Providing a bespoke procurement solution for long-term benefits
Staffline Group PLC (Staffline) ongoing vision is to build and develop the most reliable integrated workforce in the country and be the leading creator of opportunities, jobs and new ideas in the employability, skills and justice sectors. In 2013 they started a five-year strategy to ‘Burst the Billion’ in headline Turnover.
Being a market-leader and renowned national entity requires strong Board leadership, a solid growth strategy and effective in-house processes. Staffline identified that their internal procurement processes needed to be developed and improved. Diane Martyn, Group MD, was introduced to Andrew Brackenbury, Client Relationship Manager at Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA). Fast-forward three years and Andrew and his team have delivered significant savings whilst at the same time, improving supplier control and visibility for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Staffline Group PLC was established in 1986 and over time has grown into a national organisation specialising in logistics, e-retail, manufacturing, driving, food processing and white collar recruitment.
Operating from a network of more than 450 locations, the company supplies over 55 million hours of temporary labour each year to their diverse portfolio of more than 1,600 clients. Including the major supermarket chains, food growers and manufacturers, logistics and distribution centres, customer service organisations, the care sector and welfare to work.
Building trust and credibility from day one
ERA Client Relationship Manager, Andrew Brackenbury, specialises in managing relationships to a client’s best advantage and identifying projects for long-term benefits. After analysing requirements and selecting the best-fit team of experts, Andrew manages the procurement process at every step to ensure quality and service levels are maintained to the highest possible standards.
Group MD, Diane, had identified a lack of internal procurement expertise at Staffline and recognised the benefits of involving a third-party specialist. After their initial meeting, she introduced Andrew to Staffline’s Finance Director, Mark Keegan.
As is standard practice at the start of all ERA client relationships, Andrew conducted a review of Staffline’s expenditure with Mark. This approach allowed Andrew to identify several areas of spend in which he believed ERA could make a significant and beneficial impact, from both a financial and operational perspective. Andrew walked Mark step-by-step through ERA’s working processes. Confident and well informed, Mark engaged ERA to deliver all four identified projects.
“Andrew highlighted several key areas of the business where he felt savings and service improvements could be made. We simply didn’t have the internal resource or expertise to undertake these types of projects ourselves so I was keen to work together with Andrew and his team to see what could be achieved and to build some internal expertise. Profitability and bottom-line savings are an integral part of our growth strategy.” Mark Keegan, Staffline Finance Director.
Office Supplies and Business Print
Andrew enlisted Print and Office Supplies specialist, Keith Copestake to head up these two core cost centres. After reviewing Staffline’s existing supplier relationship, Keith discovered that the incumbent lacked the capacity to meet its client’s complex needs. As a regional supply firm, they lacked the delivery capability to cover all 450 of Staffline’s national locations. This had led to a network of smaller, disjointed supply chains.
Thanks to his extensive market knowledge and years of experience, Keith identified and presented a new, best-fit supplier to Staffline for approval. By streamlining all print and office supplies under one provider, Keith was able to deliver substantial savings with real visibility at a cost centre level.
ERA’s client relationships don’t end with identifying the best supplier and saving costs. Keith continued to work closely with Staffline’s project stakeholders, Sophie Chapman and Jason Anderton, over a two-year period to ensure the transition to the new supplier was seamless and that promised service levels were being met. By continually managing prices and monitoring against the marketplace, Keith delivered quarterly reports that enabled true Board level visibility and control. And, at a stakeholder level, gave Sophie and Jason the information they needed for project level reporting.
PPE and Workwear
For this key business area, Andrew appointed ERA expert, Ian Morrison. Ian specialises in creating and implementing bespoke practical supply chain solutions that deliver savings without compromising service.
Staffline’s existing supplier network was vast, with 18 providers across multiple sites. By thoroughly assessing needs, Ian was able to consolidate all purchases down to a single supplier resulting in a much-simplified back-office process and a greatly improved supplier relationship.
“This was a simple case of a supply chain that had grown organically with individual departments doing their own thing without an overall company perspective. By standardising products across the business, we were able to generate savings in excess of £400k over the lifetime of the project and really strengthen Staffline’s buying position. With one, much more engaged supplier to manage, we resolved some historic service issues and built a mutually beneficial relationship – which is a core value for Staffline,” explained Ian.
Once again, Ian continued to monitor the new supply structure for two years following its implementation. His reporting on supplier performance and the wider marketplace empowered project Stakeholders, Sophie and Jason, with cost centre level management information to take action at a project level and to also report back to the business at Board level.
Telecoms: fixed and mobile
Staffline understood their spending on telecoms to be approximately £200k with three long-term suppliers. After conducting his review, ERA telecoms specialist, Pritesh Patel, found that figure to be more than triple the perceived spend across a network of 21 suppliers.
Rationalising the supplier database was paramount to the project’s success and to Staffline’s future control of this business-critical cost centre. Through intense negotiation and leveraging his extensive industry knowledge, Pritesh consolidated both fixed and mobile contracts down to two suppliers. At the same time, delivering a new supplier agreement which was better suited to Staffline’s operational requirements.
Staffline now enjoy a much-strengthened position at the point of renewal and have vastly improved visibility over user behaviour and redundant lines through Pritesh’s ongoing monitoring and reporting.
Transfer of knowledge and control
During their three plus years working with Staffline, Andrew and his team delivered substantial savings that have directly contributed to the company achieving its five-year plan. Through their policy of communication and collaboration, ERA specialists have equipped Staffline stakeholders with the tools and confidence to effectively manage supplier relationships for the long-term.
“Andrew highlighted several key areas of the business where he felt savings and service improvements could be made. We simply didn’t have the internal resource or expertise to undertake these types of projects ourselves so I was keen to work together with Andrew and his team to see what could be achieved and to build some internal expertise. Profitability and bottom-line savings are an integral part of our growth strategy.”
Mark Keegan, Finance Director, Staffline Group PLC
SUMMARY OF SAVINGS
- Office Supplies & Business Print: 32%
- Communications (Fixed Line): 40%
- Communications (Mobiles): 51%
- Workwear & PPE: 30%
“When we started our partnership, we had no internal procurement resource and over the last three years, Andrew and his team have more than filled that gap. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ERA for anyone looking to make a direct impact on profitability.”