20 percent savings: Decathlon Benelux reduces printing costs significantly

Founded in France in 1976 and part of the OXYLANE Group, Decathlon manufactures and distributes sporting goods under its own brand and on behalf of other international brands. The group employs 46,000 people worldwide and had a turnover of 5,440 million Euros in 2010. In the Benelux, there are about 1500 employees, 13 Decathlon shops and a distribution centre, with a number of expansion projects underway in 2011.

Since Decathlon Benelux is a relatively young company that has only ever experienced year-on-year growth, the company was aware of the benefits that could result from implementing a cost control program.  Therefore Pieter Van Dyck, Finance Director, assigned Expense Reduction Analysts Senior Partner Johan Van Delm to analyze and optimize printing costs.

So far, Decathlon Benelux spent annually about 1,3 million Euro on printing.  The main part of this budget was allocated to 2 million door-to-door monthly promotional folders.  The entire coordination, from graphics design to the actual printing & distribution, was outsourced to an agency.  Decathlon very rarely had direct contact with the printing office, but was very satisfied with quality and service levels.

Expense Reduction Analysts proposed Decathlon Benelux to change their procurement strategy from a one-stop-shop into an expert approach, working with a limited number of partners with the best proven expertise in their field, and capable of matching Decathlon’s needs and expectations.  Graphics design remained with the agency.  In order to find the most suitable printing office, Expense Reduction Analysts launched a tender with a shortlist of four established Benelux players (including the incumbent supplier).

Reassuring Decathlon marketing management that switching to an alternative supplier would not impact quality and continuity of service, nor increase workload for the marketing team, was a critical success factor for the project.  Therefore, Expense Reduction Analysts organized site visits to the two recommended printing offices: presentations from the different stakeholders who would handle the Decathlon account (from order intake to execution) made this a very personal experience, and helped clarifying the deliverables from all involved.

As a result of the tender process, Decathlon Benelux reduced it’s printing costs by 20 percent, and decided to reinvest a significant part of these savings in additional promotions.

Ilya Chardome, Marketing Director: "During our initial briefing meetings with Expense Reduction Analysts, we had agreed to be challenged in our current way of operating, even if this would lead to a redesign of our supplier base.  The transparency and swiftness of the Expense Reduction Analysts methodology has been very reassuring, and has enabled us to build confidence in the identified alternatives.  Additionnally, the financial results have exceeded our expectations, whilst quality and service levels are at least as good as in the past."

"The financial results have exceeded our expectations, whilst quality and service levels are at least as good as in the past."

Ilya Chardome, Marketing Director, Decathlon

 

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