Most ISSA member-distributors are familiar with ISSA’s DEAL program. The Distributor Efficiency Analytics & Learning program, in partnership with Sustainability Dashboard Tools, LLC, is, according to ISSA, “designed to help distributors reduce operating costs and be more profitable.”
ISSA adds that the DEAL program can help distributors reduce facility and fleet operating costs up to 30 percent. Moreover, sometimes, these savings come through unexpected channels—like trash removal.
Before we go into further detail, however, let’s take a closer look at the Dashboard technology.
The Sustainability Dashboard Tools system is cloud-based. This means it is available 24/7 from any computer. It has been carefully designed to monitor and measure such metrics as energy, water, and fuel consumption. With this information, distributors are able to find ways to reduce these amounts, and in so doing, lower costs and minimize their overall environmental footprint.
However, this is what we could call the “front end” of the technology and the DEAL program. What is happening behind the scenes is where the real cost savings materialize.
All of the Dashboard’s metrics and algorithms “are being analyzed by a team of dedicated specialists,” says Katrina Saucier, program manager for the Dashboard.
“It’s our job to catch such things as spikes in electricity use or fuel consumption, which need to be understood and then addressed, as well as suggest areas where cost reductions are possible, even when it comes to waste removal,” Saucier explains.
This is where we bring in Philip Rosenau Co., a Warminster, Pennsylvania–based distributor who joined the DEAL program about three months ago. Founded more than 60 years ago, the company is now the largest family-owned distributor of janitorial and sanitary maintenance products in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The company has multiple locations and distribution sites to serve all these areas.
“By analyzing their waste removal charges, we found that every July and August, like clockwork, the waste removal company would increase its charges by $200 a month,” Saucier says. “We just did not see a reason for this, and the amount is low enough not to raise any red flags.”
The seasonal rate increase led Saucier to another discovery. She got on the phone with Rich Hastings, VP of Supply Chain at Philip Rosenau Co., and told him her findings as well as his company’s waste removal charges were as much as 50 percent higher than what other DEAL members were paying.
“I suggested they call their [waste removal] vendor, see what this charge is all about, and negotiate a lower rate. If so, the distributor could save $2,000 per year.”
Hastings followed through, and in the process reduced the number of pickups at the location while at the same time, opting for a larger container. The company’s annual waste removal charges dropped by a staggering $17,000 per year.
“By joining the DEAL program, and working with the experts at Sustainability Dashboard Tools, we were able to compare our charges with benchmarks established by the DEAL program,” Hastings says.
“Having this inside knowledge allowed us to negotiate better rates and service contracts. The program also helped us optimize our building’s performance, uncovering even more hidden savings.”
Seventeen thousand dollars in savings per year is much more than pocket change. This is real savings, and the return on the investment by getting involved with DEAL is a whopping 460 percent.
“These are savings that any distributor would welcome, adds Hastings, ” and the DEAL program made it happen.”