once you present those opportunities, what’s the next step? Then

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 010:33
they’ll have an engagement. And what we’ll do is we’ll listen to scope of work the individual areas that we’ve identified that they would like help in further evaluating. And that’s when the real evaluation begins, where we’ll assign one of our consultants, our specialists, that that’s their area of expertise. That’s all they’re doing 365 days a year, that specific cost category, and then we’ll start data collection. So we’ll gather contracts agreements, typically only about 12 months of invoice history. What we’re looking for there is we’re looking for errors, we’re looking for incorrect billing 25% of the time, we’ll find significant errors in health history. And we’ll actually go out and retrieve those credits for our clients as well, when we see those well. So really what we’re doing is we’re just we’re getting a better idea of what the scenario is.

Scott Reid 11:25
Okay. After that, what’s the next step after that? After that

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 11:30
step, what we’ll do is we’ll present a baseline report, right? And that’s basically here’s the current stance. Here’s what you’re currently paying. Here’s the nature of your current relationships with suppliers, we view the potential for meaningful savings in these areas for we do not right one or the other, typically 95% of time, we’re saying we see an opportunity for savings here. And then once we all agree that yes, this is the baseline scenario, where I will present it to the client will agree or disagree, mostly, mostly, they would agree, then the next step is then we’ll go to market with the current supplier, if they’re happy with the current supplier will work with the current supplier, as well as do a market analysis through an RFP process. Once that’s complete, we’ll come back to the client with an options review. And we simply call it options because we’re not doing selections, we’re presenting the best options to the client during control, right? Say, Let’s move forward with this option. Okay. Sometimes, we’ll present an option where savings may be higher, right with a new supplier. So there may be a 30% savings with a new supplier, we’re also presenting an option with your current supplier where the savings 20%. And the client will say that additional 10% in savings for us is not worth the change and implementation and supplier will take the lower savings

Scott Reid 12:53
bar, because they have that level of trust and experience there. And you’re just simply negotiating on their behalf. Is that a correct? Analysis of what you just said? Or?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 13:03
Yeah, we’re we’re utilizing competitive tension that an individual business can exert on their own for multiple reasons. One is because it’s one business unit that’s coming to a supplier as one business unit. So the purchasing power, there is less, we’re representing hundreds of clients a year, we have relationships with suppliers, where we’re giving them volume of RFPs, on an annual basis that will well that will deliver back pricing that exceeds what an individual business could get from those suppliers. Now, we have no relationships, no kickbacks, there’s no incentive on our side, there’s no commissions, it’s just that we’re bringing volume to the table. And we also have a level of benchmark market knowledge on what pricing should be an individual businesses just simply can’t do that. Right? Because they’re doing this process once every few years, once every five years, there’s no way they can be as in tune with what the market is currently producing as someone that’s all if they’re doing three or 65 days a year.

Scott Reid 14:09
Okay, I’m the client, we’re using that scenario. And I say, okay, like, why don’t we? Why don’t we move forward with our current supplier? I love the 20% reduction in expenses, that’s going to go directly to the bottom line. How much of that goes to the bottom line at the end of the day? In other words, what are your fees around that savings?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 14:34
Yeah. So you know, it does vary based on the client, how much we’re saving, you know, typically, our starting point is a partnership, right? So we’re typically 5050 partner, where, you know, we’re doing all the heavy lifting, we bring all the expertise, there’s nothing the client needs to do other than simply just attend our deliverable meetings and make the selection of AC that works for them. So that’s typically how it works, you know, in the event that we’re saving, you know, significant money, right, millions of dollars, right, that could vary, right? It could be a 525 split, but typically, it starts at a 5050 split. And that’s for anywhere between 24 and 36 month period. And so during that time, once we implement it, that’s when the the monitoring period starts on a quarterly or monthly basis, what we’ll do is we’ll get back together with our client will produce a post implementation report showing exactly what the baseline was pricing, that delta savings, and then a half split of that savings. But what we’re also doing is we’re passing on knowledge to the client through that post implementation meeting, where hopefully, at the end of this 24 month or 36 month period, they’re able to continue the savings at 100% retention on their own. That’s

Scott Reid 15:53
okay. Now, if there were any, just thinking, from my perspective, let’s just say that Not that there’s some type of issue with the vendor that arises at some point in time. Are you there to smooth things out? Or to manage that, that that issue if it arises in the future? Sure.

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 15:13
Yeah. During that during that monitoring period of that post implementation phase, we’re there for whatever is needed. You know, I haven’t had this happen. But it could happen, right? Let’s say we make some fire change. And, you know, six months into that supplier change, the clients aren’t happy, we can we can go to another option and do another implementation other go back to the incumbent supplier or go to a new supplier that was included in the RFP. Okay.

