Expense Reduction Analysts delivers business strategy, supply management and cost optimisation solutions to companies all around the world. Our franchise partners have the expert knowledge required to analyse every market – no matter how complex it is. Thus, they can offer their clients the best solutions available.
Our clients include all types of businesses, hospitals, colleges and schools, charities and non-profit organisations. They also include some of the world’s most successful companies and brand leaders. This diverse client base is the result of an unparalleled level of expertise in more than 40 different cost categories and 25 years of experience in the market.
We act as trusted advisors to thousands of companies worldwide and review millions of pounds worth of spend every year, creating significant savings. Our specialists use their experience and expertise to generate process improvements and tangible financial savings in a variety of different industries and areas of cost.
Typically they achieve this through a “No Win, No Fee” proposition to clients whereby our franchise partners take the risk but share in the savings 50/50 over a two-year period.
If no savings are found the client doesn’t pay.
Our Franchisees work together to maximise savings for clients leveraging each other’s knowledge and experience to deliver the best service possible.
This gives our franchisees the ability to offer a wider service to clients beyond their own skill sets.
Our 18-month Start-Up Program is designed to equip franchisees with all the knowledge and confidence needed to successfully launch and run an ERA business. Upon the completion of the initial training, new franchise partners are ready to begin their journey with ERA and will work closely with the ERA Academy, their local regional representative, their ERA Coordinator and their Business Guides to get the quickest possible start in their businesses.
ERA Franchisees are in control of their daily workload, developing client relationships, managing projects and providing cost optimising analysis in a combination that suits their abilities and preferences.
With collaboration key to success within ERA, it’s a great opportunity to be in business for your yourself, but not by yourself.
In over two decades working as a print service professional with the likes of Xerox, Xeretec and Kinolta, Andy encountered his fair share of managers. “In 20 years I didn’t really have any outstandingly inspiring bosses, and always wanted to be my own boss,” says Andy, who joined the ERA network in 2013.
After what Andy himself describes as a “predictably slow-burning” start to his ERA consultancy, he worked hard to build up a strong pipeline of business and network connections, increasingly leveraging his in-depth knowledge of the print sector to work on projects with other ERA consultants.
Fast forward just two years and Andy’s self-belief and specialist experience have definitely paid dividends. Not only has he launched a thriving ERA consultancy, but he also won the ‘New Consultant of The Year 2015’ award and was a finalist in no fewer than three categories at the ERA conference. “The whole event was fun and highly beneficial,” says Andy. “The keynote speaker, Sally Gunnell, was inspiring and entertaining and easily related her message to our industry and network.”
Despite his success, Andy is keen to point out that it’s the ERA network as a whole that has supported the growth of his business. “Recognition is always nice to receive but is not an end in itself,” he says. “Networking in any environment is based on trust and confidence that the other party can deliver what they say, so being projected in front of the whole network as a successful new consultant, someone who is already being brought in on other ERA projects, has definitely led to more enquiries.”
And when Andy’s not networking and building his business, he loves nothing more than going cycling – and was part of ERA’s ‘Race the Sun’ charity event and a London to Paris bike ride in 2014. This year also saw him join the ‘Ride The Regions’ team, which rode from Edinburgh to Southampton visiting each of the ERA regional meetings on their journey. “It was a great personal experience,” says Andy, “a really worthwhile cause and an opportunity to build closer relationships with other consultants.”
And what of the future for this award-winning franchisee? “I have stayed ahead of my targets and am now looking to move forward strongly in the next couple of years,” says Andy, “perhaps bringing in some admin support to free up more time for genuine consultancy and project work. I want to ethically help clients with their businesses and meet my own personal goals.”
Ultimately, Andy has a longer-term plan to buy a place in France – and split his time between there and the UK – as a lot of his project work can be done anywhere. He’ll certainly find they share his love of cycling; he says he’s polishing up on his French already!
As a successful franchisee for a courier firm in the late 1990s and early 2000s, experienced entrepreneur and businessman Charles Reid was responsible for a successful logistics business. He spotted a newspaper ad for the Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) franchise in 2003 and whilst it wasn’t right for him at the time, when he started looking for a new challenge he remembered the advert and he joined the network two years later.
Charles embraced his new business with his eyes open to what was possible. “The first three years were quite hard work, and I went down a couple of blind alleys that didn’t produce the results I expected,” he says, “but you make your own luck and by Christmas 2007 everything started coming together. I got a couple of really good deals and haven’t looked back.”
Since then, Charles has used his experience to adapt and grow his business. “As markets are always evolving it helps to have more eyes than just your own to spot future opportunities,” he says. “I now collaborate with another ERA consultant, David Brassington. It helps to have a different personality involved and we complement each other’s skills.”
