Contributed by Sustainability Dashboard Tools, LLC

The Distributor Efficiency Analytics and Learning (DEAL) program is a result of a partnership between ISSA and Sustainability Dashboard Tools, LLC. According to ISSA, it is “designed to help distributors reduce operating costs and be more profitable,” such as reducing facility and fleet costs up to 30 percent. Moreover, sometimes, these savings come through unexpected channels — like trash removal.

Before going into further detail, however, it’s important to take a closer look at the Dashboard technology.

The Sustainability Dashboard Tools system is cloud-based, meaning it is available 24/7 from any computer. It is 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 referred to as 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. “We catch such things as spikes in electricity use or fuel consumption, as well as suggest areas where cost reductions are possible, even when it comes to waste removal.”

This is where Philip Rosenau Co., a Warminster, Pennsylvania–based distributor who joined DEAL, comes in. Founded more than 60 years ago, the company is now the largest family-owned jan/san distributor in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

“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 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, vice president of supply chain at Philip Rosenau Co., and told him her findings, as well as the fact that his company’s waste removal charges were as much as 50 percent higher than what other DEAL members were paying.

Saucier suggested they call their waste removal vendor to investigate the charge and negotiate a lower rate. If Philip Rosenau can do that, they could save $2,000 a year.

Hastings followed through, and in the process reduced the number of pickups at the location by 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,” says Hastings. “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.”