Clear direction for business and reduced expenditure

We were appointed as a result of our client, the CEO of this start-up company, having been recommended to speak to us and through having several informal meetings.

We offered the CEO initial advice and guidance on the basis of a future appointment, should he secure funding and agree a business plan with his seed funders.

Our initial support enabled our client to reconsider his initial sales plan and his proposed structure for the business, which would have a seen a ‘grab for growth’ against a high cost base and a low level of focus on the differentiators his business had to offer against established competitors.

He set about updating his business plan, which he reviewed with us. The updated plan was then submitted to his seed funders, who accepted it, and was also used to raise further funding from the bank.

This enabled us to undertake a more thorough set of workshops and reviews with our client and his wider team. The confidence and understanding of the business we gained from this allowed us to then ‘soft test’ the wider market for potential investors (who could take a more hands-on management role), partners and contract opportunities.

The business has attracted the required funding and now has a wider management team with a stronger commercial background, which complements the military experience of the forming team. This combination offers a compelling proposition in the market and key contracts have been secured as a result, with a strong pipeline of future tenders identified and being progressed.

With progress made against an agreed plan, further investors are interested in the business and the management team are now in a strong position to negotiate favourable terms to take their company to the next stage in its development.

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Short-term appointment of a senior executive to drive change

Our client is a medium-sized soft-services supplier who works in the South of England.

They had successfully grown over the years but reached a point where turnover was stagnant and profit had decreased. Whilst current contracts had been extended, no new accounts had been secured.

The owner felt the business lacked direction and he was at a loss, feeling he had nobody upon whom he could rely to help him and the business move forward. He therefore engaged us to help identify a set of actions and what the underlying issues were in his business.

We initially undertook a set of workshops following an assessment of his operations against what we considered ‘best in class’, and from this we worked with him to engage his management team.

This had mixed results, and we agreed with him that an interim executive should be appointed to work with him on a defined basis, so this person could get to know the day-to-day workings in detail and support our client.

Over the course of three months, our interim executive was able to directly address a number of issues that came to light and was on hand to support our client at his offices.

The end result was that our client made a number of personnel changes and had the confidence to take the business forward with a new plan and a fresh team to support him in the programme of change that had been agreed.

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A partnering agreement to target growth in austere environments

Our client is a successful group that enables governments in fragile states to put in place internationally recognised good practice and establish robust systems to enable reconstruction. Their clients also include international aid organisations.

Solving international issues often requires different groups to come together and in this instance we identified the benefits of two groups collaborating; we facilitated meetings and workshops so that the groups could explore options and agree actions.

Our role helped identify key issues, ensure smooth programme management of the process and enabled each party to quickly identify common ground.

Working with two very different organisations (one European, the other American), we helped deliver a number of workshops where we acted as Programme Manager, with our success primarily dependent upon the groups concluding an agreement to partner.

This allowed us to take an independent brokerage position between the groups, as we did not have an agenda that was biased towards one particular organisation; in this context we were mainly success-driven.

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A UK-wide contract extending the capability of our client

Our client was a regional cleaning services provider who had taken on a number of ‘back office’ support roles for a few clients who had asked them.

As part of a visit to a site they worked on, they found themselves being asked to tender for an Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) contract, which although they knew they could deliver, they did not have the experience of bidding for.

They approached us to be part of their team and to work alongside their CEO to put in place the overall service delivery solution.

We reviewed the tender documents and attended site visits so we could understand the requirements of the client and their needs at each site, and to appreciate the real value drivers that would make a positive impact.

From receipt of tender we agreed a programme of activity with our client, enabling our client to focus on the key areas where they excelled, with our own focus being on non-core areas that our client had not previously priced or set out in a tender submission.

We produced a pricing model that allowed us to review all key elements of the bid and review value for money in each, as well as assess how each package aligned with the solution we had agreed and set out.

Following submission of tender, we supported our client in producing the presentation, which we attended as their specialist to answer technical questions and clarify any points raised during the question and answer session.

As a result, our client has secured a long-term IFM service supply contract with a blue chip client.

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Improved service delivery and reduction of business risk

Due to internal changes, our client no longer had an in-house team with the Facility Management (FM) expertise to oversee the suppliers that had been appointed, or to drive the transformation that was required in the FM service needed.

The organisation was also undergoing a significant cultural change and had to adapt to a new competitive position, as well as attract new staff and drive through a new way of working across diverse teams.

We undertook the management as an ‘interim’ Facilities Director for our client, reporting into the Head of Property and Procurement. Our remit included all properties, from the HQ and supporting buildings in Central London through to data centres and processing centres in the North of England.

We provided front-line operational management, a full contract review and analysis of key risks facing our client.

As a result of our first stage of support, we identified key gaps in the services being provided by the incumbent supplier as well as Health & Safety compliance failures and technical issues that represented a risk to business operations.