And when Charles is not hard at work running a successful ERA franchise? “I enjoy spending time with my wife Hannah, our two boys aged twelve and nine, and our new daughter who is just nine months old!” he says. “I also love running, walking and going to the gym, and play golf and squash. I like watching most sports and have done a couple of marathons too.”
Nine years on, Charles is clear on the multiple benefits an ERA franchise can bring you. “Group office support is obviously a great help,” he says, “but it is my own business and I take responsibility for its development. Being around other people with the same positive attitude is what makes being part of the ERA franchise hugely beneficial.”
Dave Brassington has been an ERA franchisee since 2004 – and to celebrate his 10-year anniversary, he’s just signed a new 10-year franchise agreement. Proof, if it was needed, of how running your own ERA business offers the rewarding career and long-term benefits that you just don’t get working for someone else.
”Before joining ERA, I was working as an accountant in the computer games market just as it exploded,” Dave says. “My firm decided to relocate to California and they offered me a great position there. But with a young family, I chose to stay in the UK. As I searched for new opportunities, I started to look at B2B businesses including cost reduction businesses. That’s when I found ERA.”
Although Dave had a number of interesting job offers, he wanted to enjoy the freedom of running his own business – but he wanted to do it with the assurance of a proven business model, comprehensive support materials and an expert network to call on.
All of which ERA offers in spades: “The support ERA provides has played a big part in my success, and it’s what I enjoy most about it. More recently, I’ve done most of my work in collaboration with another ERA consultant, Charles Reid. Our skills complement each other brilliantly and we’ve been able to close more and bigger deals working together. The ability to call on other partners’ expertise is fundamental to the ERA opportunity.”
In Dave’s time with ERA, he has seen his business evolve to cover more services, more products and look at cost reduction in greater depth. But one thing that’s stayed the same has been ERA’s commitment to its partners and its unified spirit.
Dave concludes: “You really do feel part of the family. As a keen cyclist, this year I’m hoping to join one of the ERA teams in the ‘Race to the Sun’ charity event. It’s a great chance to see everyone outside of work – even if we will be too tired to talk!”
When Debjani Duncan, an NHS procurement expert, went on holiday, she thought the time off would recharge her batteries so she could return to her day job with renewed vigour. What she hadn’t expected was for the time off to change her life completely.
But when she came across an article about Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA), she glimpsed a new life for herself – one with fewer late nights, less time on the road and a better income. Debjani saw an opportunity for professional freedom.
”Prior to working in procurement I’d actually been a clinical nurse working in ICU,” Debjani says. “But after a bad car accident I needed a change of environment and moved into procurement. It’s there that I learned many of the skills that I use today at ERA. But, unfortunately, the move brought with it long hours, no overtime and too many days on the road.”
After spotting the ERA franchise opportunity, Debjani was quick to track down more information. Specifically, she wanted to find out more about the big picture – what support she would receive, what earning potential there was, and how successful the model had been for other partners in the network. The answers she received only confirmed that her instincts were spot on.
She explains: “After speaking with other members of the ERA network, it was clear that the franchise model just works – these were people like myself who are now their own boss, making good money and having a life outside of work. I wanted that and now I have it.”
Debjani launched her ERA business in 2007 and hasn’t looked back since. With a vast experience of the clinical supply industry, she made the decision to specialise in niche medical projects. And, combined with the ever-present support of the ERA network, it’s a move that has paid off handsomely – both in terms of income and work/life balance. All of which has given Debjani the time she needs to indulge in a hobby she and her partner take rather seriously…
“My husband and I are keen poker players. We’ve actually just come back from the Irish Amateur Poker championship where my husband came fourth. We’re also members of the Black Country Poker Club & Amateur Poker Association and travel to Vegas at least once a year. So, it’s something we take quite seriously – and running my own ERA business has given us the freedom to really enjoy this passion.”
Over the last 10 years, Harsha Patel and her husband Pritesh have built their Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) franchise into a highly profitable and rewarding business. For two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015 their business ranked as one of the top performing out of more than 150 consultants. The couple have three full time members of staff and, having just renewed their 10 year franchise agreement, have no plans to slow down their growth!
For Harsha, success isn’t just about profits. One of the most important aspects of their thriving business is the flexibility and time it allows her to spend with her children: “I’m thankful for being able to work from home and be around for my kids. It’s allowed me to have flexibility and retain the bond that so often is lost when a choice has to be made between career and family life.”
