Aaron Stahl is the CEO and Founder of P3 Cost Analysts.  He resides in Fayetteville, AR.  When he’s not working he enjoys surfing, golfing, and traveling to new countries around the world.  

Russ Alan Prince: Please describe P3 Cost Analysts.

Aaron Stahl: P3 Cost Analysts is a nationwide cost reduction consulting franchise. We focus on helping businesses and governments save money around the country.  

P3 leverages proprietary industry data and deep expertise in telecom, waste/recycling, utilities, property tax, copiers/print, uniform/linen, merchant processing, and small parcel shipping expenses to drive savings for its clients. At P3, we find savings at over 90% of the clients it works with, and averages between 10% to 40% savings depending on the categories audited. P3 has worked at over 30,000 client locations nationwide since 1991.  P3 simply shares in the savings if they are successful. If they can’t save money, there is no fee.  

Prince: What clients benefit most from our expertise? 

Stahl: For purposes of this interview a good rule of thumb is our clients need to be spending over $50,000 per year in each category.  Property tax and utilities need to be over $100,000 a year. That gives us enough of an opportunity that the savings we could generate will be worth everyone’s while.  

We’ve had success in almost every industry. The fact of the matter is it doesn’t matter what industry you are in. Whether you are in space exploration or a restaurant you are going to have the same types of waste, telecom, utility, shipping vendors, etc. We are experts in working with all these vendors and can drive savings no matter what industry you are in.  

Prince: Can you give us some examples of what you’ve been able to accomplish?  

Stahl: We can find these results in every industry and in all the expense categories we specialize in. Let me give you a few examples.

A school system was paying great rates for all of its telecom services. Most other aspects of the audit confirmed that there were no overcharges or opportunities for savings. However, the client did have a PRI that was being billed incorrectly. They also had associated taxes and fees that were being overbilled. 

The vendor had simply mis-entered the allowable charges on the client’s account. It had been billed in error for 14 years. We identified this error and began working to have it fixed by the vendor. Countless employees at the vendor would not acknowledge this was indeed an error. They did not understand their own system and believed it to be billed correctly. After finally finding someone at the vendor who agreed it was an error, they offered a 3-month refund of the overcharge, claiming that was all they were legally required to refund. We knew this was not true.

We knew with this particular type of error the client should have it refunded back to the point of error. After many more calls with the vendor, and even seeing this escalated up to the CFO of the vendor company, our client received a $150,000 refund check in the mail and saw their bill reduced by over $3,000 per month.

Another example is a 70-location restaurant group. We were engaged to help them save money on their waste and recycling expenses. P3 leveraged its proprietary national database of vendor benchmarks to identify locations with pricing above the market rate. After several months of negotiations with the vendors, P3 was able to deliver savings of over 40% which was $200,000 or more per year.  This client is still working with P3 to date and has saved over $2,000,000 on this single category.   

One more example…we were engaged by a medium-sized manufacturer with 800 employees to audit their uniform/linen and merchant processing expenses. This particular manufacturer was doing large volumes of credit card transactions selling their products. Through our audit, we were able to identify several errors in the way the transactions were clearing the interchange.  After working with the vendor to get these corrected we generated $30,000 per month in bottom-line savings.

In regard to their uniform/linen expenses, we identified and delivered savings of over $17,000 per month, which was a 35%+ reduction in their expenses. We were able to secure the client a new agreement, with much better terms and conditions, while remaining with their incumbent provider. Outside of getting us the initial data and invoices these savings required zero time from our client and zero operational change.  

Prince: What questions would I ask people to see if it’s a fit?  

Stahl: Provided they have qualified categories…“If you could save between 10-40%, with zero capital outlay, no operational changes, and net save your employees time would you be interested?”  

Our biggest objection is this sounds too good to be true. My only response to that is we’re going to make a lot of money with you. That’s our motivation. Of course, 10% of the time we can’t find any money. In those scenarios, the client just got a free audit, by experts, and can know with certainty they are not overspending by a dime.  

Russ Alan Prince is the executive director of Private Wealth magazine and chief content officer for High-Net-Worth Genius. He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs, and select professionals.