Business owners, directors and senior managers are having a difficult time. Sales fall, costs mount. Sales fall through a multitude of reasons: global downturn, changing markets, inflation, weather, reduced disposable incomes and so on. However, a rise in costs is here to stay and according to a recent survey *, 66% of CEOs said they would cut costs in the next 12 months.
Keeping eighty business expenses under control is not that simple. These days, cost, purchase and supply management is recognised as being a complex business skill. It requires specialist training and sector specific experience which most companies don’t have available in-house. It also relies on a number of key elements including a vast knowledge bank across the full spectrum of business expenditures and bespoke analytical tools. Diverting key personnel from their core roles to managing business overheads isn’t the best use of either their time or the organisation’s money.
Many companies are turning to outsource this discipline and over 3,500 have chosen Auditel, the UK and Ireland’s leading consultancy in this field.
Here is one example.
Farnham Maltings is a multipurpose arts and community centre set in the heart of Farnham in Surrey, attracting more than 350,000 visitors a year. The centre caters for a whole range of arts and community events, ranging in scale from local mums and toddlers groups and book readings to international beer festivals, major comedy tours and live theatre, music and dance events.
By moving to an alternative electricity supplier and a more suitable tariff, Auditel realised savings of 13% per annum. Moving to new communications and gas suppliers led to further savings of 26% and 13% respectively, while identifying and rectifying a long-term leak reduced the centre’s water bills by 13%.
The client was so impressed with both the savings and Auditel’s efficiency that the project was rolled out to include other business cost areas such as merchant card fees (savings of 23%), franking machines (savings of 47%) and alarms (savings of 60%). Auditel were also asked to join an in-house team reviewing the centre’s IT costs, infrastructure and future requirements and are soon to carry out a complete water and energy efficiency audit, including investigating options to use renewable energy sources at the centre.
General Manager Chris Maddocks enthused: “Working with Auditel has been a really good experience. They carried out a thorough investigation, delving into all sorts of detail and paperwork, with almost no input from our side, so that we could carry on with our day-to-day tasks without an impact on our workload.”
Auditel’s Managing Director, Chris Allison, explains: “Our Total Cost of Purchase® business model is unique in our field. It is an holistic approach that enables our specialists to deliver savings that are efficient, sustainable and ethical. Instead of just finding cheaper suppliers, it takes into account all the direct and indirect costs of a service to ensure that any savings made are in our clients’ best interests. Cost-cutting is often a short-term win for both client and consultant, but our unique method is the springboard for long-term cost and purchase management relationships. We become trusted advisors and often part of our clients’ management team.
“In this climate, some companies may think that they have already done a cost reduction exercise and so question the need to use us. After saving one of the leading online gaming companies more than £83,000, their Group Finance Director revealed: “I’ve been genuinely surprised and impressed by the savings Auditel has found. I really thought we were in a good position in terms of our existing contracts. Most importantly, their savings have made us realise that as an organisation we need to change our attitude towards cost management. We can’t keep spending money right and left!”
*PwC’s 15th Annual Global CEO Survey – January 2012
Established in 1994, Auditel is currently reducing financial waste and improving bottom line profits for thousands of organisations throughout the UK and Ireland across all areas of business expenditure. Their clients range from small businesses to global brands such as Pizza Express, YMCA and Oxford University. Auditel’s flexible fee structure gives clients choice and the ability to manage cost and strategy for the long term.