If businesses are to unlock the elusive nuggets of opportunity that are tucked away inside their energy bills, it is essential they master their energy-spend data. But that’s easier said than done; in many cases, the very people with the skills to uncover that gold are too busy entering the data to be able to gain insight from it.
Reducing repetitive tasks
Repetitive tasks like data entry, status updates, and report production place a significant burden on businesses. Not only do manual tasks bring the potential for errors—in 2010, a single keystroke error led to a stock market crash that wiped a trillion dollars off the value of US shares—there’s also the impact on resource allocation. A recent estimate claimed that as much as 22% of an employee’s time can be spent working on repetitive tasks, of which many could be automated.
With data entry errors potentially as high as one in every ten steps and clear inefficiency in using people to enter data, there can be little argument that using a strong utility bill management platform is the answer. It provides total visibility over data, allows reporting and status updates at detailed and macro levels and, perhaps even more importantly, provides certainty over the accuracy of data.
More time for valuable work
Even the best data-entry specialists make errors but, more often than not, the skills of those keying the complex and mundane information lie elsewhere. Give an experienced accounts payable team member a large set of utility bills to enter into a system and it’s likely they’ll make an error down the line.
Allow them to turn their attention away from entering energy bill data, however, and it could be a different story. According to a recent survey, 59% of workers say automation could save them 6 or more hours per week, time Robotic Process Automation (RPA) would give them to focus on higher-value work. By putting their skills and knowledge to use in innovating processes and investigating exceptions, the savings they will bring to the business are likely to be significant.
It’s worth bearing in mind that bored workers are twice as likely to leave a company, which leads to the obvious costs required to recruit and train a replacement. Take away the more mundane aspects of their work, and you should see improved employee engagement.
Opportunities within automation
Through RPA, platforms like Bill Identity’s Utility Management Solution bring real agility to business processing. With speed and accuracy, they deliver total visibility at the touch of a button; perfect for management and sustainability reporting, where confidence in the data is imperative.
Utility bill automation also leads to slick and cost-effective processing of bills. Built-in data validation, quality assurance, and invoice controls mean that any billing errors or faults are identified quickly—and well before the potential costs spiral out of control. It also means the end of missed payment deadlines and any subsequent penalties.
Reducing the need for manual processing allows employees to feel as though they are using their skills to bring value to the organization. Rather than spend their time on mindless, repetitive tasks, this kind of business transformation allows staff to take action in the moment.
A fully digitized platform gives employees the power to launch investigations or make informed decisions, the instant data is received. That leads to higher engagement, improved budgeting, lower operating costs, and comprehensive accruals.