Modern Automation for Utilities: How to Optimize Meter-to-Cash and Streamline Revenue Flow
As a modern utility, you face a growing number of challenges — rising consumer expectations, evolving technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, the always-growing complexities of regulatory compliance, and more. But meeting these challenges isn’t impossible. It just requires a commitment to evolve and incorporate the best automation solutions for your particular requirements.
Undertaking an automation initiative for utilities starts with mapping out its unique processes, specifically around meter-to-cash. By optimizing automation of this end-to-end process, utilities can drive revenue generation, increase cash flow, and lower operating costs.
Optimization of this multi-step process must account for smart meters as well as the new data streams they create. In addition, your plans must include legacy and cloud enterprise applications and containerized environments.
Although this is a resource-intensive project, the ROI you’ll gain from these strategic investments to streamline meter-to-cash processes justify the effort. Automating your meter-to-cash delivers multiple benefits, including upgrading billing and payment processes, minimizing billing errors, accelerating cash flow and enabling the business to boost profits through strategic purchasing.
And these benefits trickle throughout the organization and improve customer service, providing key competitive differentiation in highly commoditized markets. From a personnel perspective, your team can now spend less time babysitting billing processes and more time on engaging, high-value projects.
For modern utility companies, successful digital transformation has never been more critical. Between rising consumer expectations, opportunities provided by technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, and the always-growing complexities of regulatory compliance, utilities must evolve their processes or lose business to competitors that do.
Transformation is easier said than done. Utilities rely on refining meter-to-cash processes to drive revenue generation, increase cash flow, and lower operating costs. But, those processes typically include hundreds of steps and systems. Smart meters remove some of the manual effort involved in meter-to-cash, but also introduce new data streams that add to existing complexity. Add that data influx to the difficulties of integrating systems across legacy and cloud solutions and containerized environments, and it’s no surprise optimizing meter-to-cash processes continues to be a challenge.
While the change required may appear daunting, the ROI from strategic investments to streamline meter-to-cash processes justify the effort. Upgrading billing and payment processes minimizes billing errors, accelerates cash flow and enables the business to boost profits through strategic purchasing. Successful transformation efforts also improve customer service, providing key competitive differentiation in highly commoditized markets. From a staff perspective, resources are freed up to spend less time babysitting billing processes and more time on engaging, high-value projects.
How RunMyJobs is transforming automation for utilities
Utilities looking to improve their workload automation have implemented Redwood RunMyJobs to connect and coordinate every process across any enterprise application to mitigate risks in invoicing, billing, payment, and debt management processes.
Redwood’s unique, cloud-native automation and orchestration platform replaces outdated or limited automation, often found in ERP systems or traditional RPA. RunMyJobs is a comprehensive solution designed to handle end-to-end processes like meter-to-cash that create a chain of ownership from the time a meter is read to when the invoice is delivered.
When using RunMyJobs, utilities gain a single horizontal process flow that runs across existing vertical integrations, eliminating cross-referencing of data across systems and manual calculations and reconciliations. Redwood also eliminates the costly impact of human errors while minimizing business disruption. Now it’s easy to successfully manage and execute processes without interruptions, ensuring that billing is delivered consistently and accurately.
Modern utilities can expand automation beyond meter-to-cash
By implementing a comprehensive, cloud-based workload automation solution, utilities can take their automation beyond meter-to-cash. RunMyJobs empowers utilities to streamline business operations, monitor and visualize processes, and orchestrate processes across hybrid environments.
With Redwood, utility companies can seamlessly coordinate and integrate legacy operations, data, OS activity, and web API interactions to integrate with any system, application, and technology.
Leading utilities are using Redwood to streamline billing, improve customer service
Redwood works with some of the largest utilities around the world to automate their meter-to-cash process and improve their customer experience.
FortisBC, Canada’s largest public utility company, depends on Redwood to consistently deliver accurate bills to its millions of customers. With Redwood, FortisBC reconciled 65+ internal and external interfaces into a single enterprise solution, connecting and managing information flow end-to-end. The very first day Redwood RunMyJobs went live at FortisBC, they produced 50,000 bills, each accurate and sent out on time. Learn more about how Redwood worked with FortisBC to improve its billing and customer experience in this case study.
Anglian Water, a United Kingdom water service provider employing 5,000 people and producing 16,000 invoices every day, also turned to Redwood to modernize their meter-to-cash process. Before adopting Redwood, Anglian Water struggled with both monitoring issues in real time and attempts to mitigate the resulting operational errors — plus the high call center volume from unhappy customers.
Anglian Water selected RunMyJobs to solve these challenges, using the cloud-based solution to connect their processes and provide the visibility needed to improve operations. Redwood dashboards display real-time status of every business process, providing alerts and notifications if something goes wrong. A predictive SLA notifies Anglian of any errors before deadlines are missed, so they can be resolved before service is impacted. Anglian Water is now ranked number one in a regional evaluation of water service providers, a significant competitive advantage that netted them a financial reward. Read the complete case study.
FortisBC and Anglian Water used RunMyJobs to optimize their revenue flow, turning invoices into cash more quickly, effectively, and accurately. The results: greater cash flow, more market power, and better customer service. That’s the power of Redwood RunMyJobs.
About The Author
Darrell Maronde is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Redwood’s workload automation solutions. He has more than 15 years of product marketing experience with on-prem and SaaS software, including solutions for IT and operations.