Client and Service Spotlight
Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries Saves 41% on Waste & Recycling ExpensesThe Client
Operating in Pennsylvania and Maryland, Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries offers a continuum of senior lifestyle and health services, including comprehensive senior living accommodations, health-care services, and community-based programs. Diakon also offers a range of services for children, families, and communities. Diakon’s programs serve approximately 63,000 people annually. Working in more than 35 service centers and senior living communities, some 2,200 Diakon staff members bring hope, hospitality and healing to thousands of people each day.The Challenge
Diakon has relied on Edge Insights’ expertise to reduce energy & telecom expenses since 1997. When UtiliTech added waste reduction as a service, it became the next logical area for Diakon to engage Edge Insights’ skills to produce additional savings.The Solution
Edge Insights offered a way for Diakon to receive an in-depth review of its waste & recycling expenses on a contingency fee basis. This review included a forensic bill analysis, a contract accuracy evaluation, a competitive market analysis, and an on-site survey to assess the waste & recycling process at each location. After this project was completed, Edge Insights provided a detailed summary of ways that Diakon could realize savings and refunds. After obtaining Diakon’s approval, Edge Insights went to work implementing the opportunities and securing all possible refunds. Through Edge Insights’ efforts, Diakon’s waste expenditure was reduced by $16,000 a month and the organization received more than $5,000 in refunds for billing anomalies.“Edge Insights was the first company to approach us with this type of service offering. Given the fact that the agreement was contingency-fee based and that Edge Insights bore all of the expenses, we were eager for Edge Insights to complete its review. We couldn’t be more pleased with the effort that they put into this project and the results they were able to achieve.”
Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries
Top 3 Telecom Mistakes Companies Make #1: Not understanding the terms of your current telecom contractsWhen Edge Insights is engaged to manage telecom expenses, we find that most of our clients have their telecom bills readily available. Contracts, however, are a different story. Eighty percent of our client’s are either unsure if they are currently under contract or are unable to locate their contract. Reviewing the bill is a great start to managing costs but understanding the contract is an essential part of our service. Contracts can include anything from binding auto-renewals to floating prices, which can lead to significant over charges. Chances are, even if you are able to locate your contract, it may seem like a bunch of legal jargon. At Edge Insights, we understand exactly what to look for in telecom contracts. We provide our clients with a very thorough review of terms, commitments, and services. Awareness and understanding of your telecom contracts is critical to managing costs within the contract terms and understanding options and fees for early termination.#2: Remaining with your current provider because the inconvenience of switching may appear to outweigh the benefits
Many of our clients are hesitant to change providers due to the potential headaches involved. In certain situations where the savings potential is minimal, we would tend to agree. Changing carriers is never easy. However, it is worthwhile to explore your options every few years. We find clients that remain with current providers year after year are paying a premium for their services, in some cases, as much as 25%. As technology continues to evolve, carriers have new services and pricing to offer, and the needs of your organization are likely changing at the same time. At Edge Insights, our job is to understand your overall telecom environment and organizational needs before presenting costs savings options. Carrier issues are part of that decision. However, with the Internet providing the backbone for most network telecom circuits, changing carriers may lead to significantly less headaches than in the past. Edge Insights manages all telecom changes for its clients from start to finish. We ensure that service changes are implemented as planned and carrier invoices change accordingly.#3: Not understanding options with telecom providers
Telecom services are a lot more complicated than in the past. There used to be only a few service providers and few options as to the types of services available. Now, between the proliferation of service providers and evolution of technology, it is hard to realize all of your options let alone understand how they impact your organization.Voice and data have converged at the service provider level and may have converged within your organization. Your IT staff and users are likely screaming for more bandwidth and faster response times. Many times changes in service providers and types of circuits must be accompanied by changes to your internal network and telephone system. Do you know if your telephone system can accept a PRI or SIP circuit?
The telecom providers serve a specific purpose of delivering services to your facilities. These services may be local voice, long distance, private data networks, or Internet. Telecom providers will not get involved in your internal issues, requirements and equipment changes necessary for your organization to take advantage of the newer technologies and services.
Working with a company like Edge Insights is extremely helpful in these situations. We will help you minimize technical clutter and concentrate on getting the best service and pricing with acceptable terms and conditions. We work with your organization to optimize the choice of providers and solutions. We will help you negotiate contract provisions and manage any cutover of services. Edge Insights can help ensure that your telecom services will seamlessly support your organization’s operations.
The Value of Engaging an Energy Consultant versus Other OptionsIn states where electricity and natural gas services are deregulated, consumers are faced with several options for procuring these services. For comparison purposes, we will look at three options:1. Using an Energy Broker to secure the deal
2. Signing a deal with an Energy Supplier directly
3. Engaging an Energy Consultant to assist in managing your energy servicesEnergy suppliers have signed up as many Energy Brokers as possible to sell electric and natural gas in deregulated states. There are very few qualifications to become an Energy Broker and most work from their homes with no support or expertise. They are simply individuals trying to make a commission by selling energy services to as many residents and businesses as possible. They offer no service or support after the sale, nor do they monitor the energy market or your account for accuracy or opportunity for additional savings.Approaching an Energy Supplier directly is another choice. Energy Suppliers provide you with a price and it is up to you to determine if the price is competitive or if you’re buying the product that best fits your unique business needs. Once you’ve signed with an Energy Supplier, it is up to you to manage your accounts, determine how your contracts have performed, and most importantly identify the right time to look for renewal pricing. Using an Energy Supplier directly should only be an option for very large organizations with in-house energy procurement staff.Energy consultants, the good ones anyway, are every bit a partner to your business. They take a holistic approach and manage your overall energy services to a best cost solution. From auditing your service history to procurement of energy services, and negotiating the best possible rate and contract terms, consultants continuously monitor market conditions and look for renewal opportunities well in advance of the contract end date. Energy Consultants take a proactive approach in keeping clients aware of market changes and how their contracts are performing through a host of different relevant benchmarks. Energy Consultants also keep you abreast of other energy related services that might benefit your organization.
At Edge Insights, we are actively monitoring the energy markets and managing contracts for our clients. We work tirelessly to maintain market advantages for our clients and we are proactive in managing each account to gain from market conditions when appropriate. Edge Insights acts as an outsourced energy department within each of its clients’ organizations, secure in the knowledge that Edge Insights is actively monitoring their account and making sure they are receiving the best rates and services possible.
Feel free ask any of your questions by calling 610-777-3200