The couple launched their franchise in 2006 with Pritesh as full-time consultant. It was planned that Harsha would join the business four to five years later. However, thanks to rapid growth and continued success, Harsha came into the business just two years later after the birth of their second child.
“It was always the plan that we would run the business together when it called for it but it actually only took two years to get to that point. We took on our first employee in 2009 and quickly realised the benefits of the extra resource! Today we have three full time members of staff and that has enabled Pritesh and I to work to our strengths to grow the business more effectively whilst maintaining the flexibility we originally craved.”
Prior to owning their franchise, Harsha spent eight years working in the mortgage industry after graduating from university with a BA Honours degree. Like many others before him, Pritesh knew in his heart that he wanted to do something for himself and build a future for his family. He had already heard of the ERA brand whilst studying at university and so, the couple visited a franchise exhibition to learn more about the opportunity.
ERA are world leaders in cost management and procurement consultancy. Associates are trained to offer strategic advice and practical methods which optimise supplier relationships and generate cash. Boasting the highest consulting revenue of any UK procurement franchise, ERA Franchise Partners have enjoyed an impressive increase in sales over the past five years.
“We first met with ERA when we visited a franchise exhibition. I think what we liked about them most was that they didn’t just try to push the franchise on us, they helped us to understand how franchising worked and what it entailed. We built a bond of trust relatively quickly.
“We both liked the business model and could see very quickly that with our combined skills and the ERA processes already in place, this was something we could do. Pritesh and I went to a Discovery Day together, did our research together…everything. We went into every aspect of business ownership as a couple from
ERA’s award-winning programme of training and support is designed to equip you with all the knowledge and confidence you need to successfully launch and run your business, whatever your skills or background. New Franchise Partners undertake a tailored five-week course consisting of classroom and hands-on learning at the ERA Academy.
“We’ve reached a point now where we’re more or less self-sufficient but we have a nice balance and Head Office are always there for any support if we do need them. They fully support your expansion and growth as well as nurturing you after your launch. The rest of the network have been supportive too, you can always rely on other franchise partners for advice and guidance if you need it.
“I guess in a nutshell, ERA provide all the tools to help you get ahead. There’s ongoing business development for anyone that wants it plus regional meetings, conferences and workshops and business coaching.”
When you join ERA, you join a network of over 150 consultants, each an expert in their own field. Access to this combined knowledge ensures that your business isn’t confined to one or two cost centres or even your own area of specialism. Our Franchise Partners work together to maximise opportunities for collaboration, expansion and guidance.
As would be expected, the couple are both well respected and recognised as experts within the ERA network. In 2015 Pritesh was nominated by his peers for ERA’s prestigious internal award, ‘Consultant’s Consultant of the Year’ for his contribution to the network and supporting his fellow Franchise Partners. When it comes to plans for the future, for Harsha and Pritesh the sky is the limit! But one thing’s for certain, they feel confident that their future is with ERA.
“We’ve just renewed our 10 year agreement. It was a no-brainer! We really want to keep the momentum and sustain the business growth and really there’s no reason we can’t do that. We plan to diversify and extend our reach
“We’ve perfected our model now and we understand how both of our skill sets can best benefit the business. Pritesh is 100% client facing and I handle all the business administration. My role is to keep all the plates spinning…We make a good team!”
As a former supply chain specialist for a major cable supplier covering Europe and the Middle East, Iain Clements brought a wealth of experience to the table when he joined Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) in 2012.
Iain had long harboured a desire to run his own business, and he was attracted to ERA for its proven model, established brand and trusted professional network – all of which mitigated the risk of starting in business for himself.
“What I enjoy about the ERA model is it allows me to work in the way that best suits me,” says Iain. “I have developed good relationships with other franchise partners and working with them to deliver on projects has proved to be one of my strengths.”
With a UK and global client base of firms in the £8-100 million turnover range, Iain has attracted most of his business from the north of England and north Midlands. His focus over the last two years has been evolving his skills to develop new client specialisms, such as an expertise in packaging systems.
Iain’s commitment and hard work is really starting to pay off, despite juggling many different balls at once like many self-employed professionals. “I have a busy family life with my supportive wife and primary school-aged children,” he says, “so I work from a small local office to separate work from home life. I still find myself working on the laptop in the evening, but I now choose to do it for the benefit of my own business, rather than having to do it.”
As Iain’s business is becoming established, he’s beginning to plan ahead more. “I’m now feeling the benefits of the residual income model, with a base of predictable earnings right through to 2017,” he says. “I would like to employ an administrator to free up my time to expand the business even further, and can clearly see year-on-year growth potential which will hopefully allow the whole family to move to a bigger house in the near future.”
