Coverage Care is the largest single provider of older people’s residential and nursing care services in Shropshire. With 14 care homes and over 1000 staff, the not for profit, multi-award-winning organisation is also one of the biggest care sector employers in the region.
Coverage Care’s Chief Executive, David Coull, met Auditel’s Adrian Burton and Neil Crook at local Chamber events. Following the success of two initial projects, David invited Auditel to conduct a wider business review. The result has seen significant savings and cost control over many years, allowing Coverage Care to re-invest back into its services. Through their knowledge and experience, Auditel have also increased operational efficiencies and improved supplier relationships, as well as supporting with business-critical obligations such as the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).
“As a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status, the savings achieved go directly back into the care services, facilities and support structure. It’s made a tangible difference as does the ongoing work controlling costs.” Financial Director, Chris Wall.
Delivering savings and added value
Auditel negotiated new, favourable accounting terms with Clinical and General Waste providers to achieve both cost and service gains. During subsequent reviews, incorrect charges were identified and queried which resulted in retrospective refunds. Auditel’s involvement also negated the general industry practice of automatic annual increases to base rates. Telecoms contracts were moved away from the existing, mainstream supplier and a move to a more cost-efficient broadband provision was also arranged. Notoriously complex, the electricity tender process includes a multitude of Government pass-through Energy Taxes.
Energy procurement, therefore, must focus not only on tariffs but the pass-through costs as well. Broker costs were stripped out, as were the excess costs associated with using broker specified suppliers. During a monthly post audit check, it was noted that, due to a legislative change, Coverage Care had incorrectly dropped to an out-of-contract rate. This was raised with the supplier and a refund secured. All part of the ongoing Auditel service!
“It’s incredibly helpful to have access to specialists so that our team can focus on daily operations. Like many companies in the care sector, we don’t have the dedicated resource in-house to carry out this type of work on our own. As well as the obvious savings benefit, we have the reassurance that Neil and Adrian are undertaking regular, independent checks to protect our interests.”
Long-term strategic partnership
Now in its fourth year, the relationship between Coverage Care and Auditel remains strong. The partnership has recently been extended for 24 months. And, as Chief Executive, David, prepares for retirement, his successor – current Financial Director, Chris Wall – is keen to maintain the relationship for the long-term benefit of the business.