It would seem to me that just maybe there is too much emphasis on driving down costs. Cost savings are easy if there is a lot of low-hanging fruit. Which means no one has done anything in a while. You can walk into these situations and easily find 10% or more in savings. If the people doing the job have been diligent or have just gone through a cost-savings exercise then things are a lot harder.
Sometimes someone new can see savings that might have been missed. Lots of focus on big-ticket items and maybe not so much on dispersed spend.
The measurement I like the most is cost avoidance. This means you stopped an increase from impacting your company.
I would be interested in hearing if your company recognizes avoidance the same way it recognizes savings.