Business

Cost Reductions aids businesses in reducing fixed expenses

'With each business, I learned more'

President of Cost Reduction, Tom Slepicka of Cedar Rapids, works in his co-working space in downtown Cedar Rapids on Thursday, June 28, 2018. Cost Reduction is a new company for specialized purchasing, “focused on getting the best possible prices for products and services a company has to buy.” (Hannah Schroeder/The Gazette)
President of Cost Reduction, Tom Slepicka of Cedar Rapids, works in his co-working space in downtown Cedar Rapids on Thursday, June 28, 2018. Cost Reduction is a new company for specialized purchasing, “focused on getting the best possible prices for products and services a company has to buy.” (Hannah Schroeder/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — A business owner since the age of 18, Tom Slepicka is sharing the lessons he has learned to help other businesses save money.

Slepicka recently founded Cost Reduction, a Cedar Rapids-based consulting company that helps businesses and organizations reduce their fixed operational expenses.

“I negotiate with vendors and suppliers on behalf of customers,” Slepicka explained. “I find savings by obtaining best-in-class rates, which can make a difference to the business in making a profit.”

Slepicka, who grew up in the Czech Republic, started his first business just as soon as he was old enough to apply for a business license under Czech law. He ran that business, which organized concerts and other events, for two years.

“It was more of a hobby,” he said. “The main thing I gained was business experience.”

His started his second business, a catering company, at age 20, where he learned a lot about working with vendors and suppliers, reviewing proposals and making contracts. After a successful multiyear run, he sold the company to a larger catering operation.

Slepicka’s third company was inspired by his now-wife, Maggie, an Iowan whom he met 10 years ago when she accepted a position teaching high school English in the Czech Republic. In 2009, they founded an English language school and online learning system for Czech speakers that continues to operate today.

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“With each business, I learned more about the business process and mastered cost-reduction strategies,” Slepicka said.

“I learned the best way to negotiate with vendors and find the best possible deal that’s sustainable.”

Four years ago, Slepicka and his wife relocated to Cedar Rapids to be closer to her family. A newcomer to the country, he opened a fourth business, Czech Deli, in NewBo City Market as a way to learn more about the local culture. He closed the business shortly after his daughter was born in 2016 and began pursuing his idea for Cost Reduction.

Cost Reduction performs the functions of a large corporation’s purchasing department, Slepicka said, but for small- and medium-sized organizations that don’t have in-house expertise.

“I look at certain expense categories and audit the results for the last three months or longer,” he said. “The next step is to try to find the best possible vendor and negotiate with the current vendor for better rates.”

After the clients select a vendor from the options presented, Slepicka will work to implement the savings and monitor the expense for the life of the agreement. His fee is based on the savings achieved.

“I get paid the first time when the customer receives the first invoice,” he said. “I’m paid only if I perform as promised and after they save money.”

Cost Reduction also provides purchasing services, consulting for business start-ups and expansions, and process engineering.

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l Know a business in operation for less than a year that would make a good “Ground Floor”? Send a note to michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

At a Glance

l Owner: Tom Slepicka

l Business: Cost Reduction

l Phone: (319) 213-6436

l Email: tom.slepicka@checkedsolutions.com

l Website: www.costreduction.biz

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