Strategic procurement supporting smarter business

Smarter Services is a facilities management company that takes advantage of smart technology to deliver excellent and cost-effective customer service. The award-winning and forward-thinking business provides estate management, offices and commercial cleaning and other specialist services across the south of UK.

After a chance meeting, Smarter Services’ Managing Director, Jason Southwell, invited Auditel’s Adam Thomas into the business to conduct a number of reviews. Over the last six years, Adam has become a long-term, valued consultant to the business, offering ongoing advice and a strategic procurement service.

“As the business owner, my priority is development and growth, as well as ensuring our customers receive an exceptional service. I haven’t always had the time, or indeed the expertise, to make sure we keep on top of every internal cost. You set things up, they work, and you leave them to run – often at your expense, financially and administratively. Enlisting the services of Auditel has given me the assurance that we’re working with the best-fit suppliers and receiving best value. Adam is now very much a trusted partner; offering advice and undertaking strategic procurement on a consultative basis across the board.”

Strategic business-wide procurement

Upon reviewing cleaning consumables, Adam found that Smarter Services were contracted to five different suppliers, all of whom were charging different prices and supplying a variety of products. After creating and running a bespoke tender, Adam consolidated the supplies to one provider, leveraging the economies of scale. This meant consolidated invoicing and only one supplier relationship to manage. As well as working to rationalise ordering, the supplier provided product training and ongoing education to ensure COSHH compliance. The new relationship, managed by Adam after implementation, continues to offer best value and service, as well as a reduction in back-office administration and a more efficient auditing process.

Adam has since conducted two formal retenders for the contract which, thanks to their continued vigour, has been awarded to the same supplier on both occasions.

Smarter Services’ fuel card provider had remained unchanged, and unchallenged, for a number of years, resulting in a significant overcharge. By utilising his existing connections, Adam was able to add the company’s fleet on to another live deal, effectively achieving a bulk-buy rate which would have been unavailable in isolation.

Adam also identified opportunities for additional savings by reducing expenditure on premium fuels. Monthly monitoring and reporting on the account further increased optimisation and transparency.

After a thorough review of the existing setup, Adam migrated the office’s old ISDN telephone system to a hosted service. The new VoIP system resulted in a reduction in both call costs and maintenance requirements.

Having ascertained the business’ current and future requirements, Adam tendered the mobile fleet and moved to a new, best-fit provider. The introduction of a new mobile phone policy enhanced savings and user efficiency whilst ongoing monthly management provides greater control and visibility of spend.

Crucially, Auditel’s strategy isn’t simply to find the cheapest deal for their clients. Adam’s holistic approach ensures that Smarter Services receives recommendations based on service and price, as well as contract terms, for a best-fit solution to the business’ needs. Monthly post-audit reviews and quarterly update meetings allow for forward planning and shared strategic insight. In addition, Adam, is very much engaged in supplier relations, helping to deal with any issues that arise.