Furness Building Society

Read about how Oculus is helping one of the oldest and most established building societies in the UK undertake a systematic review of their supply chain and, helping them in their supply chain investments.

The Challenge

Furness Building Society was established in 1865, serving its members for over 150 years. However, as with any organisation, the need to evolve and adapt to the needs of the consumer remain paramount.

The ethos of the Furness in serving their members and the local community of hugely laudable. Their strapline of ‘we always have your interest at heart’ is evidenced by their commitment to servicing their local communities via their branch and agency networks supporting, along with supporting over 150 charities and good causes every year to make a difference to local people.

Today, the Furness have a branch and agency network covering Cumbria and Lancashire, while servicing customers right across the UK through their direct business channels, such as Furness Direct.

This commitment to maintaining themselves as a leading building society is also seen in their approach to cost management; Oculus was engaged by the CFO to lead a review of the Society’s cost base and support a number of critical investments, so as to ensure the Society could have confidence that their suppliers represented best value and service.

Our Strategy

In establishing areas of cost saving opportunity, Oculus undertook a ‘deep-dive’ into our clients’ spend data. Gaining an intimate understanding of costs, future budgets, contractual arrangements and operational needs is essential in establishing a cost-saving programme that delivers quickly and represents excellent value for our end client.

In support of the Furness’ new investment, Oculus introduced robust sourcing processes, leveraging the Furness’ demands across best-of-breed suppliers in competitive tender processes. Our approach saw Oculus own the entire sourcing process, from initial requirements gathering through to final contract negotiations and solution implementation.

  • Reviewing contracts
  • Opportunity workshops
  • Establishing a project pipeline

Our Solution

As one of Oculus’ long-standing clients, the projects we have delivered for them are as diverse as they are numerous. Our objective is always to ensure that our client ends up with the most capable suppliers, who are able to positively influence and work collaboratively with them, rather than simply reducing cost. Oculus led competitive tender processes across a range of categories and supplier relationships, including;

  • Mortgage valuations
  • Print
  • Credit referencing
  • Cleaning
  • Utilities

Also, Oculus led a number of new business investments; most notably, leading the procurement of the relocation of the Furness’ new corporate head office. This saw Oculus lead a thorough procurement review with some of the UK’s leading design, build and construction companies on behalf of the Furness.

Business Benefits

At April 2018, we are proud to be still working with the Furness, having been engaged since August 2017, and continue to deliver value into their business. This extended engagement has enabled Oculus to gain an intimate review of our clients’ spend and carry out an extensive programme of work;

  • Leading the review of over 15 supplier relationships or categories, across HR, IT, Facilities, Property and Underwriting.
  • Undertaking contract reviews, negotiations and drafting on behalf of the Furness.
  • Providing expert procurement resource in support of new business investments.

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