Exeter-based BCR Associates is a cost-management consultancy which creates tailor-made solutions for SMEs and larger corporates looking to increase efficiency, manage risk, ensure compliance or rationalise procurement costs.
Founder and Managing Director Richard Dormer tells BLM how his vision of leading ‘an ethical, responsible and sustainable business’ has taken shape, and outlines his ambitions for the future.
Can you tell us a bit about BCR Associates?
Your two biggest core costs, when running a business, are your staff and the stuff you do – so if you’re in manufacturing, that’s buying raw materials. That’s your core expenditure. Outside of that, you’ve got large costs, but no expertise – and that’s where we come in.
Profits haemorrhage out of many businesses as many don’t understand the opportunities and pitfalls when buying relatively complex services – that’s our expertise. We look at your purchase ledger and where money is going out of the company, and see what we can optimise and rationalise – it’s a big technical ‘tidy-up’ operation.
Ours is a professional consultative service, not a price-brokerage. We will take a company through a professional purchasing programme aimed at dropping costs.
Why might a company engage your services?
For most, cost is ‘king’, so the main reason they may come to us is, because at some level, they feel a loss of control on costs in some way, or don’t have the skills to tackle these costs. Second is ‘change’ because of company growth or the world and the regulations in which they operate are changing. So costs, a changing world and legislation are the three main drivers that lead them to decide they need a professional pair of eyes on something.
Saving money is great, but making the right decision is better. Doing it right first time with expert involvement saves money, jobs and time.
That means we do not jump in with the cheapest thing on the market, we will spend a lot of time understanding your business and where you want to go and what is right for you. If you want cheap, we can provide ‘cheap’, but we let you know the risks. In most cases, if it ‘looks too good to be true’, it probably is too good to be true, and there will be risks that come with it.
You won the Customer Excellence Award at the 2019 Business Leader Awards – how much did that mean to the team?
We were really, really pleased. As it says on our website, we’re about building long-term, trusted relationships. Don’t call us as your last resort, call us as your trusted partner.
It’s like having a good marriage. You get married because it feels good, it’s the right thing to do, you want to make a lifetime commitment with somebody because it’s going to benefit both of you in the long run in so many ways, and your partner is your focus for the rest of your life. It’s a bit trite I know, but that’s the relationship we encourage with our clients. We are here for the long term; the customer is everything to us.
What are BCR’s ambitions moving forward?
Our growth is focusing on those clients who will benefit the most from what we can do. Larger, more complex clients, whose growth needs our help.
We give every client the same love, but where there’s a bigger purchase ledger we can show them more value.