Scott Reid 15:39
Great. So you are there throughout that 24 to 36 month period. Now, in terms of different categories? What are the what are the major areas that that you would typically drill down into for an E commerce brand? Sure.

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 16:55
So you know, we’re looking at really anything what we’re doing our initial valuation, we’re looking at anything outside of labor, payroll, right. So we’re not recommending layoffs, we’re not recommending salary reductions, that’s important to know, right? We’re generating cost savings through noncore spend through supplier based expenditures. And all anything that we save typically flows nearly 100% to the bottom line, after our savings, right. So some key areas that we look at now, with the caveat that every business is unique and different, right, some of our top categories across the US would be insurance. So if there’s a large headcount in the business, there’s typically a large health spend, we’re seeing increases anywhere from 20 to 40%. On the insurance side, that’s an area that we would typically look at business insurance is also typically felony.

Scott Reid 17:47
I just want to stop you there for as you said, 20 to 40%. On the insurance side,

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 17:52
we are you know, we’re seeing increases alone between 10 and 20%. Year over year, and we’re finding consistently savings in the in the area of 20 to 40.

Scott Reid 18:03
That’s huge. Yeah, that’s a massive line item on the on the on the income statement. For so many companies.

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 18:09
Oh, without question. And then obviously, there are some barriers there. Every company is different. But that is that’s not been uncommon to see. On the business insurance side, we’re seeing similar similar increases and results there as well.

Scott Reid 18:23
I didn’t mean to cut you off, but we’re talking about insurance what what are the other areas that that that you would seem to be highly relevant to an E commerce brand?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 18:32
You know, another area that’s typically a fairly significant line item for E commerce businesses is on the shipping side. Yeah, there’s, there’s a few different components to that, you know, I’m working with an E commerce brand now that has over a million dollars in international shipping, right, and that’s doing nothing but increasing. They have warehousing expense, a few 100,000. They have small package, that’s nearly a million dollars, right? Packaging, right, the corrugated that’s going into doing this packaging, right, this is $100,000. So, so all these different components are going into their cost to deliver their product landed. And so we’re evaluating all that and we’re able to reduce those margins. And there’s a few different setups for the E commerce brand that that may have this scenario, they may be doing this all direct, they may be contracting individual vendors directly, they may have a UPS contract, they may have a truckload, contract demand and international freight contracts, they may have their own warehouse contract, or they may have a third party logistics company that they’ve hired that handles all these different components for them under one umbrella, right? Similar to like a drop shipping arrangement, right? And either either way, we’re able to evaluate it and add an add value there.

Scott Reid 19:51
That’s awesome. Because that in the age of Amazon Prime, any way that you can save that amount of expense for an E commerce brand has got to be huge, you know, it for obvious reasons.

Scott Reid 20:07
And just just getting the the whole process of negotiating with with those shipping companies. That’s that’s not enjoyable for most people. And you’re and you’re handling that you’re really assessing everything correct, that

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 20:23
that is one of the more difficult categories as far as level of expertise to do effectively. So we have we have about three or four different consultants that came from the logistics world that ability area for about 20 years. These reports these baseline and option reports are probably our most complex that we deliver any category. So that is not a for the faint of heart, EO category as far as you know it on our end up from a consultant standpoint, the value that they’re delivering is, is really amazing.

Scott Reid 20:58
That’s excellent. Um, Are there any other areas that that might be particularly relevant to an E commerce sprint?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 21:05
Yeah, typically, ecommerce does a lot of credit card transactions. They may have a platform like Shopify or you know, they may have their own merchant processing agreement outside of a platform like Shopify, but there’s usually a significant component of online transactions happening via credit card. And the problem with merchant processing is by I think it’s a strategic decision to make their statements so incredibly complex. has any idea what they’re really being charged? Yeah, you may understand what your total rate is on paying 2.6 or 3%, or 2.5%. Overall, yeah, the key is in the details of what is the x x interchange fee, you know, what’s charged back to you, right, really diving into the structure of that fee to see what the opportunities are. And nine times out of 10, there’s, there’s lots of opportunities on the merchant processing side as well. That’s huge. That

Scott Reid 22:00
is in for a business that’s running in the millions of dollars in terms of revenue, that’s all going to add up across across those categories. Now. Anything else? Any other any other areas? We’ve spoken about? Insurance, shipping, credit card transactions, many other areas? Yeah, it can vary

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 22:22
based on the business, you know, if there’s a business with a pretty significant labor component to it, you know, so let’s say there’s, there’s a warehousing component, and that you have employees from that business actually working in the warehouse. So then you have a significant headcount, you know, then you can get into all the associated human capital expenses, right. So then there’s payroll processing, right? There may be uniforms, there may be linen, there may be consumables, there may be whether it’s cleaning supplies, or operating supplies or office supplies, you know, is there a fleet component? Right? Are there any vehicles? Is there a fuel associated with that fleet? You know, is there temporary labor, contract labor? Are there any facilities maintenance, that has to happen with any facility with any physical real estate assets?

