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Sportingbet’s Financial Director has been surprised by the amount of savings the company has made through hiring Auditel franchise owner Lee Freeman and using his cost management services.

Although Sportingbet, an online gaming company with operations throughout Europe and Australia, has focused on revenue growth rather than cost control its Financial Director, Jim Wilkinson, didn’t think there would be anything to lose by hiring Freeman to carry out a number of expenditure reviews.

Wilkinson said: “As a group, our main financial goal is to grow our top line by 20 per cent per year, so we haven’t focused too much on our input costs over the last few years. Having said that, I was pretty confident we were in control of our expenditure and that the business wasn’t unduly wasteful. So, when Lee approached me, I couldn’t see that we had anything to lose by trying it out.”

Initially, Wilkinson engaged Freeman to review the UK office’s fixed and wireless communications, office supplies and IT consumables expenditure. Following his initial report just one month later, he asked Freeman to proceed with putting Sportingbet’s stationery spend out to tender, which was completed in June 2010. Freeman was then able to use the results of this tender to re-negotiate with the company’s incumbent supplier, leading to savings to date of £23,000, on like-for-like products.

Impressed with these results, Wilkinson gave Freeman the go-ahead to proceed with the communications review. Although Sportingbet was restricted on its choice of suppliers for fixed line voice traffic, Freeman identified and implemented a new tariff from the incumbent supplier, saving 11 per cent against the company’s initial spend.

Freeman has also negotiated deals with Sportingbet’s mobile phone contractor and new rates for its International Toll Free numbers, which have made estimated annual savings of £40,000 or 35 per cent and £20,000 or 58 per cent respectively.

Wilkinson added: “Lee has just got on with the job and delivered impressive results in a very professional manner. Most importantly, his savings have made us realise that as an organisation we need to change our attitude towards cost management. We can’t keep spending money right and left. I’ve now set a cost reduction target of £2 million for the group and we’ve employed an internal resource to help us centralise procurement globally.

“First and foremost, we want to work with staff to change their psychology and working practices in relation to expenditure. Lee will continue to work closely with us in the UK to help us achieve this goal. He’s already working on new projects to review our insurance, travel and broadband expenditure. I definitely see him as a member of my management team.”


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