Gas price surge Wednesday

News came overnight Tuesday of a strike in Australia which spiked the European gas market yesterday –  You will see other articles if you Google.

Last year the same strike was not settled until late September.

The reason this affects Europe is that China takes 85%+ of Australian production and without that supply China will outbid Europe for LNG supplies from Qatar which is 40% of European supply.

You have time to wait if you wish to see if the market drops back if your renewal is imminent.  The risk is that the strike is not settled and prices rise further in the meantime.

Below are a couple of screen shots from yesterday afternoon

If you wish to talk it through do please call me.

Thank you

URGENT: The EBDS Application Deadline – 2 days left to apply

The EBDS Application Deadline – 2 days left to apply – does it apply to my business?

The Energy Bills Discount Scheme primarily relates to what are referred to as Energy Intensive industries – stuff like glass making, plastics etc. where they use huge amounts of energy.  If you are categorised under one of the sectors detailed here, you are eligible to apply.  You just need to check your SIC code (as recorded at Companies House) against the list

It also relates if you have insatlled a Heat Network in to any of your properties.  You’ll know if you have a Heat Network as it will have been a significant investment & will require ongoing monitoring & maintenance.

If you require any help fill out the Contact Form or call 0800 0 193 244

Too many transactions on your purchase ledger

One of the problems that a lot of people experience is that over time their supplier base gets very flabby. By flabby, what I mean is that you’ve got too many suppliers. Within that there are too many transactions, not just caused by the number of suppliers, but also caused by not managing those suppliers and telling them what your requirements are, which means that they are not invoicing you in an efficient manner.  This is procurement management and the aim is to get a control on your business costs because all of those trabnsactions and suppliers are costing you money every time that you post an invoice to your purchase ledger.

Every purchase invoice costs you maybe £30 or £40 to process from start to finish.  So that’s from raising the order the whole way through to payment and reconciling the bank. If you can take some cost out of that process, there’s a benefit to you.

It frees up resource within your finance team to do other work.

It’s pretty simple & here are some pointers for you:

1) Run a nominal report by supplier for the nominal codes that you are going to review.  Look down that and, with colleagues, seewhich of the suppliers can actually supply more products than they’re currently supplying, whether that’s geographical spread, or product spread or ….. 

2) Request information from each supplier about the products they supply you with and ask at the same time what else they could supply as part of your cost reduction & spend optimisation programme.  

3) Once you get the information back in from the suppliers about which products they’re supplying & could supply, go into the detail of it on a spreadsheet and mark which items could be provided by another existing supplier.

4) with that detail you have the tools to tender the business as part of your cost reduction efforts.

An aim of your procurement management programme could be to reduce the number of suppliers.  We had a case where a client with 25 sites had 19 suppliers for the same product range.  Madness.  Now, it was all done for the right reasons at the time as the sites were opening or acquired, but it was never centrally consolidated as part of a thought through procurement management programme.

In terms of spend optimisation and using cost reduction to drive down your business costs you should also be aiming for one invoice a month per supplier.  

1) A consolidated monthly invoice which has a 

2) schedule attached to it, showing the breakdown by nominal code for each of the sites which can be sent out to the sites

3) the sites then approve their spend before the management accounts are produced so that you’re covering all the bases.  

We’ve seen situations where clients have gone from over 100 transactions a month to 1.

You can do it too.   As part of your spend optimisation programme you’ll build stronger relationships with your suppliers so that your entire procurement management programme is integrated and drives down your business costs.

In terms of procurement management, understand your supplier systems and turn them to your advantage.  For example, get better credit terms.  If the single consolidated invoice is dated the last day of the month, which is typically what it is, and you get 60 day payment terms, you can get up to 90 day payment terms for the items delivered at the beginning of the month.

So lots of benefits and a process that we go through which you can implement either fully or in part.  

It’s part of our standard TPG Fair Market Value Savings Process. 


m: 07768 421901

How 50 sites got new copiers & 15% savings

Our client the United Synagogue operates 50 sites, the majority of which are within inside the M25. They have been a client of The Procurement Group since 2006 and we value the long-term relationship that we have with them.

The Procurement Group have been saving UK businesses money for over 20 years using our procurement management techniques to drive down their business costs.

In this instance, the United Synagogue had no formal strategy for acquiring photocopiers and The Procurement Group identified this, which led to this project starting.

The main issue was that every site had its own contract, meaning that there were over 30 different suppliers. Each supplier had a different contract end date, different pence per copy charges, different termination requirements, and provided different manufacturers equipment. This made the estate very hard to manage for the United Synagogue’s in-house IT department.

The Procurement Group (TPG) try to simplify clients’ lives wherever possible.   In this instance, we saw the opportunity to deliver a single contract, from a provider who would exit the United Synagogue from all of their existing contracts and still deliver a saving.   The benefits to the United Synagogue would be that they would have brand new standardised equipment across their estate and also that they would have one transaction a quarter going through their bank and accounting system rather than over a hundred as was the current situation.

For this project to work, TPG had to have a thorough understanding of what was being paid at each of the 50 sites currently.  This was actually the hardest part of the exercise because we had to contact each site and some of them don’t work five days a week so it was a difficult task to fulfill.  To achieve this each site was visited and it was established what equipment they had, how old it was, how many copies they’d done, whether it was owned or leased and how copies were paid for – pence per copy or by buying consumables.  That way we’d established a benchmark.  

TPG then engaged operationally with the United Synagogue to understand their requirements going forward at each site, drawing up a list of the equipment specifications required, tendering the business, arranging beauty parades for the client to meet with suppliers to understand who was the best fit, and then to negotiate the contract with the suppliers. 

Working closely with the United Synagogue’s head office team, we were able to achieve this and ended up delivering a 15% saving across the estate guaranteed for three years.  It was important to both the United Synagogue and TPG that title to the goods passed to the client at the end of the initial three-year term because usage is very low at each individual site and therefore, the equipment would be in good condition rather than need replacing which is the norm in the copier industry.

TPG like to take a long-term view of situations and rather than delivering the maximum savings at day one, in this case, agreed a two-step approach with the United Synagogue.  The first step was to get the estate consolidated with one supplier.  As an outcome of this, we were also able to install software which recorded the exact usage at each site, thereby, overcoming one of the biggest hurdles we all had at the outset which was actually understanding what the usage was.  The second stage will then be to retain the existing equipment and enter into simple maintenance agreements for all of the equipment going forward, meaning that the lease payments for ownership of the equipment disappear and deliver significant savings to our client.

This is an example of how TPG bring their considerable experience to bear for the benefit of clients and deliver long-term solutions, thinking outside the box and always taking the best route for their clients, whether or not that impacts on TPG’s revenue in the short term.

If you’d like to find out more about how we use cost reduction and spend optimization workflows and processes to analyse business data in order to ensure that we deliver best value for all of our clients in whatever sector they operate, then contact me, Simon Unger, on 07768 421901 or

UK could do better with broadband speeds

The UK has the 43rd fastest broadband in the world and is 6th out of the 7 G7 countries with only Italy being slower.

That said, Europe is still by far and away the fastest. All 29 countries measured in Western Europe were in the top half of the table, countries in the region taking eight of the top ten spots in the world for internet speed. The regional average speed of 90.56Mbps makes it the fastest of the 13 global regions overall.

The data was derived from over 1.1 billion speed tests taken in the 12 months up to 30 June 2021 and spanning 224 countries.

The Procurement Group

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