Long-term partnership brings strategic gains for intelligence giant Mintel

Mintel is the world’s leading market intelligence agency, with offices in 15 countries across the globe. Founded in 1972, Mintel offers its clients a unique perspective on the consumer landscape and a clear roadmap with which to navigate it.

After meeting with Auditel Consultant, Rob Andrew in 2013, Mintel Chairman, John Weeks, immediately recognised the value that an independent third party could bring to the business. He introduced Rob to Group Finance Director, Richard Carr to start work on an initial project: mobile phones.

Rob conducted a review of existing contracts to ascertain Mintel’s current position. Then, a new, bespoke tender was taken out to the open market. At this stage, Auditel consultants use their significant experience to leverage best-fit solutions for their clients. Rob presented his findings and recommendations to Richard, enabling him to make an informed decision, with confidence. Mintel were delighted with a saving of 41% and have utilised Rob’s expertise on three subsequent renewals.

“Whilst initially sceptical about the value Auditel could bring, the IT team are now huge advocates of Rob and his team as they’ve saved both time and money. It was clear that Rob’s knowledge and discipline were needed, even on our latest renewal – on which he successfully negotiated another 29% saving,” said Richard.

Driving best value

After the success of the initial project, Rob and Richard identified further areas for review. Having always owned their own vehicles, renewal of the company’s aging fleet became the next priority. Rob’s task was to identify suitable dealers, specifically, those prepared to operate on a purchase, not lease, basis. He successfully achieved an additional 9% saving per vehicle, above what any dealer was prepared to offer Mintel directly. The company’s fleet of 18 vehicles was progressively renewed over a strategic timeframe, ensuring maximum cost saving and value per purchase.

Trusted to support expansion

As its UK staff grew, Mintel expanded and, in 2015, the 18,000sqft ‘Mintel House’ became the company’s second London office. Rob secured best value, reliable suppliers for electricity, cleaning, security and waste disposal in a closely managed, multi-discipline project. By liaising with the architect and site contractors, he ensured each service commenced on the same date, with no disruption. Another particular benefit for Mintel involved four additional printers required in the new building. After carefully reviewing an existing quotation, Rob identified several clauses that would prove detrimental to the company – effectively locking them into the contract. Thanks to his understanding of the market, Rob advised Mintel that their best option was in fact to end the current lease agreement and pay termination fees. By doing so, he was able to negotiate with the incumbent supplier for the replacement of all six existing devices plus the supply of four new devices for Mintel House – all for little more than their initial quotation for four.

“Thanks to Rob’s understanding of the complexities, we took steps we’d never consider doing ourselves – like paying a termination fee – which actually resulted in savings and an upgraded fleet,” said Richard.

No job too complex for Auditel

When the three oil-fired boilers in Mintel’s headquarters began to fail in 2016, Richard turned to Auditel for support. For this particular project, which included the installation of a new gas supply, Rob brought in Auditel consultant, Tim Halfhead, who works closely with a Chartered Surveyor. Together, the team captured the building layout and specifications along with correct heating requirements in order to replace the obsolete oil-fired boilers with gas. After a formal tender process, the installation of the new supply, along with three new units by the successful bidder, was overseen by Rob and Tim. Timed carefully, the installation took place over the summer, bringing heating to the building in time for the first cold snap of the winter.

A long-term strategic partnership

“Whilst we could have organised some of the projects ourselves, it would have taken us far longer and we wouldn’t have achieved the same efficiencies and savings. Auditel continue to provide valuable insight and bring in skills that we don’t have in house. Our relationship will continue for the foreseeable future,” said Richard.

Having provided ESOS compliance and report services in 2015, Auditel are currently conducting the second iteration of the compliance process. Rob introduced fellow Auditel consultant and ESOS Lead Assessor, Nigel Collins, who produced the initial draft report prior to submission, well ahead of the December 2019 deadline. Rob is also working closely with the IT team to review and implement a new phone system and leased line connectivity, across each of the Mintel locations around the world.