We have compiled the most frequently asked questions to help you understand everything you need to know about ERA
As a leading global cost optimization consultancy, it can be a bit daunting trying to understand everything that we can do for your business.
That’s why we’ve put together these frequently asked questions to help you better understand what to expect when working with ERA.
Arguably one of the most important things to keep in mind is that we operate on a contingency basis, or “no cure, no fee”, meaning there is no financial risk to you, nor do you require a budget to engage us to begin with as our payment comes from the results we generate.
It starts with a conversation, so the first step is always having a no obligation discussion to better understand your goals and to provide further details about any questions you may have. So to find out more, contact us today.
What can ERA actually do for me?
ERA are procurement efficiency experts delivering sustainable, measurable savings. We have the resources to help you to reduce costs; enhance quality and service delivery; improve supplier relationships; assess your internal processes; meet compliance targets and demonstrate to other stakeholders that you are achieving best value.
Anyone can reduce costs by buying cheap inferior products. How can I be sure that ERA are not just doing this?
You will be in control of the process and decision making from start to finish. ERA’s business model is to win your trust through great project delivery. Matching proven suppliers to the needs of your business is a core part of the ERA process.
There’s no need to bring anybody in to look at these categories as I and my colleagues can personally handle these negotiations and I doubt whether you can do better.
ERA has over 700 specialists worldwide with career expertise, current market knowledge, leverage and resource. They currently influence considerable purchasing expenditure and achieve savings in categories of spend that are core to us and potentially non-core to you. Do you have this level of category specific expertise in these indirect costs in your business? Equally, do you have the time or resource available for such activities?
What can ERA do that we can’t do ourselves?
We are an extension of what you do now, not an alternative. We provide comparative data and our product and market knowledge allows us to execute at pace. ERA has access to prices paid by a large number of other organisations, which you don’t have. We then use this data to negotiate specifically on your behalf. We have expertise in those areas of expense that are far down your priority list and so we can get those looked at without affecting the programme for your department. A good way to think of it is we offer resource to supplement your own department.
We don’t have time for this
Our dedicated team will essentially do all of the research and analysis whilst also working with you to implement the actions you have approved. In a nutshell, you don’t need budget or resource to engage our services. If anything, think of us as an extension of your team, so we will be providing the required time and energy to generate savings in your business.
We are already optimising our costs
Some clients had the same opinion but chose to work with us anyway to take advantage of our market knowledge and approach.
In this case, our involvement could serve as an audit report on your own results – and is totally risk free. This can help to give you peace of mind that you are getting the best deals but equally, a fresh set of eyes could help to identify new opportunities for savings, so you lose nothing but could stand to gain a great deal.
How soon will it take to see results?
This varies by spend category, but usually within 6-12 weeks you will have new purchasing options to act upon. Suppliers’ contract terms may affect this.
So I am left with a consultancy report and no support to implement changes?
No – quite the contrary. The Recommendations Report is the start of the most important part of a project. ERA experts help you evaluate the options; introduce you to alternative suppliers; and ensure any changes are implemented smoothly.
Must I commit to leaving my existing suppliers?
No – over half of ERA projects result in the client getting better service and lower prices from their existing suppliers.
What happens after implementation?
ERA will monitor and report on actual savings and service delivery over the next 24 months. Detailed Supply Audit Reports are prepared monthly, quarterly or biannually as you require. These report on service and quality levels, check prices, detect refunds and credits due and demonstrate actual savings. These reports will be valuable to you in proving to your colleagues that costs are under control and that savings are genuine.
Will ERA work on a ‘no savings, no fees’ basis?
Yes – most clients prefer to work on this basis. However it is your choice if you wish to remunerate ERA on a fixed fee basis. Staged payments and hybrid solutions may also assist you with budgeting.
How much will this cost?
ERA has a simple fee structure tailored to each project based on % saved and to meet your needs regarding cash flow, budget years etc. The fundamental aim is to balance risk with reward. The more risk that you wish ERA to take the more that the fees will reflect this.
What else do I need to know?
An in-depth review of your purchasing requires the support and ‘buy-in’ of all relevant stakeholders in your organisation. If the project is likely to affect any other stakeholders or their budgets then they should be involved in the project, or at least be kept informed.
What is my commitment to ERA?
ERA commits to carry out the work as agreed until savings are found or until they confirm no savings are achievable (no savings/no fee basis). You provide access to the necessary data and personnel; act in a timely manner and pay ERA invoices when due. You have the option to terminate a project at any time but ERA will be entitled to reimbursement for time expended or lost fees.
So, how do we get started?
Identify which categories of cost you would like ERA to review and confirm the annual spends and (if relevant) contract termination dates. A launch meeting with ERA specialists will then be arranged and the project can get underway.
What happens after the initial period of monitoring savings is complete?
ERA can provide whatever ongoing support you require under a fresh mutually beneficial fee arrangement. After the first 18-24 months or so, you will know the value you have derived from the project and what ongoing support you might require in the future.
It all starts with a conversation, so get in touch with us today and we can have an informal chat about your business and its needs to help provide you with all the information you need to understand the value ERA can deliver.