by Brianna Crandall — August 2, 2017 — Facilities managers (FMs) who are trying to improve the operations of their distribution, wholesale or manufacturing facilities, or who are looking for suppliers with efficient, environmentally friendly operations, may be interested in the achievements of participants in ISSA’s and Sustainability Dashboard Tools’ Distributor Efficiency Analytics and Learning (DEAL) program since its inception in 2016.
Distributor Efficiency Analytics and Learning (DEAL) is a comprehensive program that incorporates learning, analytics, and awards to help distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers benchmark their performance, streamline their operations, and realize significant savings in warehousing and fleet expenses.
Worldwide cleaning industry association ISSA Executive Director John Barrett commented:
I’m extremely gratified to witness the achievements of the initial 20 DEAL participants. We believe this program can help our members on several levels, and it’s coming to fruition. I look forward to watching DEAL expand and evolve in the coming years.
The initial group of participants was composed of 20 ISSA member companies looking to increase their efficiency, reduce their carbon footprints, save money, and provide better services to their customers.
The recurrent online Learning Sessions component of DEAL provide actionable, low-cost/high-impact improvement measures that guide participants toward increasing the efficiency of their facilities and fleets. Then DEAL’s Analytics component helps users track their performance, identify opportunities for improvement, and compare their operations to other companies with similar attributes on a national level. The program’s Awards component kicks in to recognize companies that have successfully implemented the program and distinguish their achievements.
The latest DEAL Learning Session, “Driving Success: Leveraging DEAL to Differentiate Yourself in the Marketplace,” is available on YouTube. In addition, ISSA’s partnership as an affiliate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR and SmartWay transportation programs provides an additional wealth of pertinent resources, best practices, and benchmarking information for DEAL participants.
As DEAL users make progress, the program tracks their results, and the findings so far indicate success. According to ISSA Market Research and Analytics Director Jonathan Adkins:
Collectively, the 20 participants achieved U.S. $400,000 in savings to date. If you do the math, that’s an average savings of $20,000 per company for what amounts to about a $3,000 investment annually, points out ISSA.
Adkins highlighted the environmental benefits as well:
Participating companies reduced their greenhouse gases by 1,550 metric tons; that’s the equivalent of planting 40,000 tree seedlings and letting them grow for 10 years. It’s incredible when you think about it.
DEAL participants can parlay these cost-saving achievements into important certifications beyond the DEAL Program — certifications that customers recognize and seek out in their vendors, notes ISSA. Because of DEAL participation:
- North American Corp. (Glenview, IL, headquarters facility) and EBP Supply Solutions (Milford, CT; Tewksbury, MA; and Cranbury, NJ, distribution centers) achieved ENERGY STAR certification from the EPA.
- North American Corp. won the EPA’s ENERGY STAR 2016 National Building Competition for distribution centers.
The DEAL program isn’t a “one-and-done” certification; it is an ongoing process, explains ISSA. DEAL performance consultants provide semiannual performance reviews, providing evaluations of past performance and benchmarks. More importantly, these reviews identify new opportunities for improvement. Adkins continued:
Some of the savings we’ve identified through DEAL are an elimination of or a reduction in the use of space heaters, which cost thousands of dollars in extra electricity usage. We found irrigation water being billed under sewage, creating more thousands of dollars in unnecessary wastewater costs.
In addition, during the Learning Sessions, DEAL subject-matter experts identify practices that will save participants an average of 5 to 20 percent in fuel costs once implemented, and transform waste streams into potential revenues, such as a potential pallet buy-back program that may result in rebates in the tens of thousands of dollars. Some early adopters of the DEAL program shared valuable insights into the process.
Stephen Marlin, marketing manager at EBP Supply Solutions, commented about EBP and the DEAL program:
We are very transparent with our clients in terms of how we operate our facilities and fleets. The ISSA DEAL program provides a neutral third party that reports on our organization’s performance. Just as we proudly supply third-party verified products, we proudly supply third-party verified operational data.
Renae Hesselink, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional and vice president of Sustainability for Nichols, explained why her company opted to participate:
Our headquarters is LEED-EBOM [Existing Buildings Operations and Management] Gold certified with an ENERGY STAR score of 89 out of 100. Despite these significant achievements, we will never get comfortable and say, “We have done it all,” because we can always do better. The DEAL program pushes us to keep learning and to keep improving.
For more information about the DEAL program or to sign up for a free, one-on-one demonstration, visit the DEAL Web site.
ISSA partner Sustainability Dashboard Tools provides comprehensive facility performance data management services, including data gathering, data analysis software, the Sustainability Dashboard, and performance reporting to a range of business sectors. The Sustainability Dashboard is an advanced reporting system designed for business owners and managers and property developers involved in sustainability programs. The system measures and monitors energy, water, fuel consumption, and other metrics; it is specifically designed to be easy to use, reduce environmental impacts, save money, and create a culture of sustainability.