A Winning Card Solution for Osborne

Osborne is a leading construction, civil engineering and property services business. The company uses hundreds of suppliers, both large and small, to help build and maintain the homes, amenities, and infrastructure its customers and the wider public rely upon.

Keeping track of this level and range of expenditure can be highly time consuming and working capital-intensive, so Osborne were looking for a purchasing card solution that could save them considerable man hours and money.
“The key areas for Osborne were shifting as much as possible of their accounts payables onto purchasing cards, to take advantage of the additional grace terms our solution can offer whilst also supporting their suppliers and looking to reduce the amount of paper invoices in their purchase-to-pay cycle”, explains Terry Bennett, Regional Sales Manager, RBS. Having already established a banking relationship with the company, RBS was in a good position to successfully pitch for the additional cards business.

An innovative solution:

In order for Osborne to fully realise the benefits of purchasing cards, it needed to utilise the purchasing card module on its COINS accountancy software. However, data could not flow directly from the card process to the software and RBS was asked to help address the issue.

“Osborne wanted a provider who could supply more than off the shelf products, they wanted one who could design tailor-made solutions that addressed their specific issues”, adds Terry. In order to successfully meet this challenge, RBS suggested using third-party data compliance provider PCCL to flow the necessary level 3 data through to Osborne’s accounting software.

Realising the benefits:

The initial target for the new system was to focus on low-value, high-volume purchases from suppliers. This reduced paper invoicing by over 70%, leading to lower payment processing costs and less opportunity for errors. Although the suppliers still received prompt payment, the interest-free period within the card cycle meant that Osborne was able to effectively increase its credit terms to 50+ days.

Implementation was fully supported by RBS, with Andy Howes, RBS Implementation Manager, leading the team that saw the system go live in February 2014. James Nash, RBS Supplier Recruitment Manager, is responsible for setting up a range of seminars, training sessions and resources to help Osborne suppliers make the switch to the new system. Teamwork played a key part throughout the process, with Catherine Painter, RBS Assistant Director, Alison Trant, RBS Business Development and Scott Taylor, RBS Relationship Director, all working together to win and then deliver the project.

Looking to the future:

With RBS extending a £2m credit line on the purchasing card solution, Osborne is now looking to fund more of their accounts payable book through their card programme. That means targeting and onboarding larger, key suppliers and looking at opportunities to further extend the use of cards within the business. The solution also enables Osborne to negotiate improved supplier discounts due to faster settlement.

Paul McCulloch, Group Supply Chain Manager, Osborne explained:

 “Osborne has been delighted with the progress so far and is looking forward to building further on their relationship with RBS. Our RBS purchasing card solution is delivering real benefits because they were able to fully understand our needs and design a solution that helped us to address them successfully.”