Pritesh Patel always had big ambitions. At university he considered trading in his studies to start his own business, eager to begin forging a career and taking control of his future. Now, as an ERA franchisee, he has seen these ambitions realised.
“It’s true,” Pritesh confirms. “I considered dropping out and starting a business. I had actually seen ERA in a franchise magazine around this time. In the end, I decided to finish my studies, but what I had read about ERA always stuck in my mind.”
After finishing his studies, before purchasing his own ERA business in 2006, Pritesh was employed as a mortgage advisor – a career move he found brought great success, but also great demands.
“I was spending more and more time away from my family,” he explains. “I would often have to work late nights and weekends when I should have been with them. The time was right for me to take more control. That’s when I started thinking about ERA again.”
Unusually for someone who purchases a franchise, Pritesh never considered any other opportunities or thought about his own start-up, so convinced was he by the proven business model and support he was buying into with ERA.
Pritesh says: “It wasn’t that I chose a franchise over starting my own business; it was more to do with the fact that I really liked the ERA business. Everything about it was geared towards my goals: I could control my own workload, earn a very good income, and work alongside some very successful professionals – people who could help me achieve their kind of success.”
And it didn’t take long for him to start reaping the rewards. In fact, just 18 months into owning his ERA business, Pritesh was joined by his wife to facilitate his growth plans.
Now, seven years into his ERA ownership, he has exceeded all his goals and continues to grow, something he puts down to all the support on offer: “The network is hugely supportive – after all, it’s in all our interests to help each other. It also means you have so much expertise to call on, you can expand your expertise across a huge variety of cost categories. And that, ultimately, means more clients.”
But it’s not just the financial side of things that has improved. Pritesh now works on his own terms, giving him the flexibility to spend more time with his wife, daughter and son, and take the holidays he craved so much in his former career.
Pritesh concludes: “The ERA opportunity has allowed me to realise my goals – both in work and in life. It just goes to show that my instincts when I was at university were correct. For anyone who wants to achieve great success on their own terms, I would definitely recommend they investigate ERA.”
Following a successful 30+ year career developing and growing well known businesses in the UK and internationally, Stephen Tennant decided to take time out to consider what he truly wanted to be engaged with next.
He looked into utilising his broad commercial skills buying an established business and came close to buying one or two, but nothing seemed exactly right. Stephen comments: “Friends and colleagues kept telling me I should be running my own company, but buying into an established organisation didn’t feel right to me. I soon realised it wasn’t what I wanted.”
He did identify that his preference was to get back into procurement. He knew from personal experience working on both sides that most companies were not effectively managing their purchasing, didn’t have the time to understand the best market-wide supply options or get the best deals, and couldn’t expertly identify those best aligned with their own business activities. He could see many reasons why this was happening and wanted to utilise his skills, experience and expertise to help businesses in a long-term, ethical way.
Deciding to explore this further, he remembered coming across ERA earlier in his career and began to look into the company and the business model more closely. He quickly reached the conclusion that ERA presented the right values and ethics for him, together with the right professionalism to be a good match, and the timing was right.
Conducting his due diligence before making a commitment, Stephen sought the advice of others. “I asked trusted friends, who know me well, to challenge my reasoning behind investing in ERA, and when they had finished it was clear that joining ERA was a decision that seemed a perfect natural fit for me.”
He continues: “With ERA I have found the company is built on good, customer-centric values which I can easily associate myself with. I am surrounded by like-minded professionals who have an immense depth of specialist knowledge and expertise available to me to help my clients. This is a unique resource of industry professionals that I just wouldn’t have available to me operating by myself.
“I am close to completing my first 12 months and I am currently working on some fantastic projects with top tier companies, FTSE 100, supported by the ERA team. So far, for me, ERA has proved to be ‘a perfect marriage’ and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”
The best of both worlds with ERA
Since launching his Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) franchise just three months ago, 49-year-old David Ramm has already achieved his first lifestyle goals: Christmas at home with his family. In fact, after a career in retail, 2018 marked David’s first full Christmas break in over 27 years. A self-proclaimed ‘people-person’, he’s now making the most of his natural flair for networking and has a diary packed with meetings. With the support of the ERA team, David is looking forward to a rewarding new chapter in his life.
“I’m excited for what the future holds. Being in control of your own destiny is very empowering. One of the big motivators for me was always a better work-life balance so, to be able to have Christmas at home with my wife and children was, quite frankly, a joy. My process-driven mentality is well suited to the franchise; I’ve made the effort to hit the ground running and it’s paying off – the appointments are coming in. I’ve always liked to achieve more than I set out to. My business plan shows three clients in year one… I’m going for five!”
