Case Study:

Real Life Options (RLO) is a distinguished charity that has been empowering individuals with learning disabilities and autism for over 25 years. With operations spanning 150 locations across England and Scotland, RLO is supported by a robust team of more than 2000 employees and volunteers. In early 2020, I-Tel Group was tasked with conducting a comprehensive audit of RLO’s indirect procurement processes. The project aimed to enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their operations, addressing the needs across their extensive network.
At the start of 2020, I-Tel Group was tasked with overhauling Real Life Options’ indirect procurement process, aiming to significantly boost cost-efficiency and streamline its supply chain management. This initiative quickly faced a major hurdle as the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic led to a rapid depletion of UK stocks across crucial categories like IT, janitorial supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE), presenting an unexpected and urgent challenge to the project’s goals.

2000 staff

200 sites

£60 million turnover

Our solution

I-Tel Group conducted a comprehensive audit of RLO’s procurement processes, establishing a baseline for improvement.

As the pandemic escalated, immediate action was required to adapt to the soaring demand and shrinking supply, particularly for PPE. I-Tel implemented a dynamic forecasting model to adjust to the ten-fold increase in demand and manage the associated financial risks.


This involved:

Prioritising essential PPE for immediate action.


Collaborating with service managers for a three-month essential items forecast.


Sourcing alternative PPE supplies, including from automotive sectors for medical gloves, and scaling procurement efforts nationally to secure sufficient stock.

Staff Recognition and RewardsPrintDesignProduction

The results

In response to the effective management and strategic adjustments made during the pandemic, Real Life Options has awarded I-Tel Group a five-year contract as its outsourced procurement partner. This long-term agreement reflects the trust and reliability developed through I-Tel’s proactive and resourceful handling of procurement challenges during critical times.


Through this process we:

Ensured the continuity of essential services during critical PPE shortages.


Avoided excessive expenditures during market fluctuations.


Established a long-term partnership based on trust and proven capability.

What our clients say

“From the offset, I-Tel’s professional approach and attention to detail built up tremendous trust within our leadership team. When Covid-19 exploded globally, it had serious implications for our core operations. The sourcing and provision of PPE was critical. I-Tel rose to the challenge and quite simply, we would not have coped without them.”

Ian Hardcastle

COO, Real Life Options

Gareth Shaw, I-Tel Group

Gareth Shaw

Senior Procurement Consultant

Gareth has over 19 years’ experience in commercial procurement contract management across both public and private sector. Holding senior positions at the Ministry of Justice and Turner and Townsend Gareth has overseen several multi million-pound contracts.
Guiding I-Tel in best practice and sustainability while offering practical solutions to steer our procurement team towards red tape reduction and compliant, efficient services.

Gareth Thompson

Legal & Compliance

Gareth is a qualified, senior commercial solicitor with 30 years’ experience. As counsel to the directors Gareth brings a wealth of experience to enhance I-Tel’s legal compliance and ensure supply chain legitimacy.
Overseeing all our commercial agreements and supporting the individual requirements of our clients, Gareth brings tremendous credibility to the whole organisation.
Dee Sarikaya, Head of Marketing, I-Tel Group

Dee Sarikaya

Head of Marketing

An impressive background with blue chip companies Dee is a former global B2B Commercial manager for Dyson. A proven track record in marketing and communications Dee is responsible for I-Tel’s client onboarding and messaging.
With huge experience in strategic international campaigns and working effectively in cross-functional teams Dee brings strong commercial acumen alongside an excellent ability to interact and influence at all levels.
Paul Keenan, Head of Client Services, I-Tel Group

Paul Keenan

Head of Client Services

Paul has over 30 years’ experience in B2B sales in both the public and private sector and heads up our client services division. Overseeing high value public and private sector contracts Paul has in depth knowledge of the industry.
Key contact to senior management and C suite clients with a problem solving, customer service excellence ideology.
Andrew Plummer, Operations Director, I-Tel Group

Andrew Plummer

Operation Director

A co-founder from the outset Andy has headed the operations team for I-Tel group. An engineer by trade Andy has a vast experience in manufacturing, logistics and warehousing.
Overseeing the day to day complexities of our hybrid model and ensuring all the individual parts function to produce the seamless highly efficient business model we see today.
Melvin Gauci, MD, I-Tel Group

Melvin Gauci

Managing Director

Managing Director and founding partner at I-Tel Group. Mel has been instrumental in transforming the business from a start-up cartridge manufacturing facility to an innovative forward thinking procurement company.
With 15 years at the helm and in depth knowledge of I.T. infrastructure and data analysis I-Tel Group is today one of the latest key players in the indirect procurement space.

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