John Woods, Head of Retail Banking, Insurance and Digital Interim Practice at Leathwaite
"IRL Consulting’s Richard Butler is a highly experienced and well respected professional whose business knowledge spans across many
diverse areas, he has supported various businesses I have worked with in contract negotiations and complex financial services agreements, I was so impressed with his skills, that I have introduced
him to both Meridian Business Support and Ea Consulting, and will continue to work with him whenever possible."
Andrew Walker, CFO / FD with international experience. Commercial and Professional services
"I have engaged with IRL Consulting for legal, contractual and general advice for a number of years. I find them highly
approachable and they offer a commercial viewpoint on the issues and the most pragmatic solution. They have assisted me with contract negotiations and complex financial services agreements and they
have accompanied me on client visits.I would not hesitate to use their skills again and would highly recommend them."
Dave Keville, Client Relationship Manager at Meridian Business Support Ltd
"IRL Consulting’s experience and attitude allow us to develop contracts where the reality of the relationship, the spirit of the
agreement and the delivery of the service come first and are supported rather than superseded by the legalese. They are challenging but realistic and relevant."
Catherine Turner Recruitment Specialist at Turner Sanderson Consulting and CT Consulting
"IRL Consulting were external contracts advisors to Meridian Business Support during my time there working as a Sales Manager. They
assisted me with advice as to the legal consequences and alerted me to any issues involved in the complex bids which we were fortunate enough to win. They never failed to deliver the expertise that
we were looking for to time and to budget , I would not hesitate to recommend IRL and please feel free to contact me directly if you require any further information."
Peter McDonnell, CEO at Cordoba Rewards
"IRL Consulting were asked to help establish the HR suite of documentation used by the Cordoba Group. The need was to cover all areas
of Employment Law including 'Employee Engagement' and the creation of the Group 'Employee Hand Book'. The understanding they have of this subject
is outstanding, true experts in their field, they are able to translate the needs of their clients into practical working solutions."
Case Study 1
Company Profile: A Multi Branch Employment Business
In early 2007 our bid team needed some expert and experienced support as the bid manager was leaving. We engaged IRL Consulting to put in place support for the sales
and bid teams in terms of reviewing invitations to tender, advising on and drafting responses, as well as negotiating with our potential clients to ensure a fair contract was put in place.
Whilst IRL were doing this review they carried out an audit of the systems, processes and procedures that were in place. During this audit it was identified that,
although we traded on our own standard terms wherever possible and, at that time, there was an infrequent requirement for non standard terms which were to be reviewed and signed centrally, there
wasn’t really a system in place to monitor and control this process. It was possible therefore that some non standard contracts which had been signed by managers of individual branches existed. An
amnesty for all employees was set up so that if they sent in any non standard terms that they had signed no disciplinary action would take place as a result of the failure to comply with a company
requirement. As a result some non standard contracts were received centrally.
We set up a process whereby any non standard terms received, whether as part of an invitation to tender or otherwise, were to be sent to the central bid team for
review and negotiation.
There being insufficient in house expertise and resource in the central bid team to review and negotiate contract terms and conditions IRL were asked to undertake this
role as well as supporting bid responses.
We have been successful in the vast majority of tenders undertaken and the non standard contracts that we have signed have all been successfully negotiated to limit
our commercial risk. There is full central control of these contracts and they are monitored to ensure that renewal negotiations take place at the correct time. IRL has continued to work with us
• Identifying and assessing commercial and contractual risk.
• Supporting the sales team in contractual negotiations with new clients and renewals with existing clients.
• Negotiating terms and conditions in invitations to tender, helping us to successfully win new business.
• Redrafting and strengthening our standard terms and conditions in line with changes in legislation.
This has meant that in a number of cases we have successfully brought and defended actions and therefore saved in excess of £50,000. The quantum of having acceptably
negotiated terms is unquantifiable. IRL’s experience and skills are outstanding. Unlike the usual legal approach of focusing on what we can’t do and thus restricting opportunities IRL takes a
commercial approach when negotiating and drafting contracts and agreements, which supports us in winning profitable business.
Case Study 2
Company Profile: A farming and agricultural construction company
They were experiencing performance and disciplinary issues which they wanted to deal with in a fair and equitable manner whilst ensuring that the required procedures
were followed and legally compliant. They also wanted practical advice and support throughout.
We reviewed the identified issues with the Managing Director and agreed a course of action to address them. Having drafted the necessary letters we attended the
subsequent meetings with the Managing Director and helped resolve the issues to everyone’s satisfaction. We then updated the employment documentation and introduced policies to manage
The performance and disciplinary issues were quickly resolved to the satisfaction of the managing director and employees.
Case Study 3
Company Profile: A local government authority
The authority had a significant requirement for temporary staff and that over a long period, the supply chain that met the authority's temporary staff requirements
had become fragmented and uncontrolled.
Previous attempts to manage this process had not yielded significant benefits. A top-to-bottom review of the system was required, with the following
- Establish the current realities of spend, and the reasons for it, on temporary staff by department and supplier
- Analyse the market of both existing and potential suppliers
- Identify potential procurement and relationship models with pros and cons for each model
- Reduce costs in lower charges and less administration
- Save the time of ordering managers
- Control compliance
- Increase efficiencies
- Improve service to departments
- Promote the use of local suppliers
- Provide employment for local residents
The requirement was for an all-encompassing solution to cover every part of the authority and in all job categories, probably the first total solution of its kind.
In order to implement this it was necessary to look both internally (to fully understand the existing position and the changes needed to accommodate the total solution) and externally (to ensure that
there were in existence, suppliers who could deliver the required solution).
A full discovery programme was undertaken that identified the true usage of temporary staff by department and supplier. In order to ensure that the new staffing
model would deliver the objectives and that it would be supported and used by all, ordering managers were consulted on their internal practises and procedures, the performance of their suppliers and
what they wanted from the new model. Current suppliers were also consulted and kept informed of the proposed solution.
At the same time a questionnaire was designed to discover the capabilities of agencies in the market and ensure that the expertise and experience existed to deliver
the required total solution. It became apparent that there were sufficient organisations capable of delivering the total solution to justify issuing an invitation to tender.
Following this in depth study it was recommended that a Managed Service model be implemented. This solution would provide, through management and a technology
- A central point of ordering regardless of category of staff
- Control of ordering permissions and other policies
- Control of risk
- A panel of suppliers that would include specialist suppliers and local SMEs to ensure the needs of each department were met
- Standard terms and conditions
- Set pay rates
- Controlled NI charges
- Fixed agency margins
- Measurement and management of the supplier base
- Rationalisation of the supplier base by performance
- Full management information
An invitation to tender was prepared that sought offers from experienced providers of managed services that would work in true partnership with the authority. The
responses were fully evaluated and tested and a partner organisation appointed.
Following a structured implementation programme that included full consultation and training with ordering managers, human resources and procurement the new managed
service model was up and running. As a result:
- Temporary labour spend was reduced by a projected 10-12%. This was achieved by the standardisation, control and reduction of the agency margins. The pay rate to the
temporary workers remained the same
- The introduction of on-line timesheets and automated invoicing reduced authority staff input by approximately 7,000 hours per year
- Vendor billing was consolidated to invoices structured around the needs of the business, allowing total flexibility and further reduction in costs
- The vendor programme increased fill rates and quality by providing a greater range of candidates from a wider selection of vendors
- Rich management information flowing from the new system allowed for better strategic decisions relating to staff allocation and planning
- A standardised ordering process for any type of worker was introduced.