While a pull back in mining activity was offered as a key contributor to this decline, the rising cost of utilities was also presented as a contributing factor, no doubt exacerbated by the recent introduction of the carbon tax.
Unlike relative activity in the mining sector, or increased competition from overseas goods, utility costs are one factor at least that can be proactively addressed.
Energy Action has set out to do just this with its Australian Energy Exchange procurement service. This unique service allows energy suppliers to competitively bid against one another to supply the energy needs of an organisation.
The company states that a 'best fit' contract is usually secured in as little as 15 minutes, through a process that is completely transparent, leveraging a unique online reverse auction platform.
This Exchange is designed to not only save businesses money, Energy Action notes, but it can also save valuable time that may be used developing and evaluating tenders.
By utilising a reverse auction, energy customers can see:
- who is bidding for their contract
- what price they are offering for the contract; and
- the competitive tension at play through all reduced counter offers to supply the contract.
Importantly, Energy Action receives the same commission from all retailers that bid using the Exchange, meaning that there are no preferred arrangements or hidden agendas between the company and energy suppliers.
This enables Energy Action to provide "transparent information that allows our customers to confidently decide for themselves what is right for their business."