The Challenge

Save the Children is a global charity providing relief aid and support to vulnerable children around the world. Procure4 worked for 12 months with the team in London to identify and deliver opportunities to make savings whilst maintaining quality but which would ultimately add to fundraising budgets.  Save the Children does not have a central internal procurement function, and each budget holder across the organisation is responsible for ensuring all suppliers are fit for purpose and offering best value for money.

Procure4 category specialists met with Save the Children stakeholders across the organisation to understand their operational objectives and relevant historical supply chain activity. Operational stakeholders were very concerned not to jeopardise strong relationships with existing suppliers upon whom they relied for a range of important services.  It was clear early on that Procure4 would need to bring commercial objectivity and clarity to the organisational needs whilst being sensitive to specific stakeholders’ requirements.  The challenge was to find ways to reduce cost by doing things differently, whilst increasing efficiency and quality.

The Approach

The lifeblood of any charity is fundraising.  Without sufficient annual income, any charity is unable to carry out the work which forms its primary purpose.  Procure4’s scope included challenging categories key to this purpose, such as creative design, media spend, telemarketing and print.

To inform the approach strategies, Procure4 gathered market intelligence from non-incumbent suppliers using e-RFX to provide an overview of fundraising within the sector.  In addition, an external audit of creative services was commissioned to benchmark costs providing invaluable new insight.  The resulting negotiations focused on changing the mix of services provided by incumbent suppliers to improve terms for Save the Children whilst also improving efficiency for suppliers.  In telemarketing, the goal was to ensure the right supplier was delivering the right service for Save the Children at competitive commercials in terms of both cost outlay and level of donations.

The Results

Procure4 achieved savings ranging from 5% to 25% across the various categories in scope.  In many cases, the incumbent suppliers remained in place, minimising the change for stakeholders. 

Supplier relationships have been enhanced with all parties now having a fuller understanding of the cost metrics, requirements and aspirations of the other party. 

As well as providing auditable and sustainable cash savings, the partnership has improved service delivery and provided an overall increase in fundraising value which can be used to strengthen the great work of the charity.


Key Facts

10 Number of Categories Addressed
£14,500,000 Spend Addressed
12 Months Worked to Delivery

Testimonial from Save the Children

As a charity, we always try to spend the money donated to us by others as wisely as possible. Procure4 was able to help us do this through reducing supplier costs and confirming areas where we were already achieving value-for-money.
Thanks for the professional help (the on-line auction was a particular favourite!) including the key reminder to our suppliers that we are indeed a charity.

Peter Banks, Chief Financial Officer, Save the Children

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