Problem

The client’s current approach to managing the energy data and bill processing-to-payment cycle was complex, slow, fragmented, and resource-intensive.

The organization has major facilities management agreements and provides end to end utility bill management (UBM) and accounting. They service over 14,000 utility accounts with over $130m of annual spend and have >20 clients in Australia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Their approach to managing their Utility Management journey from data capture, bill processing, validation through to the account payment cycle was complex, manual, slow, and resource-intensive. They were experiencing expensive and time-consuming internal accounts payable and accounting processes and driving customer complaints. Data integrity was causing issues across the substantial number of sites and late payment of bills resulting in substantial late payment fees and higher utility disconnection risks driving customer dissatisfaction and at times disruption.

Solution

A real-time Robotic Process Automation (RPA) driven solution with a single customer view, integrated processing, payment, and accounting across all utilities including electric, gas, LPG, water, council/municipal rates, and land taxes.

 

Key opportunities identified to enhance their energy category’s performance:

  • Automated audit & process assurance for Accounts Payable
  • Ongoing energy data completeness, visibility, and quality control.
  • Reporting automation, sophistication and quality control;
  • Advanced accruals & budgeting automation to drive accuracy and provide better planning and cost reduction in real-time.

 

Sustainability, emissions management, and visualizations that can be used to support environmental reporting bid were appointed to implement its automated Utility Bill Management solution across the entire client utility portfolio. Following the extensive engagement, a detailed Accounts Payable process triage and a robust spend review.

 

Outcome

bid’s RPA Utility Expense Management solution has eliminated expensive semi-automated bill processing and Accounts Payable functions and considerably improved customer experience.

bid deployed its RPA-driven Accounts Payable automation solution across the entire client portfolio, including the incorporation of historical data for contextual analysis and trend prediction.

 

The Implemented solution delivered:

  • Centralized portfolio management – open/close, site inquiries, alerts & reports.
  • Immediate bill receipt to payment file creation to avoid late payment penalties and utility disconnections.
  • Integration of bill processing and payment file creation with the organization’s payment system.
  • 24/7 anywhere anytime portfolio accessibility provides visibility and reporting with payment-grade data audit credentials.
  • Procurement ready data that incorporates automated contract expiry management, market alerts and data access for speed to market.

Before

  • Complex, slow, and resource-intensive approach to managing the energy data and bill processing to payment split across multiple platforms.
  • Expensive and time-consuming internal accounts payable and accounting processes.
  • Poor data integrity was causing issues across the portfolio master sites.
  • Late payment of bills resulting in substantial late payment fees and unwanted disconnections and customer dissatisfaction.
  • Due to the non-core solution – it was resulting in poor customer experience – distracting others from core responsibility.

After

  • Enhanced Service offering and the ability for the Global Facilities Management Company to engage in new customer acquisition opportunities through the provision of next-generation Utility Bill Management capability.
  • Elimination of expensive semi-automated bill processing and Accounts Payable functions.
  • Avoidance in paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously incurred late payment fees and inaccurate billing.
  • Significantly reducing internal payment processing costs by at least 30%.
  • Ongoing cost & efficiency savings opportunities identification, monitoring, and reviews.
  • Immediately available & accurate reporting on usage & spend, actual to budgeting, forecasts, and accruals.
  • Improved customer engagement with a focus on value-add opportunities.
  • Total estimated savings identified to date >$300,000 AUD per annum (>150,000 British pounds or >200,000 USD).

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