In 2017 the UK competition regulator introduced the Non-Household Water Market to give UK business consumers more control and choice over who they use for water supply. Before then, water companies could only serve business customers within their regional area.
It allowed water companies to expand into new markets, increasing competition and driving down the cost-to-serve across the industry. While the market started small, it has grown steadily.
It meant that water companies needed to set up new companies and financial mechanisms, like consumption reporting and billing, to serve new markets. The overall billing process can be split into three areas:
- Gathering consumption data and analyzing usage
- Reconciling accounts
- Preparing invoices.
Our client, a water utility in the UK, wanted to automate the overall billing process for business customers. The business case was clear: it would release time for other value-add projects in finance and increase billing processing capacity while flatlining cost to serve. It would future-proof any further market expansion.
Automating the business retail market billing process
The client had already designed a UiPath Proof of Concept solution for invoice generation within their SAP platform.
They asked Tquila to design and build complementary processes for the remaining two stages in the overall billing process: consumption reporting and analysis and accounts reconciliation. We accessed market reporting data hosted in Central Market Operating System (CMOS) to download usage data initially. Then we analyzed and reconciled the data before it generated the invoices.
Future-proofing: allowing market expansion
Improving productivity: growing non-household business while flat-lining billing costs