In the first edition of our customer stories series, we’ll be focusing on the challenges Siemens face in managing its complex energy buying and consumption strategy, and how, through a responsive partnership approach, Gazprom Energy has been able to help the company better manage its European energy spend.
Siemens is one of the world’s most familiar technology firms, having designed and produced a range of household and industrial technologies for nearly 170 years. From railway signalling equipment and power generation to domestic appliances, the company manufactures a diverse range of products on a global scale — meaning its energy requirements are highly varied and complex.
In the UK and North West Europe alone, Siemens’ energy buying operation covers hundreds of sites, including industrial plants and large offices. The company’s multi-million euro energy spend is in the hands of commodity manager, Chris Robinson, who is responsible for managing energy trading across all Siemens sites and divisions.
Speaking to Gazprom Energy about the daily challenges of managing Siemens’ energy spend, Mr Robinson said: “As a major area of spend, energy comes under close scrutiny at Siemens. Our buying involves many internal customers across all sites and divisions and the company’s global energy consultancy also needs to manage trading as well as validating all billing — so we demand a first rate level of response and partnership from our suppliers like Gazprom Energy, right across the full sourcing and payment cycle.
“As a large consumer of gas, we’re a very strategic buyer, looking typically 18 months to two years in advance and constantly tracking the market to ensure a good price. Our energy supply partner must demonstrate a highly responsive trading team so we can buy at the right price and volume, and when our internal analysts say so.
“And it goes without saying that the same level of customer care is vital across areas like billing accuracy, to support Siemens’ varied businesses in their energy budgeting and forecasting, and payment.”
Recognising the internal demands and challenges faced by Mr Robinson and the rest of the Siemens energy buying team, Gazprom Energy was well placed to provide the responsive daily support required, thanks to our dedicated account management model, which is based on a predefined Service Level Agreement.
Quarterly review meetings have enabled ourselves and Siemens to initiate an effective business partnership, in which solutions for future energy demands can be discussed and prioritised, and queries answered. This approach has also allowed us to adapt our service delivery to the changing needs of the client, ensuring our service remains flexible to evolve with Siemens’ energy buying requirements over time.
Commenting on the current partnership, Mr Robinson said: “It’s very much a business partnership rather than a supplier relationship, and most of the queries I raise are acknowledged within fifteen minutes and resolved very quickly.”
As well as providing a responsive business partnership, Gazprom Energy has simplified energy billing across the Siemens energy buying operation. Originally, the company was receiving separate bills for individual sites, complicating the billing process. Gazprom Energy has since introduced a single itemised monthly bill, providing a concise breakdown of the company’s energy spend across its UK operation.
In addition, Gazprom Energy has helped to improve the accuracy of billing across several Siemens sites by installing automated meter reading devices in place of traditional meters, which offer outdated estimated billing. By introducing AMR technology across all Siemens sites, the accuracy of billing can be ensured at all times.
Through our responsive customer service and flexible energy buying solution, Gazprom Energy has established an effective partnership with Siemens. With our on-going help and support, the company now manages a highly effective gas portfolio across the region, managing the energy needs of hundreds of separate sites and divisions. From buying energy effectively to cover future demands, to ensuring every last euro is allocated correctly, Siemens’ broader energy strategy has benefited from the support provided by Gazprom Energy.
In conclusion, Mr Robinson said: “Successful complex energy buying is obviously very much about price and capacity but it also needs to be backed by strong customer service to ensure that both the trading, and billing and payment aspects of the job are as efficient as possible; that’s what our partnership with Gazprom Energy has given us.”
Read the full Siemens Business Energy Case Study.
If you’d like to find out more about how we help businesses manage their energy requirements, don’t forget to check out our case studies page. Alternatively, to receive a free no-obligation energy quote, visit the homepage or call us on 0845 230 0011.
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