In addition to carrying out a full audit on the premises and agreeing a change programme, we also undertook the direct responsibility for day-to-day management of the properties and all FM delivery staff.

This allowed us to establish an identity amongst the FM staff, put in place a performance management system to improve service delivery and manage out the risks we had identified.

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Tender submitted on time and access to framework contract

As a result of working with our client on a number of projects, we were asked to provide initial advice on their commercial approach to bidding for services in a new sector.

The initial advice led to us working closely with the operations team to assess the key commercial issues and agree the best strategy to address these, thereby producing a best value priced proposition in order to access an international framework contract base.

Our pragmatic approach to modelling the main price inputs, and understanding the operational issues and contract terms, enabled a fast turnaround of a complex bid.

By focusing on the competitive/commercial issues we helped our client’s operations team to focus on their technical response and to clearly understand the parameters they had to work within.

This allowed us as a team to identify key operational risks, pricing/specification inconsistencies in the ITT documents issued and to address these at the earliest stage, both through clarification questions and solution development.

Our client is now on recognised on a framework contract in a new target sector, despite having to compete with a number of established incumbent suppliers who have a track record and low cost base.

We continue to work with this client on a number of projects.

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Tender submitted on time and contract awarded

Our client is a successful Integrated Facility Management (IFM) provider who has a number of blue-chip clients in London and operates in a range of contexts throughout the UK including legal, banking and stadium grounds.

As a result of pre-qualifying on a number of tenders and changes in the programmes, our client was faced with a number of tenders to prepare at the same time, which would have meant declining to participate in a number of bids.

We were asked to support their core team and take on a bid leadership and bid-writing role so they could reallocate their staff to focus on bid pricing and completing the commercial reviews required.

Our role involved getting up to speed with the key win issues, identifying the gaps and requirements to gain internal approvals and setting out a plan to meet the bid submission timetable.

We quickly integrated with the in-house team and after agreeing the overall solution and a process to manage any changes, as well as confirming the specific pricing needs, we used their bid library and adapted their methodology to meet the requirements of the tender we were assigned to.

Using our operational knowledge, we completed the tender requirements and also produced an innovative offer that was well received by both our own client and the group who had issued the tender.

This resulted in our client securing a national UK portfolio with a blue-chip customer that has since grown internationally.

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Access to same product at significantly reduced cost

Part of our client’s business is to provide installation and maintenance of fire and intruder systems.

Although servicing and support is a major part of their business, like a number of maintenance groups the purchasing of product still accounts for a significant proportion of overall sales and therefore directly impacts the bottom line.

In a highly competitive market, we identified with our client that one route to enhance profit was to look at innovative buying for ‘non-complex’ product items that represented low risk in terms of alternative sourcing routes.

After an initial ‘at risk’ assessment and reaching agreement on how to proceed, our team of experts were provided with a full breakdown of the categories of spend, product details and buying profile of our client.

From this we undertook further analysis and market testing of product sourcing, not only in the UK but also in key overseas regions where we knew the quality of manufacturing existed to maintain compliance with UK and international standards.

As a result, we identified net savings in the region of 20–30% across a number of product lines after all costs of transportation and administration were accounted for.

This has enabled our client to immediately make significant improvements to their bottom-line results and to become more competitive in securing future growth.

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Successful off-market bolt-on acquisition

Our client is a UK national provider of Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) with a number of private and public sector clients, including ‘prestige’ properties and large complexes.

Having grown the business successfully from a soft-services background, our client appointed us to help them expand into technical services to complement their own operations in this sector, which they were growing organically.

Working closely with them we identified a number of potential businesses that could have enabled them to expand.

We carried out 1-1 meetings with key management from the shortlist of targets we had agreed, and from this we drew up a list of five potential companies to acquire.

The number-one choice was a medium-sized business that was owner-managed and located within 45 minutes of our client’s head office, thereby enabling the management to easily transfer.

After an initial meeting, our client agreed this was the best option for them and quickly proceeded to complete a purchase.

This both enabled immediate cost savings (office space, back office overheads) and successful integration of the technical services management team, who were vitally important to our client and their future plans.

The acquisition has also given our client an excellent platform from which to build their maintenance arm, as well as cross-selling opportunities for their other service lines.

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Successful off-market bolt-on acquisition

Our client is a substantial soft-services business that operates across the UK supporting a number of customers in both the private and public sectors.

The CEO appointed us as he wished to expand his business into a complementary sector but had no time to identify a shortlist of groups or to approach them and carry out an initial assessment.

With our access to detailed market research on the FM industry and the ability to confidentially approach key decision makers, we quickly identified a company that we felt suited the objectives of our client.

After arranging initial meetings and supporting the discussions, we were able to let the specialist advisers of our client and the vendor carry out the necessary due diligence activities and complete a purchase.

Our client is pleased with the results as it allowed him to carry out his day-to-day role as CEO of a large group and to complete an off-market purchase quickly, with no disruption to either his own or the vendor’s clients and staff.

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