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Accounting and financial advisory firm: establishing a procurement function




Financial Services



Our client, an accounting and financial advisory firm, had undergone a period of rapid growth, having acquired over 60 local accounting practices. This had resulted in a significant rise in their supply base and operational costs, yet they had no procurement service, governance, policies or processes. This meant that the majority of their spend was locally managed and disaggregated. Our procurement experts partnered with them to solve challenges around cost, suppliers and supply chain risk exposure.

  • Outcome 1: Deployed a procurement team that completed 44 projects delivering £2m annual savings within the first 9 months
  • Outcome 2: Reduced invoice volumes by 35%
  • Outcome 3: Reduced UK supplier volume by 28%

The Challenge

Our client’s strong acquisition strategy had enabled them to operate with the scale and coverage of a leading accounting firm, whilst retaining a local presence. However, acquiring 60 small firms inevitably led to myriad supply chain and cost challenges for our client. They engaged our teams to develop and manage a procurement service that would unlock value and deliver savings, enhance EBITDA performance by successful management of global expenditure, support top-line growth through early market insight and sourcing, and manage reputational and financial risk across the supply chain through implementing standard procurement policy, technology and governance procedures.

The Approach

In order to solve for this complex challenge, we first set-up a team of category experts to provide a new procurement service and deliver savings. Next, as part of a transformation programme, we evaluated maturity and recommended improvements to increase the perception and value of procurement. We quickly created a self-funded programme allowing further investment.

Our procurement experts followed a four-phased approach for the transformation:

Design: This first phase involved stakeholder interviews, risk and process mapping to really understand the issue and its painpoints. We conducted a maturity assessment which included an in-depth analysis of spend and existing processes and policies. This enabled us to design a procurement target operating model and roadmap which would guide our client through the transformation journey.

Build: We rapidly built and delivered processes, polices and digital capabilities to provide our client with a best-in-market brand-new procurement function. This involved a multi-level communication strategy and virtual roadshows to ensure the changes would be successfully embedded across the business. Additionally, we collaborated with key functions like compliance, IT and finance to ensure the integration of procurement processes organisation-wide.

Deliver: In order to operate the in-house procurement function, we established a programme of continuous improvement to drive further enhancements. We established bespoke reporting dashboards to track compliance and report benefits. Further, pervious supply chain risks are now effectively managed.

Procurement is now a leading function for our client, capable of delivering greater value, savings, reduced operating costs, mitigated risk and leveraged supplier innovations.

The Impact

We set out to create a procurement service that would improve EBITDA performance across the group, whilst also improving risk management, compliance and social impact within the supply chain. Together, we successfully achieved this within the first 9 months, driving significant financial and non-financial benefits and creating a significant change in procurement.

“I’m delighted with the work that Elixirr have done to create and manage an excellent procurement service which is now a well-integrated part of our business. This is not only delivering exceptional savings but also driving a number of projects which support our wider strategy and transformation programme to help drive our future growth.”

CEO, accounting and financial advisory firm

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Anthony Potter