Post-election, confidence appears to have returned to the market place. According to the CBI, prospects for the next quarter suggest strong growth in nearly every sector. However, throwing all caution to the winds might just be a little too optimistic. As sales begin to move, it is easy to lose focus on managing your costs.
According to a survey conducted by Management Today on behalf of Auditel, the UK and Ireland’s leading cost management consultancy, 70% of all organisations asked have no cost management strategy in place. Yet 8 out of 10 have it on the boardroom agenda and over 65% of them now recognise that, carried out by experts, strategic cost management really can accelerate performance, improve efficiency and gain competitive advantage.
This is where Auditel comes into its own. Paul Foster joined Auditel in 2011. He recalls: “At that time, I had over 25 years’ experience in supply chain management, business and marketing communication. I had worked with some of the UK’s leading companies such as Barclays, HSBC and J Sainsbury, managing relationships at all levels up to board room.
“Over the past four years, as an Auditel consultant, I have gained so much new knowledge and experience. Auditel provides access to industry leading tools and through its network of 200 franchisees, an unrivaled knowledge base, which has proved invaluable to me.
“Auditel also supports me with the latest marketing training and techniques and today social media marketing plays a big part in building my credibility. With the support of Auditel I have been able to identify a clear business development and marketing plan, which now includes a focus on the restaurant, fast food and leisure sectors.”
These verticals, along with the charity sector, are industries that Paul has already started to build specialist knowledge in, as the following examples demonstrate:
Red Hot World Buffet and Bar
Red Hot Worldis an award winning company which has gained notoriety for its catering and excellent customer service. It is a rapidly-growing chain of seven restaurants serving up to 300 different dishes to more than 45,000 customers a week.
Ramesh Singh, Director of Operations, explains: ‘‘We were totally focused on growing sales and opening new restaurants and were letting the energy suppliers make money from us on this non-core area. When we used Auditel we achieved immediate savings of 25.9% on our energy.”
Paul adds: “A significant part of my work is involved in pursuing suppliers for overcharges and claims and I have recently obtained £25,000 for them from one of their suppliers. Another new client, with ten branches in the restaurant business – Jimmy’s - was reimbursed for £21,000. A survey, from Keep Me Posted in 2013, reported that ‘errors benefit companies to the tune of at least £650m annually and possibly much more’. So, it’s important to take on professional help to check your bills!”
World Vision UK - Communications Journey
World Vision is the world’s largest children’s humanitarian aid charity. It is active in more than 60 countries with total revenues of $2.79 billion in 2011.
Adrian Blair, Director of Organisational Effectiveness, asked Paul to provide an independent assessment of their overall communication needs, starting with a renewal of their mobile phones contract.
Alternative Networks grasped this opportunity better than most and the contract was renewed, at less than half of the previous tariff. Paul then invited them to develop a plan to transform the overall communication needs further, while Auditel created a Roadmap and 3-phase plan to cover the next 3-5 years.
· reducing five suppliers to 1 or 2
· introducing suitable phone systems to suit current and future growth
· providing integration with client’s IBM Notes email infrastructure
· managing peaks and troughs more efficiently to achieve better quality engagement
· historic and predictive reporting to increase donations from callers
· tele-conferencing to be fully integrated, with application for up to 300 attendees
· helping marketing to measure the effect of specific campaigns
David Allsopp, Head of ICT & Operations said: “Auditel are experts in telecoms procurement and their independent assessment, advice and focus on getting us the very best solution is refreshingly simple.”
Paul adds: “So whoever you are, whatever your business and wherever you are in the UK or Ireland, we can help you gain a competitive edge over your competitors.”