Providing a strategic procurement solution for The Access Group’s long-term benefits

The Access Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of software to mid-market businesses. The company continues to grow rapidly both organically and through acquisitions. With 1,600 staff across 19 offices, The Access Group now proudly serves over 16,000 customers.

In today’s economic climate, savvy businesses continue to identify and implement savings in order to maximise cost savings for strategic advantage. The Access Group is no exception. Financial Controller, Chris Thorneloe, recognised the value that an independent third party could bring to the table and enlisted the services of Auditel to review several key cost centres. Together, Auditel Client Relationship Manager, Andy Horn, and specialist Consultant, Nigel Hughes, worked closely with stakeholders at The Access Group across Mobiles, Telephony and Energy.

“Auditel bring value across the board, from all perspectives – financial due diligence and confidence in suppliers along with time and resource savings. It’s far more efficient for us to utilise their services than worry about things we don’t have the time or skillset to focus on internally. What began as a sense-checking exercise has become a long-term, working partnership.” Chris Thorneloe, Financial Controller.

Active account management

Though keen to ensure best-value, The Access Group wished to remain with the same mobile phone provider for its then 500-unit fleet. After analysing historical transaction data, Nigel was able to renegotiate more cost-efficient and favourable contract terms. At the same time, by reviewing internal activity, he highlighted areas of spend, including data usage, non-geographic and international calls which could be more effectively managed.

By stripping out an expensive conference and voice calling service and moving the company over to free, pre-existing in-house facility, Auditel were able to secure additional savings, which amounted to tens of thousands of pounds per annum. Ongoing, active management of the account for the remainder of its term – month-by-month management of data allowances, international calling and bolt-ons – ensured that, at the point of re-procurement, in 2018, the decision was made to move to a new, better-fit provider and a further 45% saving was made on the now 700+ fleet.

Having once again expressed a desire to remain with their existing supplier, Nigel used his considerable knowledge and expertise in the field to negotiate more favourable telephony contract terms for The Access Group, achieving a significant saving. “Crucially, in this situation, the supplier is still very happy,” explained Nigel. “That’s the key to successful strategic procurement of this kind. They still have a very good relationship with their client, which has been secured going forwards, and The Access Group save money – it’s win-win.”

Energy management strategy

In additional to completing the telecoms projects, Auditel now strategically manage energy across all of The Access Group offices. Nigel worked systematically to consolidate a large number of individual contracts, each with a unique end date, together under a single account. The strategy to bring fragmented supplies under a co-terminus solution will result in a much stronger position for The Access Group – one which they will be able to leverage to their advantage in future renegotiations. In addition to the strategic positioning associated with this work, The Access Group now also enjoy significant back-office savings in terms of administration time and resource.

With all energy supplies on one invoice, clarity, visibility and efficiency have all increased. Due to its size, The Access Group is obligated to comply with the Environment Agency’s ‘Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme’ (ESOS).

The company must demonstrate compliance and carry out assessments every four years.

Auditel facilitated Stage One of the compliance process and secured a strong pass for the company, much to Chris’ delight: “ESOS compliance was a new area of expertise for us. We don’t have an in-house energy manager and our senior team don’t have the niche knowledge or the time to undertake this type of project. Auditel already manage our energy contracts and so this was an extension of their strategic consultancy capabilities. We’re now working with Nigel to complete Stage Two of the programme in 2019.”

As testament to the strong, trust-based partnership now in place, Auditel continue to work closely with The Access Group offering strategic procurement advice. Several cost-centres have been identified as upcoming projects including waste, managed print and couriers.