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Success stories

The Midcounties Co-op

 

The Midcounties Co-operative is one of the largest independent UK co-operative societies with over 640,000 members.  It operates the Your Co-op family of businesses which spans Food, Travel, Childcare, Utilities, Pharmacy, and Post Offices. The Society trades nationally through some of its businesses, including Travel, Utilities and Childcare, with its heartlands in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.

With a strong 150-year heritage, the group strives to ensure that its people, products, services, processes and premises are all managed in an efficient, cost-effective way. So, when Brownlow Utilities believed that they may be paying too much for water services at one of their retail stores in Walsall, they were keen to hear more.

Intensive desktop research

Following a review of the Walsall site’s water invoices and drainage plans, an onsite survey was conducted to determine if the charges were correct. Although the charges were found to be correct, The Midcounties Co-operative agreed for Brownlow to review other retail outlets in the group.

The desktop exercise revealed the potential refunds and ongoing savings for 12 of the sites. As refunds can be traced back six years, some of these savings were significant!  Using sophisticated diagnostic tools and infrastructure plans, Brownlow’s water engineers surveyed all the sites to determine if there was a genuine error and a claim could be processed. As a result, claims were raised for three of the sites.

A refreshing result

Brownlow’s water services team collated all the information and evidence and raised formal claims to the water suppliers in question. Putting pressure on the water suppliers on an ongoing basis, the Brownlow team took the three claims through to resolution yielding the following savings.

 Refund going back 6 yearsOngoing annual savingsTotal savings
Midcounties Co-op Cheltenham£9,057£1,930£10,987
Midcounties Co-op Gloucester£688£1,631£2,319

The Midcounties Co-operative were so pleased with the outcome that they asked Brownlow to assess the water charges across the entire retail estate. Brownlow will also be considered in providing energy purchasing and sustainability services around an imminent energy contract renewal for the group.  

Aileen Wilkins, Head of Procurement at The Midcounties Co-operative said

“Our success is all about building great connections with our customers, member-owners and communities, but also with trusted partners who can help us realise efficiencies in a highly competitive market. The Brownlow team have really helped us to realise savings where we wouldn’t have thought to look or had the time or expertise to identify! 

The Brownlow team have really helped us to realise savings at a time when energy prices are unprecedently high."

For more information on The Midcounties Co-op visit https://www.midcounties.coop/

“Our success is all about building great connections with our customers, member-owners and communities, but also with trusted partners who can help us realise efficiencies in a highly competitive market. The Brownlow team have really helped us to realise savings where we wouldn’t have thought to look or had the time or expertise to identify! ”

Aileen Wilkins

Head of Procurement at The Midcounties Co-operative

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