Kevin Fallows

Kevin Fallows

Suppliers always give you their best ‘charity rates’, right?

A charity office manager once said to me, “We get special charity rates from most of our suppliers so I doubt you can improve on them”.

But do ’special charity rates’ even exist? Do your suppliers have a spreadsheet somewhere labelled ‘Special Charity Rates’ ready to upload onto their billing platform for you? Or do you get an additional 10% discount off the inflated published rates that no-one pays anyway?

And how do you know your starting rate was already competitive? Do you know what other charities and businesses are paying for the same level of service?

The important point here though is that savings were available, but the charity assumed they were getting best rates because the supplier told them so and the office manager didn’t have the time or know-how to forensically drill deep into his supplier usage reports to understand where the savings were hiding. But this is where my clients use me to advise on how to reduce overhead costs and add value.

Whilst many companies have sufficient resources to manage core cost categories, it’s not uncommon to leave general overheads at the bottom of the list in terms of time well spent. As a result, overspending can then occur unchecked through price creep, purchasing indiscipline, increasing tail spend, compliance and the reality that business purchasing profiles have changed through hybrid working.

Overall, that office manager’s charity’s rates were quite competitive, but I still I ended up negotiating an additional £15,087 per annum on electricity, mobiles and stationery. Not a massive amount for a total of 95 staff, but what charity would object to getting that much added to their income every year? Better in your bank account and helping your beneficiaries rather than in the supplier’s pocket.

I have 30 years of experience and a 99% savings success rate negotiating best value pricing for clients and I work on a performance based, no savings, no charge agreement so I’m self-funding.

Please get in touch if you’d like a chat.

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