In an increasingly unpredictable economic and political environment, with more demanding customers and shorter manufacturing contracts, companies that use water in their processes have been working to ensure they have a contingency plan in case their water supply is interrupted.
It’s this awareness that has prompted a growing number of companies, from power generators to food processors, to develop an effective business continuity plan in accordance with ISO 22301, the latest globally recognised standard, using Veolia Mobile Water Services ReAct Treated Water Security Plan.
ReAct, which provides customers with a free assessment of their water treatment requirements, identifies potential risks and prepares a response plan to minimise any disruption to their water supply, has been increasingly popular over the last few years.
However, recently more and more clients have come to benefit from a new service that Veolia has added to its comprehensive range of waste, water and energy management solutions.
“We’ve been responding to clients’ emergencies and other problems for many years now, and they’re always very grateful, but recently we’ve been talking to them about taking a more pre-emptive and strategic approach,” says Mark Dyson, European general manager of Veolia Mobile Water Services, part of Veolia Water Technologies.
“We call it Multi-Year and it’s essentially like renting a car. Instead of buying an asset, such as a water treatment plant, you rent it from us, based on a more flexible, pay-as-you-go model.”
The growing list of clients of this service like the fact that not only does it help them to avoid making major capital expenditure commitments, but it gives them access to Veolia’s expertise, which is born out of its pedegree in water technology. Multi-Year provides clients with a package of services that includes equipment rental service, monitoring, maintenance and the provision of spare parts and consumables.
“They get state-of-the-art technology, great reliability and the use of our emergency fleet in case of operational difficulty,” says Mr Dyson. “We provide them with the quantity and quality of treated water that exactly meets their needs. Clients realise that they could buy the equipment to do this, but then fundamentally they’re investing in a utility that provides limited value to their organisation. If you’re a food manufacturer that makes doughnuts, for instance, you should be investing in another doughnut machine because that gives you a better return on investment.”
He points out that Multi-Year is part of a growing trend for companies to take out an operational lease for equipment and to contract out peripheral tasks so they can focus on their core competences and skills. Companies also like the flexibility that Multi-Year offers.
“It can be as hands on or off as customers wish,” explains Mr. Dyson. “Some people like to take readings or monitor on a day-to-day basis, while others ask us to perform all the services for them.”
A growing number of companies that want to be ready to exploit new opportunities, while moving quickly to avoid threats, are signing up for Multi-Year. One client, for example, has a three-year contract to make a vehicle for the North American market. Rather than invest in an asset that might well be redundant when the contract finishes, it is renting its water plant from Veolia on a Multi-Year contract. To help customers to be more flexible and fleet of foot, Multi-Year contracts are available from one year upwards.
More and more companies are seeing that they can benefit from the latest technology, economies of scale and our expertise by renting from us rather than buying
“Take pharmaceutical companies,” says Mr Dyson. “The life cycle of products is shorter, with manufacturers producing them for perhaps just two or three years. With the food and beverage industry, beer sales might rise around the World Cup and so breweries will need more treated water during this period. They can either buy an asset, watch it depreciate and then dispose of it, or they can come to us and rent it without having to go through capital procurement.
“Companies need to be more agile and they want to have contingency plans in place. More and more are also seeing that they can benefit from the latest technology, economies of scale and our expertise by renting from us rather than buying.”
Veolia Mobile Water Services provides temporary water treatment solutions to industrial clients, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
Veolia group is the global leader in optimised resource management. The group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions contributing to the sustainable development of communities and industries.
Veolia Water Technologies is a subsidiary of Veolia specialising in water treatment solutions and providing the complete range of services required to design, build, maintain and upgrade water and wastewater treatment facilities for industrial clients and public authorities.
Veolia (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €25.1 billion in 2017.
Halving costs, reducing risk
During the decommissioning process of a nuclear power station, the need for water naturally fell drastically. As a result, the on-site demineralisation plant was larger than required and costly to maintain.
So Veolia provided the customer with a MODI trailer mobile demineralisation plant. Its ion exchange demineralisation uses similar technology to the station’s on-site plant, but at much reduced flow. For the customer, the benefits were guaranteed treated water quality and, more importantly, off-site regeneration. This avoids the requirement for chemicals or effluent disposal, and the resulting health and safety problems, as well as interference with the defueling and on-going decommissioning work.
The customer’s costs have been reduced by up to 50 per cent compared with operating the on-site plant and it has also been able to remove the redundant demineralisation plant early.