Meeting client challenges with cost-saving solutions

At Fine Tune, we’re your ally. We leverage our know-how and experience to combat “nuisance” expenses on your behalf. And the results are paying off through proven cost-savings and greater program efficiencies. Look through the case studies below to see some examples of how we’ve helped companies succeed. Your company can be next!

Flint Group

Flint Group
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Industry:

Specialty Chemical Manufacturing, Printing and Packaging; World’s 2nd largest ink maker

Expense Category:

Uniform & facility services

Client Challenge:

Prior to partnering with Fine Tune, Flint Group had 12 suppliers and over 20 contracts governing uniform and facility services across their 50+ North American locations. The challenge was to reduce costs, enhance terms and conditions and consolidate contracts while preserving positive supplier relationships.

Fine Tune Solution:

First, Fine Tune personnel compiled an assessment of spend and contractual obligations by location and by supplier. Based upon the data gathered in this assessment, Fine Tune’s industry insiders determined an appropriate target spend level for the account. Then, after consultation with both field personnel and Flint Group’s corporate-level management, we recommended and agreed upon a strategy for attaining project objectives.

Outcome:

A year after the onset of the Fine Tune agreement, an average cost reduction of over 35% had been implemented throughout the US and Canadian operations, and the number of suppliers had been reduced from 12 to 5. Supplier transitions, where sensible or necessary, were managed to mitigate costs associated with transitions. Beyond the contractual and cost improvements, Fine Tune’s audits have uncovered thousands of dollars in weekly savings purely by virtue of correction of overcharges. Perhaps the greatest benefit to Flint, however, has been the time savings produced via the Fine Tune affiliation. As issues of any sort arise in the field, Fine Tune’s experts work to ensure favorable resolution while Flint personnel remain focused on bigger priorities.

Bottom Line Impact: 35%
Large Food Processing Company

Large Food Processing Company
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Industry:

Global manufacturer and seller of nutritional and functional ingredient solutions for the food, beverage, supplement and animal nutrition industries

Expense Category:

Uniform & facility services

Client Challenge:

This client went through a full RFP and transitioned suppliers three years prior to engaging Fine Tune. Despite this effort, their spend was significantly more than projected in the RFP and there were a myriad of unresolved, ongoing service issues. They were of the opinion that the service issues simply would not be improved due to the nature of the industry.

Fine Tune Solution:

Fine Tune personnel met with each plant to determine appropriate courses of action to reduce service issues. We set up a weekly call with each plant to identify service issues and track these areas as they improved and were ultimately resolved. At the same time, we arranged weekly calls with the incumbent vendor and instructed them on reasonable steps to correct their deficiencies. We provided a new tracking mechanism for both parties to utilize in order to identify, track and resolve weekly service requests and concerns.

Fine Tune then ran a full RFP, narrowed down the supplier field and directly negotiated with the incumbent supplier.

Outcome:

The result was vendor retention, significantly improved service and hard-dollar savings that were precisely in line with our projections prior to the RFP. The client no longer had to worry that their spend would be significantly more than projected since they had us to manage it on a monthly basis – auditing for contract compliance, recovering credits for any overcharges, and fighting off all vendor strategies for increasing costs. The weekly service calls gradually turned into bi-weekly, monthly and eventually quarterly as the sites began to see their list of service issues and concerns dwindle.

Bottom Line Impact: 41%
Large Grocery Chain

Large Grocery Chain
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Industry:

One of the largest employee owned companies in the U.S. Retail grocery, convenience marts, and quick service restaurants

Expense Category:

Waste & recycling services

Client Challenge:

Fine Tune inherited two main hauler agreements and a host of locally sourced and negotiated deals in rural and remote markets which house nearly 500 locations. Fine Tune was tasked with assessing the status quo, implementing useful measurement tools and pursuing cost savings and contract consolidation without inconveniencing field operations.

Fine Tune Solution:

In an initial data-gathering phase, Fine Tune compiled an assessment of baseline spend and contractual obligations for all locations. Based upon the data gathered in this assessment and their industry-insider knowledge, Fine Tune determined appropriate target spend levels for the account. After discussions with field-level personnel and corporate contacts, a strategy was recommended and agreed upon to accomplish these objectives in as expeditious a manner as possible.

Outcome:

Fine Tune negotiated and implemented two main hauler contracts and managed supplier transitions of nearly 100 stores, securing ~$750K in savings over the course of these 3-year agreements. Additionally, over 40% of the savings secured through the agreements would not have been realized without Fine Tune’s continuous auditing and program management. Since implementation of the agreements, not a single month has passed without overcharge identification and credit recovery by Fine Tune.

