Suzuki may still be best known in the UK as a motorcycle manufacturer, but with sales in 2013 topping more than 33,000 units the company is a major player in the car market too and is now well known as the small car experts. In fact, Suzuki is also a major UK supplier of ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) and a wide range of outboard motors. As might be imagined the service and spare parts support for this diverse range of products represents a significant challenge and requires a large and sophisticated operation to maintain it.
Located in Milton Keynes, Suzuki's parts warehouse covers 13,000 sq metres and ships around 300 consignments every day. The combined office and warehouse space employs 145 people, and must provide a carefully controlled environment to maintain the valuable parts inventory in top condition.
It is therefore a challenge to keep energy costs and consumption as low as possible, and to maintain the smallest possible carbon footprint in line with Suzuki's global commitment to a low-carbon performance. Facilities Manager Hayley McCann is clear about how the job should be done, and the track record at the site fully supports her methodology.
"The starting point is good information" she says, and to that end Elcomponent were asked to supply a sub-metering system covering all the main electrical loads. Our MeterRing MM package was installed in early 2011 by Suzuki's electrical contractors Copper Veins Ltd, and quickly produced results as consumption was significantly reduced. "Initially it was a matter of good housekeeping really" reports Hayley "we cut out the waste, and ensured best practice..."
An excellent example of good housekeeping was the significant reduction in energy, cost & carbon which were achieved by optimising the yard lighting. Security and operational requirements meant that the area had to be adequately lit at all times, but the metering confirmed that in winter months the cost of doing so was running at close to £800 per month. Careful consideration of the necessary light levels and adjustment of the lighting controls was carried out to see if improvements could be realised without compromising the business. This resulted in savings to Suzuki of almost 45 per cent - over £2000 over a year.
The entire site is now undergoing assessment for an improved lighting scheme and again, the sub-metering package is seen as crucial to success. Whilst the yard lighting improvements was essentially a no cost/low cost project, the site-wide scheme will require replacement luminaires and new technology.
"This time we need the metering to evaluate the pilot installations to make sure the paybacks and savings match our projections. We like to make decisions based on facts wherever possible!"
is how the Facilities Manager puts it.
We'd have to agree...