High Speed Cost Diagnostic

What we do

The High Speed Cost Diagnostic has the ability to identify and deliver cost reduction and cash improvement opportunities that can be implemented quickly for results within the fiscal year.

While not intended to replace a full cost evaluation and detailed action plan, Bain's High Speed Cost Diagnostic can be used as a first step diagnostic tool during early opportunity-identification stages to offer a comparison of company performance against key indicators and best practices. Combined with Bain's expertise and collaborative approach, the assessment offers a means for informing decisions on improvement opportunities.

Our assessment draws on four sources of insight:

Cost and capability assessment - What we do


We benchmark performance in the vast majority of our performance improvement engagements and our approach begins with a clear understanding of what works best when it comes to benchmarking:

  • Inputs: Cost and performance indicator benchmarks are understood as one input among several in identifying opportunities.
  • Scope: Specific questions to be answered during the benchmarking exercise are defined before kick-off.
  • Topical expertise: Topical experts advise teams on the intricacies of the benchmarks and the specific levers for improvement.
  • Savings opportunity: The range of the potential ‘size of the prize’ is calculated in concert with functional leaders.
  • Implementation: Benchmarks are understood to help functional leaders focus their bottom-up efforts to size the prize and launch initiatives to capture value.

Our benchmarking consultants also use proprietary materials, partnerships and external sources that add context and depth to our process. In some cases, Bain can also act as an unbiased third party to benchmark peer companies in various industries.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about our benchmarking capabilities.

Our Approach

Our process goes beyond benchmarks and numbers to build a well-founded opinion on performance improvement opportunities.

We work jointly with client teams to assess opportunities across ten levers of performance spanning revenue enhancement (pricing, sales effectiveness), cost improvement (product complexity, purchasing cost, manufacturing, supply chain, G&A and IT), and balance sheet (net working capital, capex management).

The assessment is designed to build agreement as we work together to quickly establish the large areas of opportunity and prioritize those for further analysis or immediate implementation.

Rollover the graphic below to learn more about the specific steps in our approach.

Prepare & baseline
Initial assessment
Deep dives
Implementation planning

Prepare & baseline

  • Create transparency on current strategic, operational and financial situation, establish baseline
  • Assess data availability (e.g. benchmarking sources and peer groups, internal resources)
  • Plan the process (e.g. management and expert interview schedules)

Mobilization and Results Delivery®

  • Full commitment and ownership of leadership team

Initial assessment

  • Conduct initial assessment of levers in scope, draft initial dashboard and hypothesis on improvement opportunities
  • Validate improvement opportunities with internal and Bain experts, develop initial prioritization
    • Greatest opportunity selected for further detailing

Mobilization and Results Delivery®

  • Early and high involvement of implementers and experts

Deep dives

  • Conduct selected deep dives on prioritized opportunities
    • Workshops
    • Diagnostic survey
    • Data analysis
    • Further benchmarking
  • Identify root causes for performance gap and use Bain's proprietary "how to" approaches to assess solutions
  • Detail PI dashboard for prioritized PI levers
    • Refined potentials
    • Key initiatives

Mobilization and Results Delivery®

  • Company and Bain teams to validate targets bottom-up

Implementation planning

  • Develop implementation roadmap
    • Focus initiatives
    • Timing for implementation
    • Implementation owners
    • Resource requirements

Mobilization and Results Delivery®

  • Balancing full potential with our client's capacity to execute

Our team

We work as an integrated part of your team, from frontline to C-suite, to deliver true results and make the changes stick.

Our leadership team

In addition to the leaders listed above, we have an extensive and diverse team of experts ready to serve the needs of clients worldwide. Please contact us to submit a business inquiry.