An Uckfield business consultant has helped a branch of the Co-op save more than £100,000.
Phil Edwards, of Weald Business Solutions, was involved in a review of costs which helped Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society – which runs convenience food stores, department stores, travel centres and funeral branches in Mid Essex – save 61 per cent on washroom services, 38 per cent on telecommunications and 27 per cent on waste and disposal.
Phil said: ‘Higher service levels were achieved as a result of the process which is all about managing expenditure and not about cutting corners.’
The company’s deputy chief executive officer Barry Wood said he didn’t initially believe the savings were there to be made and was usually extremely sceptical about the claims made by management consultancy firms.
But he was impressed by the methodology used by the consultants and liked the way they continued to work with his business to negotiate and implement chosen solutions rather than just present a report and walk away.
Mr Edwards said he was very pleased to have won a new contract with Chelmsford Star as a result of the work already done.
‘Sometimes it takes an outsider to spot new ways of improving processes and saving costs. We are pleased to have been so effective on this project.’
Mr Wood said it was an extremely opportune time to be reviewing costs. ‘We always like to feel that we are negotiating the best rates, but this is an ongoing process and has never been more important than in the current climate.’
He is now taking the process one stage further and making use of new software, licensed through Weald Business Solutions, which will allow Chelmsford Star to continuously monitor and manage processes on a proactive basis.
The software has been proven across a number of social and housing sector clients and is now being introduced to manufacturing and retail clients allowing them to benefit from managed expenditure and improved productivity across single or multiple sites.