What is the correct use of the word "overhead" in a business context?

Should it be plural or non-count?
I need to decide between "fewer overheads" and "less overhead". And no, I cannot change the wording, I just have to get it right. :/
The overwhelming google majority uses the singular >> less overhead. This looks and sounds wrong to me, but not being a native speaker, I would appreciate your help on this.
Is there possibly a difference between US/BE use here?

My J.H. Adam Business Dictionary has "overheads" and that is what i feel is correct, as "overheads" means "overhead expenses" ...

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What is the correct use of the word "overhead" in a business context? Should it be plural or non-count? I ... J.H. Adam Business Dictionary has "overheads" and that is what i feel is correct, as "overheads" means "overhead expenses" ...

Use "fewer overheads".

Christopher ('CJ')
(Change 3032 to 77 for e-mail)
What is the correct use of the word "overhead" in a business context? Should it be plural or non-count? I need to decide between "fewer overheads" and "less overhead". And no, I cannot change the wording, I just have to get it right. :/

Some context would help, even so.
The overwhelming google majority uses the singular >> less overhead. This looks and sounds wrong to me, but not being a native speaker, I would appreciate your help on this. Is there possibly a difference between US/BE use here?

Yes. Where are you posting from?
My J.H. Adam Business Dictionary has "overheads" and that is what i feel is correct, as "overheads" means "overhead expenses" ...

In BrE "fewer overheads" might be more appropriate but "lower overhead" or "a lower overhead charge" would also be possible.

Laura
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What is the correct use of the word "overhead" in ... i feel is correct, as "overheads" means "overhead expenses" ...

Use "fewer overheads".

Gosh, that's authoritative. Your experience of writing in a business context is presumably very extensive.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
What is the correct use of the word "overhead" in a business context? Should it be plural or non-count?

Non-count is what I'm used to.
Is there possibly a difference between US/BE use here?

I don't know. I'm speaking from a North American viewpoint.
My J.H. Adam Business Dictionary

Published where, since you raise the point?
has "overheads" and that is what i feel is correct, as "overheads" means "overhead expenses" ...

I'd say "overhead" means "overhead expenses".
By the way, it's "I".

Mark Brader "Exercise 5-3: ... When should you Toronto have stopped adding features...?" (Email Removed) Kernighan & Pike

My text in this article is in the public domain.
What is the correct use of the word "overhead" in a business context? Should it be plural or non-count? I need to decide between "fewer overheads" and "less overhead". And no, I cannot change the wording, I just have to get it right.

I depends on the intended meaning. Non-countable "overhead" is the sum of the expense of each of the various categories of overhead. These categories are "overheads".

Mike Nitabach
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What is the correct use of the word "overhead" in a business context? Should it be plural or non-count? I ... This looks and sounds wrong to me, but not being a native speaker, I would appreciate your help on this.

"(F)ewer overheads" seems silly to me - N.A. English speaker. I've always encountered "overhead" as a single category of expenses. I've never even seen the subdivisions under that category called "overheads". When subdivided, I've always seen things like "Rental overhead", Utility overhead" etc. and, again, those were referred to collectively as just "overhead", or "overhead expenses" or "overhead costs" - note that "overhead" is an adjective in that case and the nouns, "expense" or "cost" are pluralized.
If I encounered the word "overheads" without much obvious context, I'd think of ceiling material or compartments near the ceiling before I'd make a business connection with it. -Wm
If I encounered the word "overheads" without much obvious context, I'd think of ceiling material or compartments near the ceiling before I'd make a business connection with it. -Wm

For me, it's short for "overhead transparencies", the clear plastic sheets that you write on for use with an overhead projector. The things that have now been largely replced by PowerPoint slides.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >Specifically, I'd like to debate
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >whether cannibalism ought to bePalo Alto, CA 94304 >grounds for leniency in murder,

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Use "fewer overheads".

Gosh, that's authoritative. Your experience of writing in a business context is presumably very extensive.

Hey, Laura, if some people here are going to say they think I'm an old man, I may as well be the CEO of my own Company, right?!!! :-)
Anyway, my vote for "fewer overheads" was based on basic grammatical 'rules' rather than on business experience. Besides, "fewer overheads" is a very, very common expression used by people who write about e-commerce, a subject I have quite often read about and find interesting. For example:

(SOURCE: KING JOHN SCHOOL, ESSEX, UK)
http://www.thekjs.essex.sch.uk/yates/it01 - 5.htm)

Shopping on the Internet (E-Commerce)
Advantages:
- Open 24/7
- By asking customers to “register”, businesses can build up databases/customer profiles
- People can shop without leaving home
- People can search massive online databases to find exactly what they want (see the case study below)
- A site such as Amazon has reviews of books, CDs and video games. You can read what other people thought of the product before you buy.
- Amazon allows customers to listen to a sample of each track on the CD before they decide to buy
- Businesses have fewer overheads and these savings should be passed on to the customer.
The last advantage on the list, of course, is particularly relevant to this thread.

Christopher ('CJ')
(Change 3032 to 7777 for e-mail)
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