Scott Reid 23:11
You know, because many ecommerce brands will have a manufacturing component to this, and then we’re the, and that is one piece I wanted to point out is that, again, some ecommerce brands are strictly ecommerce, that’s their only sales channel is online, whereas many also have that brick and mortar component. So looking at those brick and mortar components, I would imagine would also make your value that much more impactful as well, once you start getting into physical locations. 100% ecommerce

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 23:46
by itself without any physical component. There’s there’s lots of opportunity, once you add that physical component, that labor component, that manufacturing component, then it’s just exponential.

Scott Reid 24:01
So I know this is a really open, incredibly open ended question. And but I have to ask, is there a percentage, that you would typically just broadly save a company in terms of of their overall expense structure?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 24:17
Yeah, and this, this is obviously just a benchmark average over 31 years of doing this, right. So typically, if we look at top line revenue, so let’s take for example, just as simplicity standpoint, a $10 million business 20% of top line revenue in our world is typically on average, reviewable spend, so area within our area of expertise where we can help. So that will put us at about 2 million, right? From our reviewable spend, we average about 20% savings on the dollar is huge. In this scenario, 20% of $2 million would be on average, about 400,000 a year in savings. Right? So I did mention that is typically a 5050 split, or two, depending on the contract, maybe your three, but then these savings typically carry on in years three through five as well. So once you’re looking at the cumulative rate that’s paid to era over that time period. It’s not 50%. Right? You’re looking at for along the lines of 20% of the cost to to bring in a consultant and to do to do work like that, over the long term, or long term. Yeah,

Scott Reid 25:32
that’s awesome. Now, you did mention when we were talking about logistics and shipping and that type of thing that you had some people on the staff part of the era community that were experts on that is that typically the case with each one of these expense line items. Do you have do you have experts that you are interacting with in internally to generate these, how does that whole process work?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 26:02
Yes, that’s a great question. So yes, every category, so each of the 50 categories, we have a specialist, that era that that’s their area of expertise. And that’s what they’re doing typically every day. So how the process works is, so I, I’m working to bring in clients, I’m working to manage that client, I would stay on board with that client throughout the life of their engagement with era, regardless of how many projects we work on. Typically, we have anywhere between five and 12 products for engagement. And what we’ll do is based on the client’s needs, and the categories of expense that we identify, I will assign a specialist that that is their area of expertise for that individual project, they’ll have a kickoff call with myself and the client, before we get to baseline, and then that specialist will be working with the client throughout the life of that project. post implementation case will be on the options meetings. So that’ll be there go to there go to resource.

Scott Reid 26:58
That’s that’s huge value. How about geography? Is this just us because we have listeners from all over the world? Is it? Are your solutions just focused on the US? Isn’t North America worldwide? I did mention international shipping. So could we talk about the geographical limitations of who you can work with?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 27:22
That’s a great question. And we actually started in the UK. So we were we are not a really nice company. We’re still headquartered out of the UK. So our I work for the North American side of the business, which we have consultants in Canada in the US, we have 60 of us now here in the US and Canada. But there’s 1000 of us throughout the world. So we’re really six countries, and the majority of our consultants are actually in Europe and the UK.

Scott Reid 27:49
Interest. Okay, no, I see that on the website, as I’m looking at it. In terms of getting started with you. Where can people or before I get into that? Is there anything else that you want to add that I didn’t ask you that you think might be relevant? And I actually do have another question now that I’m thinking about

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 28:06
it? Yeah, I’ll just say this, I think most businesses up to about 250 million in revenue, right? And certainly we have some clients that are well over a billion, I think we have five or six clients well over a billion now in the US. But most of the time, we’re working with folks less than $250 million. Right? So I would say that. And we’re typically working with the CEO, the business owner, the president or the CFO, right, it’s typically what we’re focused on. So I would say that, in that size business. The reason that we’re valuable to our clients, is because they don’t have the internal resources to do what we’re doing, right. And if someone like the CFO, or the business owner, or the President were to do what we’re doing, it’s typically a cost reduction project will take multiple months. It’s pretty labor intensive, and involves a high level of expertise. So they’re, if they’re doing what we’re doing, there’s a significant opportunity cost of taking their eyes on the business, and not having that macro fit that macro focus or that strategic focus that’s needed out of that role. So then who’s left to do this internally within the team? Most of the time, there’s no, right. That’s why we’re able to come in and add value, and it’s really an extension of their current team, it is by no means a reflection of a poor job done within the organization. It’s just a way to leverage outside help to drive results that typically are possible in the organization.