Bottom Line Impact: 30%
National Automotive Parts Retailer

National Automotive Parts Retailer
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Industry:

The largest retailer of automotive parts and accessories in the United States

Expense Category:

Waste & recycling services

Client Challenge:

This well-known retailer with over 5,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada had a long-term relationship with a waste and recycling industry broker at the time they partnered with Fine Tune. At this same time, the retailer had just acquired one of its largest competitors in the space who relied on a different waste broker for their stores. Our client needed help with organization, integration and optimization of their waste and recycling programs for the combined company and tasked Fine Tune to deliver on those objectives while also targeting cost savings, overpayment recovery, better recycling commodity revenues, enhanced terms/conditions, contract enforcement and overall advocacy.

Fine Tune Solution:

Fine Tune personnel began by thoroughly immersing themselves in the data which existed from their current contractual relationships, met with and gathered service information from client personnel at all levels and began discussions with current vendors as well as industry competitors. Fine Tune utilized this information to identify and recover a large refund caused by a misinterpretation of the then-current vendor agreements. Additionally, Fine Tune uncovered several areas where the client was being underpaid for the commodities generated by their recycling efforts.

Outcome:

Fine Tune negotiated a single-vendor waste services agreement with significantly improved terms and conditions that comprehensively protect and empower our client. We managed every aspect of the transition between old and new vendors for a nearly seamless integration of services for the new combined enterprise. Fine Tune also negotiated multiple new market-competitive agreements to significantly increase the client’s recycling commodity rebate income. On a daily basis, Fine Tune now manages all temporary and permanent waste and recycling services while tracking and auditing all of the invoice charges/rebates for those services each month. Essentially, Fine Tune has become the “Waste and Recycling Department” for this client.

Bottom Line Impact: 27%
Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack

Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack
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Industry:

Specialty retail and automotive repair and tires

Expense Category:

Uniform & facility services

Client Challenge:

Pep Boys had a nationally leveraged agreement and long-term relationship with a single supplier at the time they partnered with Fine Tune. Fine Tune was tasked with delivering cost savings, enhanced terms and conditions, contract enforcement and ongoing program management and advocacy. Additionally, Fine Tune was expected to support Pep Boys by recommending and implementing optimal strategies for acquisition accounts.

Fine Tune Solution:

Fine Tune personnel began by compiling an assessment of prevailing spend across the account. Based upon the data gathered in this assessment, Fine Tune’s industry insiders determined an appropriate target spend level for the account. Then, after consultation with Pep Boys’ corporate personnel, Fine Tune recommended and agreed upon a strategy for attaining projected spend levels without inconveniencing field operations.

Outcome:

Fine Tune negotiated and implemented a new agreement with the incumbent supplier which attained the stated target spend levels. Improved terms and conditions have enhanced Pep Boys’ position both during the course of the agreement and at the back-end. Fine Tune manages all supplier transitions as necessary for new Pep Boys stores – minimizing back-end costs with exiting suppliers. Additionally, Fine Tune has established protocols for new store openings and set standard inventory levels for all products based on store size. On a monthly basis, Fine Tune resolves all invoicing discrepancies, ensures credits are issued in a timely manner and creates custom reports for Pep Boys to track spend within the category.

Bottom Line Impact: 23%
TMK IPSCO

TMK IPSCO
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Industry:

Global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry

Expense Category:

Uniform and facility services

Client Challenge:

At the onset of the Fine Tune engagement, a national agreement with a leading uniform supplier was nearing its expiration—but substantial back-end liabilities loomed as a hindrance to acting on open-market opportunities. They liked their supplier and wanted to avoid a transition, but certain billing practices and field-level service issues needed to be addressed before a new agreement could be struck.

Fine Tune Solution:

The goal was to renew the agreement with the incumbent, implement more favorable terms and recover as much of the excess billing as possible. The next steps were to analyze the spend data vs. the contract and setup site visits to determine the validity of potential overcharges not contemplated in the agreement. After reviewing the results of the initial steps with the key contacts, a strategy was set to run an RFP in conjunction with directly negotiating with the incumbent.

Outcome:

An agreement was struck with the incumbent supplier, so TMK IPSCO field contacts were able to retain the supplier they were comfortable with and avoid a transition. There was a significant shift in the contract terms to protect them from future recurring billing issues, product additions/changes and pricing variances. Additionally, substantial credits were recouped for past billing discrepancies. To top it off, a coordinated effort by all parties was made to upgrade the existing uniform image.

