Member Article



Business improvement district company, NE1 Ltd is extending its influence and benefits for business in Newcastle into the purchasing departments of city centre businesses.

By teaming up with energy procurement specialists Meercat Associates Ltd, NE1 has been able to facilitate some very significant savings for its members in overhead costs, especially in the field of utilities.

NE1 took the decision to appoint Meercat to help negotiate utilities cost reductions on behalf of its members. Knowing that bulk buying can deliver major savings NE1 wanted to capitalise on its own unique position to coordinate these savings for its city centre members.

NE1 member businesses can tap into the bulk buying and negotiating powers of Meercat without incurring any set-up or management costs as these are all handled by NE1 with the benefits delivered direct to its members.

By April 2012, after only 8 months running the project, savings worth in excess of £32,000 have been achieved by 13 member companies, with a further £51,000 in the pipeline. Over 350 companies have expressed an interest in this service and Meercat is currently working closely with 100 NE1 members to explore where savings can be made for their individual businesses.

All Meercat’s operations are completely transparent and an additional benefit of the service is that they hold broker days with NE1 members to meet face to face to discuss the needs of individual businesses.

NE1 was also keen to ensure that smaller businesses do not miss out on this opportunity so have encouraged Meercat to devise ‘Basket deals’ for smaller clients bundling together smaller purchasing contracts to deliver massive economies of scale. This idea is also being expanded by NE1 to include office stationary deals for Newcastle City Centre based businesses. …more

Commenting on the joint procurement project, Director of Operations at NE1 Ltd, Adrian Waddell explained:
“People understand the value of shopping around for domestic utility suppliers, but in business companies need to concentrate on just that, doing business. They often lack the time or staff resource to track down the best deal for their gas or electricity. In these tough economic times it is essential to reduce overheads wherever possible and that’s where Meercat and NE1 can help. NE1’s members, from the largest to smallest, can benefit from this bulk buying network at no cost to themselves and the savings can be very significant.”

Companies interested in exploring where savings can be made in their business should contact NE1 Ltd to book a free appointment with a Meercat consultant.

Case Studies
Marine mutual liability insurance company North of England P&I Association (North), on the Quayside saved 11% of their electricity bill (worth over £9,000 per year) through this scheme.

Commenting on the Meercat results, Alan Wilson, Joint Managing Director from North said:

“We are delighted with the service NE1 and Meercat have provided. Since returning to our newly refurbished and much extended premises on the Quayside last year, our utility costs have, quite understandably, increased. After one initial meeting with Meercat, they researched utility providers and delivered a £9,000 saving.”

Redford Hair Stylists, newly opened on Percy Street, saw their electricity costs fall by 53% saving £600 off their annual bill.

Christine Redford of Redford Hair Stylists explained: “For a small business like ours that relies heavily on electricity to do business, halving our bill was amazing. Having an independent specialist look at our utility costs and make recommendations that will save us hundreds of pounds each year gave us tremendous confidence that our business is now running efficiently and economically.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sara Ragan .

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