Quaprotek: Achieving very good, sustainable savings

Quaprotek is specialised in the planning, development and optimisation of production concepts for metallic parts and car, engine and power-train components. The strengths of the company are the high-volume development-, supply-chain and optimisation projects. The internationality and flexibility allow Quaprotek to produce regardless of the location – wherever the client needs it.
 
Klaus Kielwein founded Quaprotek in 1992 as a technical consultancy and in 1995 opened the first production site in Brno, Czech Republic. Further production sites were then opened in 1997 and 2007 at the company’s headquarters in Welzheim, Germany, and in 2012 in Tennessee (USA). In 2008 Quaprotek moved from its rented production facilities in Brno to its own and newly built facilities in Cvrčovice.
 
ERA: Dear Mr. Klauck, you are the CEO of Quaprotek Manufacturing k.s.in Cvrcovice, Czech Republic. In order to analyse and optimise the cost structure in the areas of freight, packaging, energy, waste management, uniforms and office supplies you have commissioned Expense Reduction Analysts, an external consultancy. Why have you decided to do this and on what basis did you decide to choose Expense Reduction Analysts?
 
Klauck: The main reason to bring an external consultancy in was the fact that we did not have procurement staff assigned with purchasing these categories. Furthermore, we neither had a structure nor guidelines in use for our purchasing that would have reflected these areas. Anyone could technically purchase the goods they needed wherever they wanted. To quickly find savings that would also last on a longer timeframe, I decided to bring external experts in the company to tackle purchasing in these categories.
 
The reason for choosing Expense Reduction Analysts was based on the very good experience I had with this company in the past. With my previous employer we had already worked with Expense Reduction Analysts and I could see how big the hidden savings were in the highlighted categories. Based on this experience I did not even look for any other consultancies but directly contacted Expense Reduction Analysts in the Czech Republic.
 
ERA: Expense Reduction Analysts worked for you in international teams. The client management was done by a consultant from the Czech Republic; the analyst team was partly German, partly Czech. How did it work out for you, as the client? 
 
Klauck: The projects’ coordination was actually very easy and uncomplicated. Most of our employees speak German and/or English. With our client manager Jiří Rybár we worked in English; with Pavel Cajhaml – who is fluent in German – in German. Dealing with suppliers was mostly done in German or Czech.
 
ERA: The packaging project as an example: How did the project run and how much of your own time needed to be invested? 
 
Klauck: Generally spoken – our time investment was very limited. The time-efficient working method and low level of investment of our staff was one of the main reasons to work with Expense Reduction Analysts. The packaging project was most likely the one with the least time investment, since we were very well organised in this category. Since all data was instantly available, our time commitment was very small – which was not the case for all categories. In particular for the waste management project, where scrap metal was sold, several members of staff were involved for 3-4 days. The reason was that the re-sale of scrap metal was not organised yet and the way our suppliers worked was not very transparent to us. Therefore the alignment and coordination efforts were significantly higher in this category than in others. But apart from this one example, our main time investment was made for the meeting where the different reports were presented.
 
ERA: Savings were found in the categories of freight, waste management, energy, packaging and office supplies. How satisfied are you with the results achieved?
 
Klauck: All projects have enabled us to achieve very good, sustainable savings. Only the project on uniforms had to be postponed as we have to honour a running contract with our supplier. Thanks to the analysis and documentation gathered by Expense Reduction Analysts, we have the exact data and KPI in all categories.
 
We are very pleased with the savings achieved and I was a bit surprised by how well the projects were implemented. In my professional career I have witnessed a couple of times that well-advised changes were rejected by the staff and could only be implemented against internal resistance. At Quaprotek we have a young, motivated and open-minded team that valued the recommended changes very well and supported their implementation. In addition to the savings achieved we were also able to structure our procurement. Certainly, we had minor problems in different stages in some categories – but this is normal when changes are made.
 
So far, I have recommended Expense Reduction Analysts to two other companies.
 
"The time-efficient working method and low level of investment of our staff was one of the main reasons to work with Expense Reduction Analysts."

Hubert Klauck, CEO, Quaprotek Manufacturing k.s.

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