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Case Study – SLM (Water)

The Consultus International Group help to keep water flowing at SLM and their Everyone Active leisure centres, after guiding them to a new and improved supply agreement.

Background

The Consultus International Group had already been handling SLM’s water requirements for five years when striking a new supply contract, for the same length of time.

For over a decade prior to that, Consultus had a working relationship with SLM (Sports and Leisure Management) to source their electricity and gas, where trust had been built up.

Supporting SLM means delivering services for a client who manages over 220 leisure and cultural centres, across the UK, in partnership with more than 60 local authorities.

The Everyone Active centres are a part of SLM, who are the UK’s longest-established leisure provider, having been formed in 1987.

Many of their sites have swimming pools, too, which makes smart and sustainable water procurement all the more important, where Consultus have again come to the fore.

Consultus’ input has ensured that SLM receive more accurate invoices, with costs and usage monitored, through meter reading, and optimisation of their terms, where possible.

Solutions

When the UK water market first deregulated, in 2017, it created a competitive retail market, as suppliers jostled for position, but the right to change could also be a difficult decision.

Having been early movers when the energy market first deregulated, Consultus have recruited professionals, with vast experience of water procurement and its price levers.

Before coming to Consultus to help source their water, SLM had been dealing with multiple suppliers, as water companies changed their processes, leading to inconsistent invoicing.

Consultus moved quickly to reduce costs and complexity, for the customer, by grouping their water needs into one portfolio and, crucially, a sole supplier.

This arrangement suited all parties but, at each renewal point, Consultus would still explore alternatives, as a fully independent consultancy, who can tender out to the whole market.

When the time came again, earlier this year Consultus protected the customer’s position, securing a five-year contract with another supplier, bringing them long-term security.

Outcomes

SLM will benefit from a fixed retail rate, for the duration of their new agreement, meaning that the supplier’s additional charges will stay the same.

Wholesale prices may well increase, as the market continues to expand, but an unchanged retail margin should offset any price rises.

Their indicative annual saving, over the next five years, totals close to £900,000, which is on top of what Consultus have already saved them in water costs.

Accurate billing and cost forecasts are vitally important to SLM, whose average consumption, for FY23 (financial year), was more than 1.3million m3/h per year.

Consultus performed the initial tender for a selected number of AMRs (Automatic Meter Readers), which collect data through a pulse cable, to be installed at SLM sites.

Further AMRs are now required, but Consultus have pinpointed new technology that is cheaper and more precise, calling upon an alternative method of data capture.

Optical readers add a camera, to the top of the meter, that snaps an image of the physical reading. Consultus additionally have the capabilities to handle installation for each site.

SLM’s and their council partners have also been assisted by Consultus in their applications to the Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF), a grant-based system, which is backed by £60million of government funding.

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