“Absolute trust” in Auditel

Univar Solutions (Univar) is a global partner to its customers and suppliers for the value-added distribution of chemistry and related products and services. A committed ally, with the capabilities and know-how to help business run smoothly, and the expertise to help them anticipate, navigate and leverage meaningful growth opportunities.

Having worked with Auditel Consultant, Paul Millican, and his team for several years, there are two words that Univar Procurement Manager, Jeff Hughes, would use to describe the relationship: “Absolute trust.”

“I was introduced to Paul by our EMEA Finance Director, Anthony Sutton, after they met at a trade fair. Anthony was impressed with the potential support on offer and when he broached this with me I was delighted to have expert help on board. I’ve never felt threatened by Auditel’s involvement, rather, I felt that the business and I could both benefit. While my role is Procurement Manager this isn’t a role that I specifically trained for, it’s one that has evolved and that I’ve grown into and to have Auditel working on projects with me has been invaluable.

“As well as taking on new and more complex projects I was keen to have Paul’s feedback on my approach in various areas. As well as being the epitome of professional the Auditel team are very open and generous with their knowledge, so it’s been a great experience so far.”

Following an initial Waste project Paul, and a team of carefully selected Auditel specialists, went on to review Photocopiers and Managed Print across the Univar estate. During a detailed Telecoms review it was identified that whilst a competitive contract was in place 40% of the organisation’s lines were not being utilised. A rationalisation of the company’s requirements and a robust tender resulted in a saving of 38%. Whilst the company’s fleet of Forklift Trucks were transitioned away from diesel to innovative battery technology.

“Every cost centre that has been reviewed, tendered and implemented has been comprehensive and highly successful. Paul handled the forklift trucks project extremely well; our ops team were quite reluctant to get him involved to begin with but his diplomacy and persistence paid off. We benefited significantly from Paul’s advice and the role he took on during those negotiations.

“I’m now undertaking various projects focussed on achieving net-zero targets throughout the Univar family. Working alongside our Sustainability Director, Liam McCarrol, who, despite his own knowledge and vast experience in these areas is extremely keen to leverage the Auditel network much like myself. This includes projects relating to Solar Panels and the entire range of utilities. Rather than being a retrospective review this is a strategic partnership with Paul and the team to futureproof the organisation and maximise sustainability.”

Working on a share of savings basis Univar enjoys a zero-risk no-win-no-fee approach to procurement. Which, as Jeff explains, means that benefits come cost-free when contracts are already fully optimised: “It’s arguably as important to have the agreements and contracts that are in place with suppliers validated by an expert. The Fleet project was a prime example, it was re-assuring when Auditel confirmed that we hadn’t been wasting money in previous years! I defy anyone to say that even when no savings are made these projects fail to provide benefits in other forms.”

“Crucially, Paul – and Auditel – are an extension of our team,” adds Jeff. “It never feels like they’re external to Univar they’re all very much part of the family. We have a great relationship and I have absolute faith that they work with the very best interests of our business at heart. Before we make any decisions, or enter into any contracts, we consult Paul and his team.”