"A Fully Satisfying Collaboration"
It is possible to control company’s costs. But, with some help from a consultant expert in the field, the savings achieved can be very significant. JCDecaux bus shelters are part of our everyday landscape. For this company, whose mission is to provide services to citizens thanks to advertising income, it is essential to take into account the economic reality in order to carry on providing quality services.
Wim Jansen, CEO at JCDecaux Belgium, presents an update on the collaboration with Expense Reduction Analysts.
CST: What made you decide to commission external consultants?
We all live in the same world and the economic situation is difficult for all of us. Our main source of income, the advertising sector, declined last year by about 4% across all segments. For our part, if we are seeing a slight organic growth, it is still not enough to cope with the increase of many costs. Amongst them, the taxes levied by the towns represent a major burden. Therefore the need to explore the possibility of setting up a good cost management strategy. Though we did part of it internally, thanks to good discipline and a specific focus from management, other themes are so complex that it is imperative to get external help. It seemed obvious for us to collaborate with an external consultant who would bring his expertise in the field.
CST: How did the initial contact and internal relations go?
We first had an initial discussion on our core business and activity, during which we were able to describe the major cost categories of our business. The Expense Reduction Analysts consultant was then able to highlight which cost categories he could apply his expertise to and which he was certain to find savings in. Once these targets fixed, the consultant went down a step in our hierarchy /organisation in order to better understand how it worked within the different departments. Our internal staff quickly realised that the investigation was not meant to subject them to any control whatsoever but instead to improve everyone’s situation by integrating them fully in a positive dynamic, whilst sharing the experience gained.
CST: Did the results meet your expectations?
The consultant studied five cost categories, for which we launched a tender with relevant suppliers, according to quantitative and qualitative criteria decided with Management. With the tender, we were able to find a beneficial solution bringing savings of 20% on consumption, quite a considerable figure when you think that all our bus shelters are lit and result in substantial consumption. The second project dealt with our car fleet which includes a good hundred vehicles, private and commercial. The consultant found an expert in this field too, who found savings of 16%. The result was positive as well for the waste management category, i.e. the management of waste and recycling of posters once they are taken off the bus shelters. These posters can be given to enthusiasts or be recycled. Thanks to an improved organisation of waste management, we were able to reduce costs by 24%. We achieved a similar figure for the transport costs of new posters that necessarily need to be distributed all over the country to our dispatching centres and then in the bus shelters. Finally, with regards to staff travel costs within Belgium or abroad, and though this cost category is already quite well managed, the Expense Reduction Analysts expertise enabled us to improve the quality of service.
CST: How did Expense Reduction Analysts’ intervention impact on the company and the suppliers?
Our business was not the only one in benefitting from an external consultant’s intervention. Our suppliers benefit from agreed contracts over several years, which enables them to organise themselves more efficiently and to gain better risk management: the good conditions they have granted us have allowed them to secure a client’s loyalty. For us, the experience is more than positive; the monitoring done by the consultant ensures that the expected result is achieved. If not, it is then always possible to discuss with the supplier to make things right.
"A fully satisfying collaboration that we will definitely recommend!"
Wim Jansen, CEO JCDecaux Belgium