Navigating smart utility management for manufacturing success

By Josh Gill

- Last updated on GMT

Josh Gill examines how F&B organisations can get ahead with clever utility management. Credit: Getty/Iryna Melnyk
Josh Gill examines how F&B organisations can get ahead with clever utility management. Credit: Getty/Iryna Melnyk

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How optimising utilities can be the key to unlocking further growth and sustainable success in manufacturing. Josh Gill, CEO, Everflow explores…

In the midst of a flourishing manufacturing industry, where 11 of its 13 subsectors report impression expansion, businesses must wisely harness the momentum to ensure resilience. This becomes even more critical given the backdrop of a challenging and fluctuating economic climate.

Optimising utilities can offer a good solution in furthering growth and starts with a thorough review of your suppliers, and if necessary, making the strategic decision to switch.

This extends beyond just energy bills, it also encompasses water and wastewater services. The UK has the world’s largest competitive water and wastewater retail market – but despite this, half of businesses remain unaware they even have the freedom to choose their water supplier. In April, water companies raised prices by an average of 7.5%, varying among providers. Businesses that haven’t recently reviewed their water bills may be unknowingly incurring unnecessary expenses.

To ensure that your business receives the best pricing, consider partnering with a water market retailer. This approach not only offers pricing transparency but also provides valuable, actionable insights that can drive strategic decisions. These decisions, in turn, enhance economic efficiency and reduce the overall carbon footprint within manufacturing operations. 

The power of utility analysis

While comparing your utility suppliers is crucial, it is equally important to analyse your utility usage data. This information will reveal invaluable insights into resource consumption patterns, giving manufacturers a comprehensive view of operational efficiency and resource utilisation.

One significant area where utility usage data plays a pivotal role is in waste management. Food manufacturers generate substantial amounts of waste, including organic and packaging waste. By examining usage data, you can identify peak resource consumption periods, which will enable you to align production schedules with utility availability, reducing energy and thus cost.

These actionable insights empower informed decision-making, promoting continuous improvement. Manufacturers can optimise operations, enhance sustainability practices, cut costs and make data-driven decisions that ensure the longevity of their operations.

Streamlining your operations

Efficiency forms the backbone of any successful manufacturing operation. It directly affects both cost and production quality. Utility analysis can identify equipment and processes that consume excessive energy compared to other production stages.

Pinpointing these inefficiencies empowers manufacturers to take strategic measures to optimise production, reduce resource consumption, and ultimately lower operational costs. Taking advantage of the current growth in the industry to streamline the production process in this way will build your business’ resilience.

Cost and carbon savings

While switching to cost-effective utility deals is advantageous, managing your utility bills effectively can also yield substantial financial benefits.

Effective invoice management positions your business ahead of the curb to make carefully considered, cost-effective decisions and prepares you for any adjustments in prices. These typically occur every April when wholesalers raise their charges. Leveraging online billing platforms which provide real-time consumption data and alerts for any anomalies in usage patterns or leaks can ensure that you remain in the driver’s seat and consistently achieve cost savings.    

But optimising utility management goes beyond mere cost reduction. It is also a pivotal step towards achieving sustainability benefits.

In the food manufacturing sector, water plays a massively crucial role in the production process. This means that addressing wasteful or extraneous practices can have a significant impact on a business’s carbon footprint.

Something as small and simple as a leaking tap, for example, can waste around 60 litres of water per week. This not only translates to unnecessary financial losses, but also negatively impacts the environment and the business’s overall sustainability profile.

As businesses become increasingly concerned with the environmental impacts of their supplies and stock, lowering carbon emissions and reducing the energy consumption of productions and processes can give manufacturers the cutting edge and make them more attractive during the tender process. Responsible utility management therefore aligns with broader environmental and corporate sustainability objectives.

The strategic path forwards

As the manufacturing industry rides the wave of growth, astute utility management becomes increasingly critical. By optimising utility resources, manufacturers not only bolster their bottom line, but also contribute positively to sustainability objectives, creating a competitive image in an eco-conscious business landscape.

The strategic path forward is clear: unlock growth through smarter utility management and secure a sustainable future for your manufacturing business.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like our podcast episode on how to be wise with your energy​,with special guest Rauri Cairns, director of risk management and European operations at Open Energy Market.

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