The Peepul CentreIndustry Sector: Charities
Situated just minutes from the heart of Leicester city centre, the Peepul Centre is a unique and inspirational social enterprise, providing a multi-purpose venue for the local community. Facilities and services provided at and by the Peepul Centre range from civil weddings, conferences, exhibitions and events to an Ofsted inspected nursery, a gym, theatre, restaurant and bar.
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Opened in 2005, the Peepul Centre takes a pragmatic approach to its business model, ensuring it continues to evolve and provide services that meet the needs of people in the local community. Like many organisations which receive funding through local and central government schemes, however, the Centre faces challenges ahead, which Operations Manager, Debra Avery, is determined to ensure they meet head on.
“The Peepul Centre may have registered charity status but we still have to make enough money to survive as a viable business. In the twelve months I’ve been in post we’ve not only seen the announcement of deep cuts in our direct public funding but the trickledown effect of these cuts on major users of our venue hire services, such as the NHS and local government, means our income has also been affected on that side of the business. As a result we’ve had to develop a much more strategic 3-5 year business plan aimed at securing our long-term financial sustainability.”
One of the things that Debra was keen to include in her strategic plan was a thorough review of the Centre’s overheads and service contracts so a meeting between Centre Manager, Bharat Patel, and Auditel consultants, Peter Harrison and Mike Ramsden, at one of the networking events hosted by the Centre in mid-2010 was very timely.
“I’d already done some research and knew it would be possible to secure better prices for many of our overheads and infrastructures and I’d had a look at some of the testimonials on Auditel’s website so there seemed to be a good match between my objectives and their expertise. My first impression of Mike and Peter was how professional they were and this hasn’t changed since. I’m always incredibly impressed by the information and recommendations they come up with and, just as importantly, the fact that within a relatively short period of time they have really come to understand our organisation and the issues that affect us specifically. From my point of view, because I’m so time-poor, their input has been invaluable because not only do they come back with a tremendous amount of information, but they present it clearly and make it simple for me to make decisions; they’ve just saved me a huge job that would have kept me away from other areas of the core business.”
So far, Peter and Mike have identified and implemented savings of over £77,477 across the Centre’s gas, electricity, contract cleaning, washroom services and fire and security systems costs. Other projects now underway include a review of catering and stationery costs.
“Mike and Peter did a fabulous job on their initial projects and saved us a lot of money, so going forward anything that has an overhead attached to it they will be looking at. Over the next couple of years our income and expenditure will change dramatically so any savings Auditel make will directly and significantly affect our bottom line.”
But there are other issues, beyond simple costcutting, about which Debra values Auditel’s expertise and assistance.
“As you can imagine with a centre our size, we have numerous service contracts many of which duplicate costs incurred elsewhere and that’s something I have been keen to address. What Auditel have done very successfully is get us out of some contracts that would have taken me and an expensive legal team to negotiate our way through, but they did it so professionally, I was incredibly impressed. Ultimately, I want to make very sure that the Centre isn’t being ripped off by suppliers and that we aren’t signed up to any contracts that don’t meet our needs, and working with Auditel means I can address both of these issues as an integral part of their
Gas, Electricity, Contract Cleaning
Washroom Services and Fire and Security Systems £77,477
Ongoing Additional Projects:
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