In today's tough business environment, companies are more focused than ever on the bottom line. There are really only two ways to improve bottom-line performance and meet or exceed Wall Street expectations – increase revenue or reduce costs. In a market where consumer and business spending are being minimized, it has become exceptionally difficult for most companies to grow their revenue base. For this reason, many organizations are turning to the concept of cost takeout in order to improve the bottom line. However, as with any improvement efforts, maximizing return on investment (ROI) is key.

Most investments that organizations are currently making in business are in the area of attempting to streamline the overall processes and capabilities of the business to minimize excess capacity and improve the organization's overall efficiency. To drive this effort, many companies are undertaking functional benchmarks from organizations such as the Hackett Group, which maintains the world's leading repository of enterprise best-practice metrics and business-process knowledge. Hackett benchmarks help companies determine the overall costs, value and efficiencies within their current organization and also identify opportunities for cost takeout and savings. These opportunities are defined during the overall benchmark process and become apparent to the organization and its management when Hackett data enables them to compare their overall process efficiencies and costs against companies of similar size and complexity, and against other companies in their industry.

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