Bottom Line Impact: 26%
TTX Company

TTX Company
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Industry:

Rail car and freight car management services

Expense Category:

Uniform & facility services

Client Challenge:

Prior to Fine Tune’s involvement, TTX field personnel and regional managers had been responsible for the management of the uniform category. In fact, the company had specifically explored national leveraging strategies and ultimately decided to leave the expense in the hands of the field due to regional supplier differentiation, strong biases and the overall complexity of the expenses.

Fine Tune Solution:

Fine Tune visited numerous TTX operations and consulted with key field personnel to ensure all biases were taken into account. Then, in conjunction with TTX corporate personnel, Fine Tune recommended and pursued a strategy to maximize cost savings while preserving positive supplier relationships.

Outcome:

Four new supplier contracts were negotiated and executed. Savings were implemented, on average, 9 months in advance of existing contract expirations. Nearly half of the negotiated savings would not have been realized without Fine Tune’s continuous auditing services. Finally, as TTX’s single point of contact, Fine Tune has successfully resolved myriad field issues in TTX’s favor – frequently with substantial cost implications.

Bottom Line Impact: 34%
WD Larson/Peterbilt

WD Larson/Peterbilt
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Industry:

Heavy-duty trucking sales and service

Expense Category:

Uniform and facility services

Client Challenge:

Larson’s operations stretch from across the northern and Midwestern U.S., including some particularly remote locations. Implementing a company-wide uniform program entailed a number of challenges — from supplier viability and proximity to strong biases from location to location. Fine Tune’s challenge was to maximize cost-savings while aligning Larson’s operations with optimal supplier partners.

Fine Tune Solution:

After reviewing prevailing costs and existing contractual commitments, Fine Tune conducted site-by-site satisfaction surveys at all Larson locations. Fine Tune then managed the RFP, negotiations and implementation processes for each of five new supplier agreements, tailoring cost saving solutions to the biases of Larson’s personnel in the field. The two locations whose personnel were dissatisfied with their uniform services were transitioned to an optimal supplier given their locales and Fine Tune’s market intelligence.

Outcome:

Today, Larson enjoys the benefits associated with having a single national agreement while field operations are serviced by five different suppliers of their choosing. From recovering over 20% of negotiated savings via monthly auditing to implementing new and more cost-effective uniforms at Larson’s flagship location to promoting best practices in the field, Fine Tune’s dedicated category management has ensured an optimal program for Larson.

Bottom Line Impact: 32%

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Client Testimonials

  • "NBTY selected Fine Tune to evaluate, recommend, implement changes to, and provide ongoing management of its uniform services program. Through in-depth initial auditing and site visits, the program was optimized, service levels improved, and Associate satisfaction enhanced. Most notably, these enhancements have led to better positioning with suppliers and more advantageous agreement terms. Fine Tune stands out as a partner that has delivered both cost savings and significant productivity advantages to support NBTY’s vision, values and leadership within the wellness industry."
    Miranda Townsend Category Manager, Business Process Outsourcing, The Nature’s Bounty Co.
  • "We have over 50 locations in North America, and these expenses can be hard to manage - lots of nuances, service issues, invoice issues - basically lots of headaches. That’s where Fine Tune came in."
    Mike Giffin Director of Indirect Materials & Services, Flint Group
  • "What set Fine Tune apart for us really, was their dedicated efforts after the deal was done…we just couldn’t duplicate what they do in house."
    Greg Glover Chief Financial Officer, Express Oil Change, LLC
  • "Thank you for staying on top of this. It's becoming more and more apparent that I made the right choice in employing your company's services."
    Gina Roberts Operations/Purchasing Director, Storage Battery Systems
  • "I still cannot believe how incredibly well this whole process was executed."
    Mike Lewis Business Manager, SunCoke Company
  • "You guys are awesome and you can print that."
    Dan Henkhaus Vice President of Finance, Vulcan Global Manufacturing Solutions
  • "In addition to significantly improving our agreements, Fine Tune has consistently identified billing errors that would have hurt our bottom line if they had gone uncorrected. I would gladly recommend Fine Tune’s services."
    Kurt Jorgensen General Manager, Peterbilt/JX Enterprises
  • "I just can't believe how much work you all were doing behind the scenes while we've been focused on other things."
    Greg Glover Chief Financial Officer, Express Oil Change, LLC
  • "Partnering with Fine Tune was a no-brainer for me. My uniform and trash program costs have been cut by close to 40% and I hardly lifted a finger."
    Adam Fuller Express Oil Change
  • "This expense used to produce nothing but headaches. But now, Fine Tune enables us to remain focused on our main responsibilities, and they’ve reduced our costs in the area by over 30%."
    Dave Fitzpatrick General Supervisor, TTX CO