University of hull

Getting the best value in a procurement-regulated environment

Expense Reduction Analysts develops procurement savings and cost-management gains in a wide-ranging brief. “Our main challenge was to add value whilst remaining compliant with public sector procurement obligations,” says Andrew Brackenbury, Business Development Manager at Expense Reduction Analysts.

“I was able to put together a team, each expert in their individual field, who I knew would be able to deliver value for the University: Mike Stevenson, Pritesh Patel, Phil Howarth and Paul Seddon all played their part in the project’s success. Their expertise on these six projects has generated annual savings well into six figures, with more to come, and many valuable management benefits.”

Stationery, IT Consumables and Bulk Paper

Mike Stevenson and Paul Seddon undertook a linked review of generally used Stationery, IT Consumables and of the University Print Unit’s requirements for bulk and specialist papers. Mike Stevenson comments: “Recommending procurement changes for such a large and diverse organisation required us to gather and analyse an enormous amount of data and present our analysis in a way which would allow the University to make decisions. We also had to bear in mind the significant internal costs of switching suppliers for such widely-used commodities.

“In the end, we were able to add value not only through consolidation of suppliers, but also through managing those suppliers closely after implementation. This demanded our continued deep analysis of management information and persistence in following up on our findings.

“Furthermore, we have been able to drive further value for money by recommending and supporting a number of changes to purchasing behaviour. This was made possible by our regular reporting on status and trends in departmental use of ‘Branded v. Own Branded’ products and on cost centre compliance with the core basket of products, along with quantification of missed savings opportunities. We have also assisted in the implementation of punch-out to the supplier website which then facilitates integration with e-invoicing. All of this delivers further administrative benefit in the back-office.”

“Water anomalies only uncovered by an independent audit by a specialist”

Phil Howarth’s work on Water consumption was focused on ensuring that the University was being billed correctly: “I discovered several examples of unidentified consumption – leaks, in other words – where they were paying for water they were not using; I also identified instances where the University had not been offered the most appropriate tariff for various usages; and I traced billing inaccuracies back through the invoice history to make sure that the University was able to recoup all of the monies paid unnecessarily.

“All of this analysis is very detailed and quite complex, and these anomalies could only have been uncovered by an independent audit by a Water specialist.”

Mobile Telecoms savings

Pritesh Patel’s analysis of Mobile Telecoms was fairly straightforward by comparison. He notes: “We analysed the Mobile billing, and were able to retain the incumbent supplier for the University, but with a 42% saving.”

Andrew Brackenbury concludes: “Our work for the University of Hull has been wide-ranging. There were some categories, such as Landlines, Secure Cash Handling and Merchant Card Fees, where our analysis revealed that they were already achieving best value, which is great news for the University. The categories detailed here show the sensitivity of our work in achieving value for money in a regulated environment. We have some other category reviews that are in progress and so we hope to be able to increase the value for money that we have delivered to the University.”

John Chapman, Purchasing Manager at the University of Hull, summarises the value that Expense Reduction Analysts has added to his procurement: “The timing of our engagement with Expense Reduction Analysts was absolutely right. We had a lot of tenders to complete at the same time and they were able to take a good deal of work off my hands. They crunched all of the numbers and provided comprehensive reports at each stage that were easy to understand and, post implementation, produced regular Management Information that evidenced the project results and helped us to change internal purchasing behaviours. Not only have they delivered value for money, they have saved me a lot of time.”

  • Stationery: 18%
  • IT Consumables: 34%
  • Bulk Paper: 16%
  • Water: 2%
  • Mobile Telecoms: 42%
  • Comms – Maintenance: 2%

“Expense Reduction Analysts provided comprehensive reports that were easy to understand and, post implementation, produced regular Management Information that evidenced the project results. Not only have they delivered value for money, they have saved me a lot of time.”

John ChapmanPurchasing Director