Women's magazine achieves savings from outsourcing

20 January 2012

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21 January 2012 | Naouel Zenaidi

Women’s magazine, The Lady, has achieved an average of 16 per cent of savings after outsourcing part of its cost and purchase management to Auditel.

A three-year contract was signed between the two parties on a no-win, no-fee basis in November. It first looked to address three areas of spend – office stationery, merchant credit cards and electricity, for which expenditure was more than £50,000. The arrangement was that Auditel would only get paid if it achieved certain savings targets on these categories, which it did.

Founded in 1885, The Lady is England's longest-running weekly magazine for women. Its classified adverts include job listings for housekeepers, butlers and nannies. Publisher and chief executive Ben Budworth, who took over in 2008, wanted to modernise the business and revitalise the brand. “The magazine was out of touch and out of place, and archaic working practices were still being employed,” he said. He wanted to free up time and money without compromising on quality.

By reducing the supply base and talking with existing suppliers to renegotiate contracts that had not been reviewed in years, Auditel delivered an average of 16 per cent savings across the three spend areas. The process also helped achieve non-financial efficiencies, such as the reduction of time associated with multiple deliveries and invoice processing.

Budworth said he welcomed Auditel’s expertise and approach to finding suppliers that best suited the magazine’s needs rather than simply switching to the lowest bidder.

Auditel consultant Colin Simmons said: “Our process is to look at purchasing on an ongoing basis but it’s a case of how often you want to repeat the tendering exercise. Purchasing loyalty isn’t just about price and trying to ‘beat up’ a supplier doesn’t necessarily benefit you in the long term. While an incumbent supplier might reduce their price, if they see this as a yearly exercise, they might walk away.”

The two are now considering other areas of spend Auditel may be able to help with, such as telecoms.


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