Success for Public Utilities

A time for change in companies specialised in selling utilities has come. New challenges such as market deregulation and a subsequent increase in competition within the industry make the public utilities, which want to provide services to thousands of clients, search for solutions which will ensure a successful execution of their business aims.

 

ERP system for public utilities.

In order to carry out their business objectives, the public utilities need an IT system that will integrate all the company processes at all its levels. Such a role can be played by an ERP system which covers all the processes taking place in a company and allows for the optimisation of work in a company’s many areas of activity.

SAP ERP system is a perfect business solution for companies selling utilities. It guarantees that quality of services will constantly increase and that companies will gain the flexibility to quickly react to changes in the market, says Joanna Stencel, Senior Consultant, responsible for developing IT solutions in the utilities industry.

 

A standard system is not enough.

Ensuring a complex settlement for services and automated invoicing are just two of the challenges facing the gas and energy industries. Due to specific activities, such companies need a solution that will perfectly match their business needs, explains Joanna Stencel. Thanks to our consultants’ knowledge of the processes taking place in utility companies, we have created HICRON Billing Solution. It’s a solution which fully uses the SAP ERP system functionalities and thus gives the opportunity to adjust the system to the requirements of the utility industry or company. Furthermore, it enables a flow of data between different areas of the system, using them for analytical and reporting purposes, she explains.

 

Quick and efficient.

Implementing a billing solution in the utilities sector guarantees an increase in the provision of services. The solution optimises and automates all operations carried out by the companies specialised in selling utilities; from complex operations using measuring devices and meters to managing energy consumption data. A particularly important facility from the point of view of a utility company is the complex settlement of invoices within the billing solution.

The biggest challenge in the utilities sector is the necessity to issue invoices to thousands of clients simultaneously, ascertains Joanna Stencel. A solution for selling utilities has to be integrated with the metering systems in order to calculate the amount due on the basis of algorithms established beforehand. It should also be ready to transfer millions of records and allow a company to modify the sales parameters, she highlights.

Public utility companies which expand their ERP system using the billing solution gain an advanced tool supporting customer relationship management (CRM). Another reason for introducing the billing system is the support of processes from the technical side.

 

Advantage from billing. For everyone.

Since the billing solutions cover all operations carried out in the utilities industry, they enhance employees’ activities in different positions: both for the meter readers and higher level managers.

Thanks to the option which allows notes to be entered about particular clients, the meter reader has full information on how to reach particular premises. They also have an option to adjust the route to read the meters in the most convenient and efficient way. This optimises the route and allows the meter reader to avoid going back on themselves, summarises Joanna Stencel.

The implementation of an ERP system with the billing solution requires a uniform source of data that enables the utility companies to manage all business processes from a one-level system environment. By the same token, managerial-level employees can use the same uniform database and oversee the economic processes more thoroughly. Thanks to the option to generate management reports at any level of detail, key company individuals can make more accurate strategic decisions, increasing the efficacy of the economic processes.

The data structure in the system covers both the technical and trade functions. The integration of those two elements is reflected in the customer service area: all changes introduced by the sales department are visible to the technical department and vice versa. Automatic data updating and flawless communication between the departments enhance the general management of a public utility company, ensuring the highest quality of service.

 

A billing system adjusted to your needs.

Settlements in the utilities sector are completed for millions of clients and each sector has its own characteristics, thus there is no one universal solution which can be used successfully in all sectors. A billing system for the gas industry may turn out to be useless in the electricity industry which has a much higher number of sellers and providers than the natural gas market. That’s why it is crucial to pay attention to the option of adjusting the solution to the individual needs of the company. SAP and HICRON Billing Solution provide such an option.