Starting with just one store at the turn of the 20th Century, this national chain has been growing ever since. Its founder had a real knack for staying ahead of the curve when it came to operating his business. He anticipated what customers wanted and gave them what they needed at reasonable costs.
Today the drugstore chain manages more than 8,000 locations. The management team continues to look ahead, especially when it comes to managing utility expenses. With thousands of stores dotted across the U.S. and beyond—plus a growing online business—you can depend on the fact that the company has a significant energy spend.
The chain’s forward-thinking managers know it is important to stay on top of costs to be sure they are getting all the services they pay for. They were already using another firm to process and pay their energy invoices, but they wanted to add another level of cost oversight.
The drugstore chain sought a consulting company that would do more than run the numbers through a series of automated checks. They wanted a hands-on approach and even asked Cost Control Associates to demonstrate in real time, via Skype, exactly how they would review each invoice.
Cost Control Associates is unique, because it depends on the knowledge and experience of its team members to add a methodical visual check of each itemized charge. This allows them to spot less obvious problems and incorporate other avenues of investigation to be sure the charges are correct.
Cost Control Associates has helped companies reduce and manage utility costs since 1991, and the firm’s analysts average 12 years on the job. They used the Energy Cost Recovery and Reduction program to examine the chain’s accounts for electricity, natural gas and water/sewer services.
“Our time investment was low, and Cost Control’s hands-on approach turned up $381,000 in cost savings—it was well worth the effort!”
Cost Control Associates performed a careful examination of invoices looking for errors, overcharges and potential rate opportunities. Having found no opportunities for refunds, the analysis team realized that the store’s current invoice processing vendor was doing an adequate job of catching errors.
However, when Cost Control Associates examined rates and other charges, they found room for improvement. With the approval of the client’s management team, Cost Control analysts worked directly with the utility providers to bring about changes that resulted in $381,000 in annual cost savings.
Now that’s staying ahead of the curve to give your customers what they want!
Keith Laake is president and founder of Cost Control Associates, Inc. He is responsible for strategic planning, marketing and sales, and overall management of the firm. Keith received his BBA from the University of Wisconsin and is a certified public accountant. Learn more.