When a global bank makes a public declaration to be net-zero by 2030, it must have accurate and timely data on its environmental reporting to demonstrate progress. For an organization operating across more than 3,000 sites in over 35 countries, however, that’s quite a challenge.
This client, a global facility management company, was tasked with tracking the bank’s carbon footprint and monitoring the progress of its carbon offsetting initiatives. The client’s role was to capture ongoing utility billing data from nearly 10,000 accounts and upload ten years of historical billing data from almost half a million bills—a task made more complicated by the 9,000+ data points on these bills that were also written in 13 different languages.
The client’s previous supplier used manual processes and came with two very clear challenges:
- Speed. It was taking up to five-six weeks to upload the billing data onto the client’s platform.
- Accuracy. Translating the data points from different languages led to errors.
As a result, the reporting was neither timely nor accurate. Data was uploaded weekly and was several weeks behind. Some of the data—a critical input into energy project investment decisions—was wrong or missing.
The client reached out to Bill Identity (Bid) to simplify the utility bill management process. Bid began with a data-cleansing exercise to ensure existing information was correct. During the process, we uncovered open accounts that weren’t being billed and closed accounts that were. There were issues with incorrect bills—for example, errors across specific data points or relating to contract end-dates. When we discovered them, we followed up with utility companies and had the errors corrected. We also confirmed that the dormant accounts could be closed.
The client tracked Bid against several success metrics, including the percentage of automation across the portfolio, time from bill receipt to data hitting the platform, and the time to validate each bill.
In addition, the client measured the completeness of data–and how Bid was proposing to fill any gaps that existed. While data completeness was hard to quantify, the weekly discussions helped establish a strong working relationship and gave the global bank confidence to make the switch to Bid.
Ultimately, the banking client chose us for their partner as we were able to demonstrate:
- How the technology works
- The speed at which we could parse data
- That we could deliver real improvements in data accuracy
- How well we could map their energy needs
Bid’s Utility Bill Management platform—specifically its receipt to capture feature—has added significant value. The bank has been able to bring together billing information produced in multiple units of measurement—in a variety of different languages—into a single and reportable unit of measure.
In doing so, Bid has been able to help the FM keep track of the bank’s carbon emissions footprint and environmental reporting with minimal manual intervention. The net result has been an increased confidence in data accuracy, timely reporting, and cost savings.
At the 6-month client review, Bid delivered 80 percent automation, excluding only the bills from suppliers that contained poor quality images and formatting changes.
- Before working with Bid, utility billing data took up to six weeks to reach the bank’s sustainability reporting platform.
- Data was incomplete. Some accounts had two years’ billing information missing.
- Though reporting that needed to be produced weekly was impossible as the data was always three weeks behind—this delayed investment decisions.
- The bank’s incumbent provider used a slow, manual parsing process which led to errors in bill translation.
- Locating bills so they could be audited was a challenge.
- Data now takes between one to three days to be available on the Bid platform, not the six weeks that it previously took.
- Weekly environmental reports are sent to sustainability teams for their reporting.
- Bids onboarding, data cleansing exercise, closed billing gaps and challenged supplier billing errors.
- Our client’s sustainability reporting and spend management is now automated.
- The number of manual processes has been reduced, leading to notable improvements in speed and accuracy.
- The bill repository makes sustainability auditing much simpler.