Nearly four years on from launching their business, Laurence Fitch and Ruth Dawe’s Auditel franchise is still going strong.

The pair launched their St Albans-based business back in September 2008. Dawe said: “We knew that we wanted to run our own business. We felt that franchising offered us the ideal balance of having our own enterprise with the support of an established organisation. Laurence came across Auditel at the Olympia Franchise Exhibition in April 2008. I was immediately impressed with its business format and how well it suited the current economic climate. The concept of franchising gave us the opportunity to look at different well-established models to decide which suited us best and we chose Auditel.

“The training we received was outstanding. It allowed us to develop our skills so that we could push our new business forward as specialist consultants in cost, purchase and supplier management. The support of our mentors and the Auditel network of over 200 consultants has been superb. Even our most obscure questions have been answered. Now we have an excellent and varied client base and are ahead of where we had hoped to be at this stage. Satisfied clients are offering referrals to their contacts.”

One such client is the Mildmay Mission Hospital. Although it was founded in 1866 to fight a cholera epidemic in London, Mildmay is better known today for its work in caring for people with HIV and it was the place where Princess Diana famously shook hands with a patient suffering from AIDS. At present, the department has 16 beds with plans to move to a new larger development in the next 18 months.

Fitch and Dawe approached the Mildmay Hospital in March 2010. Since then, they have impressed an initially sceptical Director of Finance, Joe Thomas, with their professionalism, knowledge and willingness, he said: “It has been fantastic dealing with them both, they just get on with it, make no extra work for us and really know their stuff.”

Fitch and Dawe have investigated several areas of Mildmay’s spend including electricity, gas, fixed line telecommunications, stationery and janitorial supplies. In addition to savings of £37,000 other reductions included 17 per cent on line rental, 40 per cent on call traffic, 65 per cent on telephone system maintenance, 33 per cent call savings for the first year and 16 per cent on janitorial supplies.

The business partners are planning further initiatives including printed matter, photocopying, print and copy where substantial savings are also expected, with a potential annual reduction of 54.5 per cent on stationery. Mildmay also benefitted from their implementation of a structured core list, thus ensuring that they are buying services more effectively and at a better price.

Thomas added: “Laurence and Ruth have been very effective in finding us cost savings. They have made everything very easy and been an absolute pleasure to work with. In these tough economic times, Auditel has created a bit more financial space for us to work in.”

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