Church Army: Significant savings to fund work at the margins of society
Expense Reduction Analysts helps the charity’s precious resources to go further through their expertise in supplier consolidation and negotiation.
Founded in 1882 by Wilson Carlile, Church Army trains and deploys evangelists who reach out to and work with people from all walks of life, and in particular those in need on the margins of society like the homeless. The team of 500 evangelists and support staff work very much at the ‘front line’, their faith being shared in words and actions, through a wide range of projects all over the UK and Ireland. The priority is to make a real difference in the lives of those with whom they work and, whilst based within the Anglican Church, frequently work in partnership with other churches and organisations.
“I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Church Army for over three years,” says Peter Randall, Client Relationship Manager for the charity at Expense Reduction Analysts. “They are such a worthy cause: it is good to know that we have helped to make their precious resources go further.
“We have undertaken these various projects with a flexible attitude to charging – working on a contingency or a consultancy (fixed-fee) basis – whichever was more suitable for Church Army. My colleague, Michéle Keeves, has run all of these cost saving projects, which have seen significant improvements in the purchasing of Stationery and IT Consumables, Utilities, Janitorial Supplies, Washroom Solutions and Laundry.”
Michéle Keeves takes up the story: “Each category of expenditure warranted a different approach, but each one has realised really impressive savings of between 10% and 84%! “With Stationery and IT Consumables, we worked with Church Army to consolidate their purchasing with one supplier and to create a contract list to meet their specific requirements.
“For Utilities, it was different. We worked hard to align all of the gas and electricity supplies, meaning a single supplier and a common contract end-date. This has eased the associated administrative burden immeasurably. Introducing a supplier sympathetic to charities generated 84% savings “In addition, we have negotiated utilities contracts on a fee basis for their staff accommodation for three years. For their larger sites – offices and hostels – these have been undertaken on a contingency basis for two years, with the third year being run on a fixed fee basis, once the savings methodology was proven.”
Janitorial Supplies, Washroom Solutions and Laundry all benefited from supplier consolidation. Michéle Keeves again: “Janitorial Supplies for hostels and offices moved to a single supplier whose expertise proved invaluable, delivering huge savings, recommending suitable products and reducing wastage. “Washroom Solutions were again consolidated with one supplier who offers exceptional rates for charities. 84% savings have been realised through not only unit savings but also the supplier’s advice on reducing overall expenditure.
“And, whilst Laundry is a relatively small spend, we negotiated with the incumbent supplier to achieve a lower price per item and a lower minimum wash charge. “Finally, following these successful projects, we have also undertaken a review of Photocopiers, with another colleague, Sue Carbin. We have been able to identify savings of at least 30% for Church Army, whilst at the same time replacing the current fleet with new devices.”
David Arundale summarises the benefits of the engagement: “It is a very comfortable partnership. Expense Reduction Analysts review our expenditure with an expertise to which we could never aspire.
They have saved us a lot of money, and, on the odd occasion when they have analysed our spend and found that we are actually achieving good value, they have said so, and that is a comfort in itself. Not only that, but they have greatly eased the administrative burden to us by streamlining our supplier network.”
SUMMARY OF SAVINGS
- Stationery & IT Consumables: 44.3%
- Utilities: 10.2%
- Janitorial Supplies: 47.3%
- Washroom Solutions: 84.0%
- Laundry: 24.9%
“We knew that we could be buying more efficiently, but we also knew that we would never have the internal resources or knowledge to do much about it. Expense Reduction Analysts changed all that, saving us a significant amount of money and giving us the comfort of knowing that we really were purchasing wisely.”