$40K in Cost Avoidance and Cost Savings
This case study is about cost avoidance and cost savings in utility expense management. We show how RadiusPoint managed to generate savings of $40K in utility expense by implementing the UEM process.
Managing the full lifecycle of a utility invoice and associated services across multiple vendors is a complex process involving 5 major steps: invoice receipt control, cost allocation, invoice audit, cost optimization, timely payment. Full-service utility expense management involves 2 more steps: order placement and service connection verification. Each of these steps presents a risk of error, and an opportunity for both cost savings and cost avoidance.
A nationwide facility maintenance company with over 500 service locations hired RadiusPoint to assist with their Energy Sustainability Project. The endeavor included bringing their utility service invoices under a continuous automated process to handle the full lifecycle of the invoice, from receipt to payment.
Their Accounts Payable team managed some 1,300+ invoices each month. They struggled to stay on top of inputting the invoices into their payment system for timely payment. The cost optimization task in the invoice management process suffered because the AP team did not have direct access to the numerical data necessary to obtain quotes for more cost-effective services.
The first area of improvement for cost avoidance and savings would consist in focusing on manual processes and automating them. This would involve breaking down each vendor invoice down to line-item detail. At the conclusion of this task, RadiusPoint would be able to produce a detailed reporting showing the actual kWh and Therms to be analyzed monthly.
As part of the automation process, the monthly audit would ensure any overcharges could be identified, then disputed with vendors. Finally, accurate invoices would be paid on time to avoid any service interruption.
Several areas of optimization would involve identifying:
- Service locations in deregulated states
- Existing vendor contracts
- Relevant information for deposits on account.
Utilizing ExpenseLogic®, RadiusPoint’s proprietary SaaS platform, our team made quick work of inventorying the 1,300+ monthly invoices. As we started to generate reporting on the actual energy use recorded by each meter at all service locations (in kWh and Therms), management could obtain new bids for utility services in all deregulated states.
The newly found capability to attribute cost by meter number and review each vendor contract directly within ExpenseLogic gave our client’s management team a visibility they never had in the first place.
Lastly, accounting now had a running total of utility account deposits held by vendors and their eligible release date by meter number. This granular level of information made their annual deposit true-up a much simpler task.
Today, our client receives each month a report outlining each service location by physical address and meter number, with actual kWh and Therms recorded by that meter. The report shows previous and new rates, and savings by location. The reporting function in ExpenseLogic provides granular detail that enables our client’s management team to make decisions about any location based on factual and detailed information lifted from vendor invoices.
RadiusPoint moved 150 service locations to contract rates, a major source of cost avoidance and cost savings. We provide ongoing management of usage and contracts to continue generating savings each month. Other locations already under contract are being monitored for usage and will move to available lower vendor rates upon contract expiration. Our client had recorded over $40K in savings so far.
Soft savings have also been achieved by streamlining the UEM process into ExpenseLogic. Manual invoice auditing is extremely labor intensive, and the AP team struggled with the sheer volume of data input over 1300+ invoices. ExpenseLogici facilitates the process, as well as the flagging of overages as they occur. the mission freed up paid labor time that the AP team could use on other vendors.