Colonya Caixa Pollença is a Balearic historical financial institution, one of the two savings banks that have survived the intense pace of takeovers in the last decade in Spain (the other is Caixa Ontinyent). Probably because, despite its size, this survival is due to the efficiency, competitiveness and continual introduction of improvements in management. All these have marked the history of a company since a visionary man, Don Guillem Cifre Colonya, opened the first office in Pollença in 1880.
Colonya was born with in mind, the improvement of its immediate environment and kept a single office until 1967. After a century of existence, the company began to expand in the Balearic Islands during the 1980s up to the current twenty offices.
For years now Colonya has initiated a plan to reduce operating costs through internal resources. This process led to the commissioning of Expense Reduction Analysts specialists in late 2011. Juan Garza and Jorge Crespi led a project that concluded with the reporting to the clients of potential savings of over a quarter. "At the beginning we talked about implementing cost reduction measures and improving the telecommunications network, but it was a very sensitive area and there was an existing contract for which it was recommended to wait for the right time to push for changes. That time has come now,” says Crespi, Client Manager at Expense Reduction Analysts, who has worked very closely on the project in this second stage.
This time, Colonya has reduced the telecommunications costs by a third and has above all improved the service, operations and security of the telecommunications network, especially in the corporate data network. Lluís Ramis, Colonya Corporate Area Director says: "it should be noted that cost reduction has not occurred by having to compromise on quality or security, but by improving them."
Crespi says it has been particularly easy to work with Colonya, thanks to the friendliness of their interlocutors, always willing to take full advantage of the collaboration with the consultancy, regardless of the actions undertaken to help them optimise costs. "Colonya Caixa is reduced in size, but also very healthy and with a flexible structure when it comes to making decisions," he explains.
Meanwhile, Ramis also highlights "the degree of professionalism" of the Expense Reduction Analysts team and confirms that externalising the cost reduction project has been a good decision for his business. "The percentages of savings have been significant, but we also appreciate the expense rationalisation analysis conducted by the consultants, a topic that sometimes in the day-to-day business, we are not able to tackle", Ramis says. "The questions of the experts have helped us rethink processes and make better decisions,” he adds.
Xavier Martinez, the telecommunications expert at Expense Reduction Analysts, conducted a comprehensive study of the Colonya communications with an aim to improve not only the contract issues but also the quality of service. Therefore, the process of negotiating and finding deals included tests and measurements for the offers from both regular and alternative suppliers. "With regards to voice communications when it comes to islands, ensuring coverage was a key aspect and therefore in situ tests were performed to ensure the reliability of the service. As for the main corporative network data, the focus was on security and on ensuring the availability of the service. That is why, apart from experimenting with different technologies to guarantee connection in case of service failure (combining fibre connections, radio link, EFM or 3G), it was a matter of strengthening the network with dual access or redundant links”, says Martinez.
With the client, the Expense Reduction Analysts team analysed offers from three suppliers. The chosen solution optimised the cost of voice and data communications and improved the service transmitting all voice and clients’ data traffic via the ISP network. This was in turn possible by updating and improving VPN solution (virtual private network for data transmission), contracted both for technology and for capacity and security. "On one hand, it is now more difficult for the connection to fail, being more robust and key services being redundant, and on the other, the security mechanisms implemented are much more effective," says Martinez.
Although service and security were a priority over price, the consultancy kept a negotiation strategy that enabled them to achieve significant savings in both the fixed fee and the variable part of the telecommunications costs, and more importantly, to guarantee them in the long term.