Kuypers Logistics - Investigating Gas and Electricity Expenses

The transport business started out 25 years ago, with only one lorry at their disposal. By 2008, it already had grown to become Kuipers Logistics and Kuipers Air & Sea. In 2012, the company is now equipped to offer a total transport and logistics‘ package, tailored to the client’s needs:

• Transport by road, air and sea, as well as a combination thereof, within and outside of Europe;
• Storage;
• Complete logistic service.

A flexible fleet as well as competent and involved employees are the two cornerstones that contribute to the success of Kuipers Logistics and Kuipers Air & Sea. The fact that Kuipers is serious about the welfare of its employees is evident from, for example, their election to Arbobedrijf [Health and Safety Company] of the year (2005), their acceptance of the Ondernemersprijs Transport en Logistiek Nederland [Entrepreneurial Prize for Transport and Logistics in the Netherlands], aimed at security management (2007). In addition, Kuipers is a logistics company that is cost-conscious. “We pay constant attention to the best prices and costs, in view of sustainable commerce”, says Harry Kuipers, Director, “In 2011, we were also awarded the “sustainable” Lean and Green Award.”

The introductory call from Expense Reduction Analysts consultant, Arjan Schoonderwoerd, turned immediately into an appointment. Kuipers wanted to know more about the services provided by Expense Reduction Analysts.

Worries
Kuipers Logistics has managed proper cost control over most of their cost categories. “Our gas and electricity bills have, however, caused me some worries”, says Gerard Schepers, Controller. “Over the years, we have entered into many contracts for energy supplies and management purposes with various suppliers and on different terms. In addition, invoicing took place in different ways, by means of seven monthly invoices, and with different coding involved. In short, we could no longer see the wood for the trees.”

Kuipers Logistics had great need of independent investigation and recommendations. Previous attempts in this area did not result in anything, partly due to the privatisation in the energy sector. The logical, step-by-step working method of Expense Reduction Analysts, with their  “no generated savings, no fee” principle, appealed to Schepers. Schoonderwoerd was asked to assess everything with regard to gas and electricity, in order to investigate if the agreements made were being honoured and to see if any other options could be chosen.

Everything was scrutinised. Schoonderwoerd:  “I pulled everything apart, and it certainly provided clarity. I discovered, for example, that the gas connection was charged by the supplier on a large-scale use, whilst, in accordance with the rules, it actually involved small-scale use. I also discovered that annual statements were missing and that the gas consumption was not being monitored. My investigation also uncovered that the fees for the supply of gas and electricity were no longer market-based.

There was, on the other hand, credit to the cost-conscious approach of Kuipers. The energy savings actions put in place on the company’s own initiative, such as electricity-saving lamps, motion-sensors, and high performance boiler systems, proved to be adequate and profitable.”

Insight and control
Schepers was impressed by the clear analysis. “The explanatory notes concerning who manages what, and why and insight into the flow of invoices, gave me renewed control over our energy related matters.” In addition, he also gave Schoonderwoerd the green light to check whether gas and electricity could be supplied at a less expensive price by two reliable suppliers.

Tender request
Schoonderwoerd:  “I submitted a tender request to eight different energy suppliers and also requested that they offer some interesting market options, such as, for example, various contract terms, discounts, fixed and / or rates. The tender request yielded four suitable proposals. I advised Schepers not to enter into any long-term contracts, in view of the current unstable economic situation.”
Increased savings

“Based on the proposals, Kuipers Logistics decided that their energy needs would be catered for by one supplier, for a fixed rate over a two-year period. This choice has provided savings of 18.3% per year.
The new contract took effect on 1 March 2011, and since gas and electricity prices went up during 2011, the savings have increased to 24.4%.”

Aftercare
Aftercare also involves Schoonderwoerd monitoring the market situation continuously for 48 months. This will allow the client to carefully select the contract terms that best suit the economic trend once the contract terminates.
 

“Choosing, between the proposals provided, the solution that best suits our company’s needs, without risk. That is what I call pleasant cooperation.”

Gerard Schepers, Kuipers Logistics, Controller

 

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