Scott Reid 29:40
That’s really well set. And the opportunity cost of that is just massive, when you think about the time and that one would have to invest to to improve the situation. And then even by doing that, the chances of them achieving the savings that you’re able to generate are probably pretty low, I would imagine so. Right. Right. Um, what other types of industries businesses do you work with other than ecommerce? Because I know that you work with a wide variety of different companies? I think I’m asking that question because I think that that, that cross functionality of different industries, is a kit can only be valuable to an E commerce brand. Sure,

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 30:26
sure. Yeah, that’s that’s a great point. So our our wheelhouse our top five or six industries that we focus on is manufacturing, industrial distribution, which I consider one category healthcare, which would be hospital systems, Senior Living multilocation, individual practices, hospice care, any number of health care facilities is our second nonprofit organizations this year was tied with those two for the top segment across the US. So there increasing in, in the amount of engagements are we’re seeing their education is typically right behind that. colleges, universities, schools, school districts, what we see is mostly on the private side, just simply from the fact that decision making is a lot more streamlined. When you if you get into the public components a little more convoluted that we do have some of their retail wholesale, that’s typically where we lump any commerce in that area. And then I do have a small subset that is hospitality based restaurant chains for channel, hotel chains that are independent golf courses, country clubs.

Scott Reid 31:44
So by having that type of model, the the learning must just be huge that you experience throughout not only not only yourself, but also throughout the entire organization in terms of synergies that are that are gained. I mean, is that

Scott Reid 32:01
I’m just curious internally, how do you how do you manage all those different? Those different learnings? Is there some type of I don’t know, knowledge base, or what have you?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 32:13
Yeah, you know, there’s, there’s two parts of the answer. One part is, insurance is typically insurance, regardless of what type of business uses insurance and merchant processing is merchant processing. So there’s not a ton of variability in the application of cost optimization by category based on the different vertical businesses. And so that’s, that’s one component of it, right? But now, interacting with the CFO or CEO of the healthcare business, and interacting with the CEO or CFO of a education business is, is vastly different, right? They’re speaking the challenges, they’re facing the concerns of a board, right, if there is a board, so there’s, there’s those idiosyncrasies, and it’s more the interpersonal dynamics that have to change and vary, and that you learn so so so much differently by each by each vertical? Right. So I think that’s the, that’s the challenge. And that’s the exciting part of working in so many different verticals. But the way our we go about our process and deliver savings and the area of expertise, our consultants deliver, it doesn’t change a lot. Yeah. When you look at different products, that

Scott Reid 33:28
that you just just talking to you, it’s clear that you really enjoy your job. I mean, what’s the what’s the best part about it? I mean, it must be pretty satisfying to be saving this huge amount of money for companies and they’re not. Yeah, you know, it’s just, it’s just found money for them, essentially.

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 33:46
I see the same way. There’s, there’s two outcomes that I can deliver for my clients. And both are good news. But I come in, right, there’s, there’s first scenario, as I say, VSAT money, right? It’s typically significant. The second outcome is I look into a category for you and find out you’re doing a great job. And I come back and say, You know what, Scott, we had our team of experts evaluate your your business and this expense area. And what we found is that you and your team are doing a fantastic job. Best in Class pricing, you have a great vendor relationship. And we’re going to validate this line, right? So you can tell your team you can tell your board, right? How great a job you’re doing in this area. So either way, we’re delivering great news.

Scott Reid 34:33
That’s That’s it. That’s fantastic. So anything else that you wanted to add? No, I

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 34:39
think that’s it. Scott. I really had some great questions. And I enjoyed talking about it. And I appreciate you having me on. This was this was a lot of fun. Yeah, well,

Scott Reid 34:50
it was great. It’s great having you on as well. I mean, I don’t see any reason why anybody wouldn’t want to talk to you unless they’re averse to saving money and having a more streamlined profitable business of course. That being said, how can people get in touch with you?

Mike Roberts – Expense Reduction Analysts 35:07
Really, there’s there’s two different ways so the best way is my my personal email is m Roberts ad expense reduction.com So that’s a great way to reach out and set up a time to chat. You know, we’re certainly they can go to our website, which is expense reduction.us Right. And there I have an individual profile there if you want to learn more about our business view case studies and see see my individual profile that’s a great place to go as well to learn more. And then you know, obviously LinkedIn as well is a great place to kind of to kind of reach out and find me and you know, that’s that’s my name with expense reduction North America and easy to find. So I think all three channels there are great, great way to to learn more.

Scott Reid 35:50
Excellent. And I do want to just give you a plug on the website is that the case studies that they have a really solid, I mean, it’s just a nice way to look at it. There are many of them. And definitely if anybody has any, any wants to drill down in some of those case studies, they are there and they are and they’re valuable. So thanks very much, Mike. I really appreciate it. That was a wonderful conversation. And, again, appreciate you coming on the show. Yeah, likewise, Scott, I

Mike Roberts 36:19
enjoyed it and thanks for having me.

Scott Reid 36:20
Okay, talk to you soon.