Improving Profitability and Cash Flow: Applying an Intelligence Led Approach

The economic and commercial challenges presented by the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit have created a new imperative for taking action to reduce costs and address inefficiencies. Our work to help clients optimise control across all their assets and investments is finding particular relevance to those urgently seeking rapid and permanent improvements in business profitability and increased cash flow.

What we have learnt

Key lessons from this application of our intelligence led approach to informed decision making are:

  • Achieving meaningful and sustainable results requires a disciplined and objective process, specialist data analytics capabilities and relevant (current) sector/category benchmarking information. These are rarely found together within client businesses.
  • Delivering potential benefits as rapidly as possible requires a pragmatic understanding of how and where best to prioritise action. This is informed by experience across categories and sectors and can add real value, fast.
  • Double digit savings can often be achieved from categories that are considered to be managed efficiently or have recently been reviewed internally. Rigorous review is best achieved independently.
  • Constructive challenge from a knowledgeable third party can re-set and motivate established supplier/service provider relationships and employees. Executed properly, the process is an effective agent for essential change.

What we do

We specialise in rapidly delivering a significant improvement to our client’s bottom-line performance. This goal is achieved by implementing swift, provable and enduring expenditure reduction across the client organisation.

The cost of bought-in goods and services are reduced to the lowest level achievable, consistent with a quality threshold acceptable to the business. Cash is recovered by identifying payment errors, missed rebates, incorrect invoices etc. Employee and vendor fraud is eliminated and supplier risk is mitigated.

In addition to a step change reduction in costs clients can expect improved commercial relationships with suppliers resulting in continuing enhancements and much better information upon which to make decisions in the future.

Clients include listed and private companies, portfolios of invested businesses, and national government departments*. Working across abroad range of sectors including banking, private equity, utilities, mining, manufacturing, retail and luxury brands contributes to our knowledge bank and live benchmarking data.

How we do it

We have developed specific methodologies and specialist capabilities to ensure that we deliver significant results within agreed deadlines. Our programme includes rigorous benchmarking of current costs and practices and detailed analysis of intra-company and supplier relationships, market trends and price indices. All client data is subject to the highest standards of data security and confidentiality.

We work to tight timescales, with a very light footprint, to ensure project traction and maintain enthusiasm. An in depth and discrete assessment across all a client’s expenditure categories will typically take between 2 and 5 weeks. We achieve the level of speed and accuracy required by deploying experienced and expert analysts in sufficient numbers, using proprietary analysis and benchmarking tools, drawing on in depth supply market knowledge, and incorporating assessments of workflows and associated areas of activity without which many opportunities are missed or simply fail to gain acceptance.

Cost and engagement

This work is usually undertaken on a contingent fee basis: we are paid an agreed percentage of first year cost savings. Complete alignment with our client’s interests is further ensured by a strict policy of never taking payments or inducements of any kind from suppliers or third parties.

In effect the worst case outcome for a client engaging with the programme is a rapid and independent ‘audit’ to confirm that expenditure is already at an irreducible minimum. If not, we will identify, quantify, implement and monitor savings.

Because our work is tailored to the specific needs of each client, a quick conversation will swiftly establish what value we can add to a business and in which categories.


*We are somewhat fanatical about client confidentiality but can provide authorised case studies and references as appropriate.