Gunnebo’s satisfaction with the work of Expense Reduction Analysts leads to the application of their methods to other European offices.
Average savings 20%
Gunnebo is an international company specialised in security systems. With 6,000 employees in 30 countries all over Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America, they offer the best solutions to protect individuals, buildings and properties.
Following the acquisition of over 40 other companies, Gunnebo started a process of restructurations and transformations, including the reduction of overhead expenses. However, this project remained inactive as no-one knew how to tackle it and with what structure. This was the reason Expense Reduction Analysts were called upon to help.
Expense Reduction Analysts started working with Gunnebo Germany and Gunnebo Spain, where they obtained an average of 26% savings in different cost categories. The customer satisfaction was so high that Expense Reduction Analysts were asked to apply their methods to other European offices. What also convinced Gunnebo was the fact that there was a worldwide network of Expense Reduction Analysts experts who could be involved locally, and that the fees were based on the results achieved.
Expense Reduction Analysts is currently implementing the Indirect Materials Optimisation Programme (IMOP) in 15 European countries: Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Spain and Eastern Europe. This is led by José María Linares and Celso Rodríguez, in collaboration with Gunnebo’s management team. The job is to achieve the successful coordination of 50 Expense Reduction Analysts’ experts, working together to optimise costs in over 20 categories, some of which common to all and others specific to each country.
Expert interview: Working with Gunnebo
Questions answered by José María Linares and Celso Rodríguez, Expense Reduction Analysts
Cost Savings Today: What is the IMOP Gunnebo?
The Indirect Materials Optimisation Programme (IMOP) is meant to optimise the purchase of indirect materials, those non-strategic expenses that are not part of the product cost, e.g. telecommunications, insurance, cleaning, office supplies, etc.
CST: What are the reasons for a company to consider a multinational cost reduction project?
When a company has multiple locations, it may be difficult to harmonise these types of expenses. Sometimes, part of the costs is harmonised, and another is dispersed or there is no transparency. We first discuss about getting some control and then we see how you can achieve savings.
CST: What advantages and disadvantages are there in projects of this magnitude?
Amongst the advantages, you can mention that monitoring all expenses from a common perspective helps achieve a homogeneous vision and this is the first step towards optimising costs and gaining in transparency. By harmonising the purchase of products or services in all countries, we gain in negotiation strength with the suppliers.
A drawback may be that it may impair the autonomy of each site. Another advantage of analysing an international customer is that all cost categories will be analysed, including those traditionally excluded i.e. insurance policies. In many cases, there is a global provider that you can work with, but the study of each case is carried out locally by our cost category experts.
CST: What are the key factors to take into account for the project to be successful?
The first factor would be the commitment of the client’s top management. The implication of the General Manager and the CEO is essential.
Also, there needs to be an adequate organisation at every level in each country and at each location; the key factor is for Expense Reduction Analysts to remain open-minded and clear to manage the project.
CST: What challenges does the International Client Manager face?
Time management is the greatest challenge; assuming that a project of this scope will request a lesser dedication to local projects; also the hierarchical order, that is sometimes not well defined, and where the local analysts must assume as well as possible the accuracy of information and discrepancies. This may sometimes cause friction, though as Expense Reduction Analysts experts we know how to present a joint vision and team work. Culture shock with both colleagues and clients is a big challenge, but one that leaves you with a smile at the realisation that we are all different (for the language, the expressions, the body language...).
CST: What added value does Expense Reduction Analysts bring to businesses with transnational needs?
It’s simple: we provide a force of action and implementation in every country, focusing on non-strategic overheads and working 100% at risk. Our clients only pay if we generate savings. Part of these savings is distributed and another represents the fees. For a European Director such as Oriol Closa de Gunnebo (Group Category Manager), this was the perfect solution.
CST: Focusing on Gunnebo – how did you carry out the coordination of the international project?
Celso Rodríguez and José María Linares are European Client Managers. From there, we coordinate with the Director of Operations Europe who in turn, centralises the relationships with the Client Managers in each country.
We have weekly meetings with Gunnebo and a follow-up per category every two weeks. This is the structured process, but actually monitoring is done by email almost on a daily basis.
CST: How did the necessity arise to implement a project started in Spain in other countries where Gunnebo has a presence?
Oriol Closa was in charge of the control of petrol in indirect materials in Gunnebo’s process of restructuration and acquisition. He already knew how we worked and was confident we could accompany him on this new project. Your question was if we could maintain the same standards of quality in Europe as we did in Spain. We committed ourselves to achieve excellence, because we are actually very good!
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