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Andy Wilkinson (Director)
“The interaction with the SkyBill team is excellent. They really understand what we need and are exceptionally responsive, which is a breath of fresh air.”
WilSon Energy offers integrated heating and billing solutions for Heat Network and District Heating schemes in residential and commercial developments throughout the UK. The company also runs a multi-utility billing bureau serving a broad spectrum of clients, from Big 6 utility companies to large property developers, property management companies, and private landlords. WilSon Energy chose SkyBill Utility Management, Billing and CIS to replace an inflexible legacy billing system. The migration helped the company streamline its billing operations and improve its existing service offering, as well as introduce new business propositions.
Services: Integrated heating & billing, multi-utility billing bureau
Customers: Utilities, property managers & landlords
Legacy billing system inhibited growth
As WilSon Energy brought in new clients for its billing agency, the company’s legacy billing system was struggling to keep pace with the growing volumes. A lack of automation meant that many core billing processes relied on time-consuming manual processing. This way of working had become unsustainable and was hindering WilSon Energy’s growth.
Hard to serve clients efficiently
The legacy billing system did not have enough flexibility to handle some essential requirements, such as setting up new tariffs or customizing the bill layouts for individual clients. As a result, WilSon Energy was overly reliant on its previous billing supplier to perform every-day tasks.
Streamlining billing processes
WilSon Energy needed to fully automate the most important billing processes, to reduce the reliance on manual processing and help the company scale its operations sustainably.
Enhancing billing bureau services
WilSon Energy wanted to improve and extend the services available to its billing bureau clients. The targeted enhancements included upgrading the customer self-service web portal, developing the company’s white-labelling service, and launching a new payments facility for commercial clients with prepayment customers.
Ensuring compliance with regulations and quality standards
As a billing agent, WilSon Energy required a billing system that would comply with the evolving regulations and voluntary codes of practice for billing customers for heat network services. The new billing solution also had to support the company’s stringent ISO quality-assurance procedures.
WilSon Energy chose to migrate to SkyBill Utility Management, Billing and CIS, which is a powerful meter-to-cash solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
WilSon Energy opted for the SkyBill Cloud billing solution, as part of a broader strategy to move all the company’s business support systems into the Cloud and do away with a need to upgrade its outdated on-site servers.
Phased implementation aligned with business priorities
SkyBill developed a roadmap to phase in the new billing solution in line with WilSon Energy’s business priorities.
- The implementation began with migrating the company’s existing billing practices into the new system.
- After successfully validating SkyBill’s performance in running the business as usual, the focus shifted onto automating the core billing processes and streamlining the production of the management reports that WilSon Energy issues for its billing agency clients.
- SkyBill then rolled out a new customer self-service web portal, which significantly improved the functionality and usability compared to the previous system.
More automated billing cycle
Throughout the billing cycle, SkyBill replaced cumbersome manual processing with vastly increased automation, enabling considerable time-savings for the billing team. For example, WilSon Energy can set up new property developments for billing bureau clients in SkyBill in a matter of minutes. Instead of data for each household being entered manually in the billing system, hundreds of customers in a property development can now be uploaded automatically into SkyBill straight from an Excel spreadsheet.
Streamlined management reporting for clients
SkyBill can generate in minutes the management reports for WilSon Energy’s billing agency clients that previously took as much as a day to compile by hand. Various elements that required manual data handling in the past, such as analyzing the source of customer payments, now benefit from fuller automation.
With SkyBill, WilSon Energy can produce better bills for its clients than with the old billing system. It is now simple to create a single bill that covers not just multiple utilities (heat energy, cold water, cooling, electricity, etc.), but also any additional service charges that WilSon Energy’s clients levy. Another improvement is that SkyBill can present a mix of actual and estimated billing for different utility services on the same bill, whereas the legacy system would estimate the entire bill if just one service had missing readings.
Customer self-service improvements
SkyBill has significantly upgraded the functionality and user-friendliness of WilSon Energy’s client web portal. A particular benefit is that customers can now select the language of their choice when managing their bills. SkyBill has also improved the web portal’s ease of use, as well as how consumption and other data are presented for both postpaid and prepayment clients.
Business decisions based on analytics
The analytical information that the SkyBill system provides is helping WilSon Energy make better informed business decisions, such as predicting the trigger points at which new staff will be needed as more meter points come under management.
About WilSon Energy
WilSon Energy Limited is one of the UK’s leading providers of fully integrated Heating, Metering, Pre-Payment and Billing & Bureau Services for residential homes and commercial developments. www.wilsonenergy.co.uk