David’s retail career began in 1991 when, aged 22, he joined high-end supermarket chain, Booths. Securing a place on the Management Training Scheme, he progressed through the ranks, securing increasingly senior positions throughout the north of England. David’s knowledge and experience across the Booths estate earned him the respect and recognition of the company directors. In 2016, he was asked to lead a turnaround project and improve KPIs in one of the chain’s largest stores. Keen to honour the faith that had been placed in him, David accepted.
Notwithstanding his commitment to the change-management project, David had always harboured a dream - to be his own boss. There was just one problem: he never considered himself the type of person to go it alone. In June 2015, David accompanied a friend to The British Franchise Exhibition in Manchester where he met ERA. And the rest, as they say, is history!
“We went to the franchise show just to see what sort of opportunities were out there. I’d looked through the show guide in advance and made a list of brands that I wanted to see. I discounted several very quickly but everything about ERA screamed quality and professionalism; the stand, the imagery the marketing material, not to mention the people themselves. I spoke to Matt O’Neil and his team for quite some time and I never once felt like I was being sold to.
“I’d always wanted to be my own boss but I’m not someone who could set up a business from scratch, so a franchise suited me down to the ground. I knew that with the training, the support and the network, I could make a success of it. With my work commitments, the timing wasn’t right, but from that point on, ERA felt like the way forwards.”
David kept in touch with the ERA team over the next few years, during which time, his lack of work-life balance became increasingly difficult to bear. In the summer of 2018, David read about ERA UK’s buyout by its European division and decided it was make-or-break time!
“The long hours, lack of flexibility and the stress of my role left me constantly questioning my future. I reached a point where I felt that for my own sake and my family’s, I needed to make a change. Yes, it took a long time to make the leap and join ERA, but they never pressured me. Matt said to me, time and again, ‘of course we would like you to join us, but only when it’s right for you’.”
After signing his all-important franchise agreement, David embarked on ERA’s foundational training and start-up programme. The tailored, three-step course is designed to provide new Franchise Partners with the information and skills necessary to make a success of their new business. This is followed by an 18-month business start-up programme which provides the ongoing support and motivation to succeed.
“The training was good, and it was nice to meet other new members of the network from the UK and Europe. I’ve still got three days of advanced training to come which I’m looking forward to. There’s so much to take in that you’re bound to have knowledge gaps – it’s inevitable. That’s where the support comes in. I have a fortnightly call with my Performance Development Manager and he’s always at the end of an email or text message for anything I need.
“For me, the most valuable part of the support system is the Mentor Programme. I was assigned to my mentor, Alistair, and was in dialogue with him before I even launched. It was a great way to get into the ERA culture. As an experienced Franchise Partner, his insight and experience are priceless. He’s helped me to hone my skills and gain confidence in client meetings, as well as being a good sounding board. Being accountable to someone in this way helps focus your efforts.”
Perhaps surprisingly, after almost three decades in retail, David had no reservations about working from home. In fact, he’s found there are far more positives than negatives to his new home office: “Not needing premises was another thing that attracted me to ERA; it minimises your overheads and there’s no commute! I also like that I don’t have to take on staff or be responsible for anyone other than myself. You have to be self-motivated to work from home, but that’s never been a problem for me; the mentality being that in this business, you get out what you put in.”
For anyone considering franchise ownership, David has some sound advice: “Do a lot of due diligence and ask to speak to as many people in the network as you can. I spoke to a lot of consultants and, to their credit, they gave me an honest view of the business – including the challenges they’ve had to overcome. On a more general note, I think it’s important to consider what you enjoy doing. In my personal life, I like saving money! Whether it’s getting my insurance cheaper each year or haggling for a bargain on holiday… it gives me a buzz. I’m also a real people-person so, ERA was a perfect fit for me. This is going to be your life so, think about what you really enjoy when you’re looking at a franchise too.”
David puts his initial lead generation success down to following the system and good old-fashioned hard work: “I’m exploiting the personal business contacts that I’ve built up over the last 27 years. I’m making the phone calls, the LinkedIn connections and sending the emails – it’s what you’ve got to do. No one is above the hard work in these early months. I’ve got several meetings booked in from this activity already.”
Although David is undoubtedly busy, he’s careful to keep his goal of a more balanced lifestyle in mind. His new business allows him the freedom and flexibility to spend more time with his wife and teenage children, whilst still having time to watch football, go walking and be more involved with his local church.
“I felt that ERA would be a recession proof business that would be as rewarding for me personally as it would be professionally. So far, I was right!”