Tool: Management Guidelines for Cost Optimisation


The COVID-19 crisis resulted in a dramatic and quick reduction in demand for the automotive manufacturing industry, coupled with high levels of demand uncertainty for the forthcoming twelve months.


Development of Management Guidelines for Cost Optimisation to present the range of solutions for addressing responsible cost reduction and support in identifying hybrid and appropriate approaches to cost optimisation decision making.

Case Study:

Brink Towing Systems, a member of the Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC) participated in the cluster’s COVID-19 Business Recovery Programme. As an independent, South African company, the firm was needing support in unpacking the legislative and demand outlook uncertainty and ever-changing nature of the crisis. They also indicated they needed support in ensuring that their approach and measures implemented to address the crisis were appropriate and reflected best practice. 

About the Solution

Through a series of industry-led Working Groups, the Durban Automotive cluster has able to identify innovative solutions to manage cost optimisation ethically, effectively and responsibly at automotive manufacturing plants. The development of Management Guidelines for Cost Optimisation provides manufacturers with eighteen solutions to effectively optimize operating costs and mitigate the financial impact of a recession. Through the use of a decision tree and flow chart, the Guidelines outline the various hybrid approaches that firms can take to ensure they are able to manage their cost profile effectively.

Brink Towing Systems’ Experience

Participation in the COVID-19 Business Recovery Programme meant actively participating in the DAC’s weekly Working Group sessions. These sessions focus on the most significant risks facing automotive manufacturing firms in light of COVID-19 recession. According to Mark Gutridge, Managing Director of Brink Towing Systems, “in terms of the Working Group sessions, I have found every one of them valuable; each had insights that made them worthwhile”.

As part of the programme, participating firms, including Brink Towing Systems have access to practical tools to assist firms in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 risks on their business. In terms of the health tools, Mark Gutridge noted that “these were invaluable in setting up our internal policies and procedures”. Specifically in terms of cost reduction, the cluster’s Guidelines “provided a valuable reference point for new ideas and a useful tool to cross-check cost reduction initiatives being implemented”.