Wessex Autistic Society

The Wessex Autistic Society has since rebranded as Autism Wessex.

The Wessex Autistic Society: Caring for the funds that care for children and adults with autism

Formed in 1968, The Wessex Autistic Society is a leading voluntary organisation delivering education, support and care  services for people on the autistic spectrum. The society, which is part of the National Autistic Society, operates services in Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset, and outreach to anyone else who may need them, regardless of where they may be.

The Wessex Autistic Society originally engaged Expense Reduction Analysts in September 2008. Kevin Medcraft describes his first impression: “I immediately recognised that they could make a huge difference to our procurement. We are a relatively small organisation, and we simply do not have the resources to analyse every contract and survey every corner of the market, to ensure that our expenditure is as keen as possible. I asked Danny Rogers to begin the relationship between our two organisations by analysing our spend on Office Stationery.

Danny Rogers of Expense Reduction Analysts continues: “I saw straightaway that The Wessex Autistic Society were buying items from a disparate range of suppliers this included arts and crafts materials for their school, as well as the more traditional office stationery. I was able to rationalise their purchasing by drawing up a core list of products, and I am happy to say that, since then, The Wessex Autistic Society have been extremely disciplined in keeping to that list and the level of their expenditure has benefited accordingly.

Consolidating contracts to secure savings

In the light of this success, Kevin Medcraft asked Danny Rogers to look at Utilities and Postage/Franking as well.  “The Utilities category was certainly more complex, says Danny Rogers.  “The Society had many different contracts “ all with different renewal dates “ which made them difficult to manage, as well as offering no economies of scale upon which to negotiate.

The contracts took more than a year to consolidate, but, by the time of the final alignment in August 2010, the exercise produced the extremely positive result of over £100,000 worth of savings. Wessex also enjoy the additional benefit of being able to manage for themselves the two resultant contracts “ one for electricity and one for gas.

Huge savings and far better service

Danny Rogers‘s analysis of the Society‘s spend on Postage and Franking produced a correspondingly pleasing result, as he says, “Wessex had signed a five-year contract lease on a franking machine, with fairly onerous monthly payments. On analysing their needs, I soon concluded that they would be far better off buying one outright. In fact, the break-even point arrived within a year, resulting in another significant saving.

Kevin Medcraft sums up the value of Expense Reduction Analysts to his organisation: “The savings that Danny and his team have achieved have been amazing. But, more than this, they have made sure that the service that we receive from suppliers is not compromised. Quite the reverse in fact in the case of Stationery, for example, they recommended a new supplier, who has proved to be outstanding, so we enjoy huge savings and far better service! I have already asked Danny to extend his remit and look at our Marketing Print spend as well.

Bob Lowndes, Chief Executive of Wessex Autistic Society, concludes: “I cannot praise Expense Reduction Analysts highly enough. They have made sure that the precious funds that we receive from the Local Authority and our fundraising activities are spent as wisely as possible to benefit people with autism in our region.”

  • Utilities: 55.9%
  • Postage/Franking: 48.0%
  • Stationery: 31.8%

“We are delighted with the work that Expense Reduction Analysts have done. We are a relatively small organisation, and we simply could not have brought the right expertise, spent the amount of time or delivered the level of savings that Danny and his team have achieved,”

Kevin MedcraftFacilities & Procurement Manager