We talked to Joe Gallard of Reducer on how to deliver an easy and efficient business cost-management service and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Joe Gallard: My wife and I have been fortunate so far, and we’ve quickly adapted to the new demands of the COVID-19 world. We’ve welcomed a puppy, Monty, into our lives with both of us working from home. He’s been a great distraction from everything that’s been going on, and his energy means we get plenty of exercise.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Reducer.
Joe Gallard: I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of Reducer, a cloud-integrated price comparison service for businesses. Before founding Reducer, I worked as an accountant at Deloitte before running finance teams at Gousto and Carwow. The idea for Reducer came about while I was working as a Finance Director at Carwow. One part of my responsibilities was sourcing suppliers and negotiating prices, but it was a task that was always made difficult by a tough market and confusing tariffs. Despite our research efforts, we often found that we were overpaying, experiencing low services, and ultimately missing out on growing the business. It all seemed ancient. Reducer was born out of a desperate need for a cost management solution suited to the 21st century. With the help of my Co-Founder and CTO Stuart Kemp, we created a product that told businesses exactly how much they are overspending in just a few clicks. We could then use this information to facilitate switches to suppliers with better deals.
How does Reducer innovate?
Joe Gallard: Reducer allows a business to compare the prices they pay across eight different spend areas, all in just a couple of clicks. Our innovation lies in making it simple for the business to compare prices through our cloud integrations. No other product on the market can offer this. Still, we continue to find new ways to supercharge the cost management process. Recently, this meant creating dynamic savings reports for our clients that outline their possible savings with double the detail we could offer before. We’re all operating at lightning speed in other aspects of our lives, so why shouldn’t cost management be the same?
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Joe Gallard: We were lucky enough that our business is surviving in times of crisis. As a cost reduction service, we could offer a lifeline to companies struggling with cash flow, so the demand grew. We started the pandemic experiencing some challenges in reaching suppliers. Being bogged down with customer inquiries meant that, at times, our service delivery dates were. By sourcing new supplier partners and reducing the time it takes to find savings, we could mitigate that challenge.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Joe Gallard: Because of Reducer’s demand, we had to grow the team to handle an influx of onboardings. The hiring process was the hardest we’ve had so far. Many quality candidates had lost their jobs due to the pandemic. It showed how harsh COVID-19 has been to others out there and made us feel fortunate with our security.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Joe Gallard: When you’re in charge of a business, there’s bound to be stress at some point. For me, exercise does wonders, so I’ll walk the dog or jump on my bike to clear my head.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Joe Gallard: Currently, as the only cloud-integrated price comparison service on the market, we don’t have direct competitors. There is a whole ecosystem of software add-ons fighting for accountants’ attention. We find that the best way to get involved is by partnering with other industry leaders to showcase the strengths in building a robust toolkit to help SMEs. By continually expanding the areas that we compare and sourcing new suppliers, we’re ensuring that we have a robust pool of recommendations fit for the future.
Your final thoughts?
Joe Gallard: This pandemic has drilled home the importance of having to work with an excellent team. The mutual trust that we have has been vital in supporting one another throughout this pandemic, whether that’s work or on a personal level. So, to any entrepreneur that’s starting on their journey, a big tip that I’d give is that people are more important than resumes.
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