Magna Housing’s Operational Overhaul

Not For Profit

Client: Magna Housing

Sector: Housing Association

Cost Category: Mobiles, Insurance, Fuel Cards

In the dynamic field of housing management, Magna Housing faced certain operational inefficiencies across multiple cost categories. Recognizing the need for transformative change, Magna Housing partnered with ERA Group to overhaul their insurance, fuel card systems, and mobile communications.

The Client

Magna Housing is a prominent housing association based in Dorchester, managing an extensive portfolio of over 8,000 homes. The organization provides affordable housing solutions and supporting the well-being of its residents. Through strategic management and community engagement, Magna Housing aims to enhance living conditions and address the housing needs of diverse populations within the South West region.

magna housing era group

The Challenge

Magna Housing had recently appointed a new Finance Director who, upon taking the role, found an significant number of tasks that needed addressing. Initially hesitant due to the workload, the Finance Director agreed to engage in strategic consultations after being offered preliminary analyses free of charge. The primary objective was to identify critical internal areas requiring immediate attention and improvement, particularly in operational efficiency and procurement cost management. The client aimed to optimize these areas without overburdening the new executive team, which was still in the early stages of its formation.

The engagement began with an offer from Chris Foster, representing ERA Group, to conduct an initial analysis to pinpoint focus areas. This proactive approach facilitated a partnership wherein ERA was entrusted with data to conduct a detailed analysis. The findings were compelling enough that the Finance Director requested the information be presented to the Executive board.

Chris Foster presented the board with insights that highlighted several areas needing internal review. The analysis also uncovered opportunities for ERA to assist further. As a result, ERA examined three key operational categories over three years: insurance, fuel cards, and mobile phones.


The Solution

The engagement led to a clear identification of actionable areas, allowing the client’s board to focus on strategic decision-making while ERA handled specific operational improvements.


Insurance Optimization

Paul Gravatt, an ERA insurance specialist, was engaged by Magna Housing to conduct a strategic review of their insurance procurement six months ahead of renewal. Faced with a deteriorating claims performance, challenging market conditions, and the anticipated withdrawal of their core Property Stock cover-holder’s underwriting capacity, Magna was bracing for significant premium increases.

ERA facilitated a detailed review of historic insured losses and identified opportunities for improved risk management and proactive claims handling. A revised insurance structure with increased deductibles was designed, and a new broker, aligned with Magna’s service needs and ERA’s strategy, was appointed to negotiate terms with alternative insurers.

ERA conducted an impact analysis, allowing Magna’s management to make informed decisions on deductible and cover options. The new structure produced initial annual cost savings of over 32% compared to the best terms offered by incumbent insurers, even after accounting for sub-deductible losses retained on Magna’s balance sheet. Additionally, active risk management is expected to yield further savings from the surplus in the sub-deductible claims fund, ensuring long-term sustainability. The new insurance structure, combined with ERA’s ongoing support, enables Magna to maintain greater control and visibility of their total cost of risk.


Fuel Card Efficiency

Expert Steve Vare provided Magna Housing with clear insights into the costs associated with fuel card usage, resulting in a 6.6% annual saving with a new supplier. After analyzing Magna’s previously used fuel sites, ERA mapped alternative fuel card networks to ensure no undue route deviations for their drivers. In addition to reduced fuel costs, the new arrangement offered fixed prices linked to the wholesale fuel price, allowing Magna to benefit immediately from price drops. Further savings were realized by removing transaction charges.


Mobile Phones Optimization

Burdened by two complex mobile networks and unfavourable contracts, Magna Housing sought efficiency improvements. ERA stepped in to streamline operations and optimize costs, focusing on network consolidation and spend visibility.

ERA successfully consolidated Magna’s mobile networks under a single, reputable supplier, simplifying administration and providing a single point of contact. They implemented a comprehensive system that granted Magna a ‘single pane of glass’ view of their entire mobile estate. This real-time dashboard empowered Magna to make informed decisions, identify cost savings, ensure employees had suitable plans, and strategically allocate resources. ERA’s ongoing support ensures continuous optimization.

The results were significant: Magna achieved annual cost savings exceeding £100,000 and gained a more flexible contract structure, allowing them to adapt to changing technologies with ease.



Savings Breakdown

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Magna Housing Case Study PDF

In the dynamic field of housing management, Magna Housing faced certain operational inefficiencies across multiple cost categories. Recognizing the need for transformative change, Magna Housing partnered with ERA Group to overhaul their insurance, fuel card systems, and mobile communications.

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"The initial strategic overview of our expenditure provided by ERA Group allowed us as an Exec team to prioritize our spending reviews in each department. ERA Group then delivered their expertise to the areas where we needed help and that have delivered great results both in terms of reduced costs, and in ongoing visibility of our expenditure in these areas. Our collaboration with ERA Group showcases the value of partnering with experts to streamline expenses, gain control, and focus on our core mission."

Paul Satchwell - Deputy Chief Exec and Finance Director

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