Our Clients: Busy Bees

Busy Bees

Busy Bees Established in Staffordshire in 1983 and now the UK’s largest provider of pre-school day care, offering more than 11,500 children’s nursery places in 129 unique locations nationwide and still part owned by its founders. Busy Bees is part of Knowledge Universe the leading worldwide early years and education business.

Case Study:

Busy Bees Download a PDF copy of the case study.

Busy Bees

Left to right: Adrian Burton, Auditel Consultant and Paul Creaser, IT Manager, Busy Bees

Busy Bees FD Simon Irons first met with Adrian Burton of Auditel in September 2008 and although sceptical about the Auditel proposition a trial project was agreed to review water charges across the company’s 122 nurseries. Realising the scale of the project Adrian enlisted his Auditel colleague Neil Calcutt and a plan of action was agreed to assess each nursery.

Over a six month period Auditel were able to recoup over £45,000 worth of water rebates and identified on-going annual savings in excess of £14,000.

Following the water success Simon Irons then invited Auditel to meet with department heads to identify other projects where Auditel might be able to streamline costs.

“ Busy Bees is looking to expand further so having strong control of our costs going forward is vital… Outsourcing expert advice has paid off, both in terms of actual savings and in terms of providing the in-house team with additional management support. I would be very happy to recommend Auditel to any company wanting to review their expenditure using expert help from people who really know and understand the market” – Paul Creaser, IT Manager

As a result of this exercise a project was identified to help Busy Bees with a tricky negotiation with their current telephone supplier, at the time the company was in a negotiation with regard to 60 separate contracts covering their telecoms estate and a 5 year contract was under consideration. Paul Creaser (IT Manager) had already obtained some savings but it was felt an impartial view of the proposal would be sensible.

Busy Bee’s IT Manager, Paul Creaser, worked with Adrian Burton on the project during early 2010. Adrian explains how he was able to help ‘’What Auditel were able to do was use our knowledge of the market to identify areas for additional savings and also negotiate with the incumbent supplier to achieve a common end date for all the existing contracts.’’ This resulted in a shorter 2 year agreement being entered into, and delivering 1 common end date for all contracts. The annual additional saving obtained following this work is estimated at £18,000.

The next area looked at was mobiles where Paul had already achieved significant savings and Auditel’s role was to check the various proposals received from the tendering exercise conducted by Busy Bees and provide advice on the most appropriate solution for the business. Auditel’s work has provided Paul with peace of mind that Busy Bees are currently receiving best value.

Most recently, Auditel was asked to assist with a dispute over a final electricity bill at one of the nurseries. The result of Auditel’s work was a 90% reduction in the charge and a refund cheque from the supplier.

Financial Director Simon Irons adds, “We have a cost base of around £70m per annum the majority of which is personnel so clearly this is where management must focus its attention. We lack the time and knowledge to look for efficiencies and savings in more minor expense lines and Auditel allow us to take these opportunities without diverting attention from our main goals.”

Savings Achieved:

Water – £14,000 pa
plus rebates of £45,000
Landlines £18,000
Electricity overcharge refund 90%

Download a PDF copy of the case study.