In the utilities sector, the meter-to-cash process is essential for revenue generation and efficient operations. It involves numerous intricate steps and systems. Meter-to-cash solutions have emerged as an indispensable tool for utility providers.
Selecting the right vendor for meter-to-cash solutions can be difficult since there is little information about them. This article provides contemporary solutions aimed at streamlining operations and improving revenue capture for utility providers.
|4.3/5.0 based on 63 reviews
|4.6/5.0 based on 75 reviews
|WNS Digital Meter to Cash Solutions
|4.6/5.0 based on 15 reviews
|4.4/5.0 based on 37 reviews
|4.0/5.0 based on 14 reviews
|4.0/5.0 based on 1 review
|Cogsdale Meter To Cash Management
* Gartner Peer Insights (GPI) was the review platform for our analysis since it was the platform where most of these vendors had a presence.
** Though Infosys’ numerous services & products were well represented in GPI, its offering for utilities was not represented.
How we chose these vendors
There is a positive correlation between the vendors’ revenue and the employee workforce. Thus, we focus on companies with 50+ employees on LinkedIn. We ranked them according to their employee size, except ActiveBatch and Redwood RunMyJobs; which are among the sponsors of AIMultiple.
Meter to Cash Solutions Analyzed
With ActiveBatch’s deployment across mixed IT environments, businesses can enhance operational effectiveness when adopting the platform. ActiveBatch provides a versatile, policy-guided structure that enables IT departments to propel digital change throughout the company. Through automating recurring tasks, the ActiveBatch workflow management tool grants IT units the capacity to record every action, modification, and event history, ensuring profound insight and holistic control across the organization.
Featuring instantaneous alerts for all connected workflows and systems, ActiveBatch is a unified dashboard, facilitating the observation and administration of automated operations throughout your combined digital landscape. ActiveBatch’s automation platform emphasizes security and spans the entire organization. Consequently, any modifications needed for jobs or plans tied to a user account can be made by just updating the user account object, eliminating the need for repeated changes to individual jobs or plans.
Utilities aiming to enhance their process automation have adopted Redwood RunMyJobs, which seamlessly integrates processes across all enterprise applications, minimizing risks in invoicing, billing, and financial management.
Redwood’s advanced cloud-based automation platform supersedes conventional automation found in ERP systems or standard RPA. Specifically tailored for comprehensive processes like meter-to-cash, RunMyJobs ensures a continuous ownership chain from meter reading to invoice delivery.
With RunMyJobs, utilities benefit from a unified process pathway that overrides existing segmented integrations. This eradicates the need for data cross-checks and manual adjustments. Moreover, Redwood minimizes human-related errors and business disruptions. This streamlines process management, guaranteeing consistent and precise billing.
FortisBC, Canada’s leading public utility provider, relies on Redwood for precise and timely billing to its vast customer base. By integrating Redwood, FortisBC unified over 65 different internal and external systems into one cohesive enterprise solution, ensuring seamless end-to-end data management. With Redwood RunMyJobs’ deployment at FortisBC, they generated and dispatched 50,000 accurate bills promptly.
WNS Digital Meter to Cash Solutions
WNS collaborates with utility companies to enhance the end-user experience in the meter-to-cash process, which spans from meter setup to cash collection. This enhancement is powered by digital technology and data analytics. Their inclusive Meter-to-Cash-as-a-Service (M2CaaS) solution allows utility businesses to heighten customer loyalty, cut down service costs, and increase profits, paving the way for a more flexible business structure.
The WNS has a team of over 4,000 industry professionals overseeing the customer experience, delivering results for more than 35 million residential and business customers. They do this using a thorough and digital-first utility dashboard that covers various channels.
Key Elements of WNS M2CaaS Offering:
- Digital meter-to-cash
- Amazon Alexa
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
- Smart collections powered by analytics
- Digital maturity benchmark
- Outcome-based finance and accounting, and procurement solutions
Infosys Utilities offers advice and solutions related to net metering, aiming to enhance the dependability and efficiency of power utility companies. They assist organizations in integrating data from both bidirectional and Time-Of-Use (TOU) meters that are paired with solar panels and wind turbine systems. This ensures precise records of electricity usage and the amount sent back to the power grid, promoting timely invoicing.
Figure 1: Infosys Utilities
Source: Infosys 1
Utilizing SDG services enables utility and energy providers to harness cutting-edge technology, giving them deeper insights into their customers via analytics. This results in more efficient business operations, subsequently cutting down operational expenses.
SDG presents the Meter-to-Cash solution, blending its prowess with a range of customer services, including account management, handling exceptions, collections, and data analysis. This system is crafted to reduce initial costs and deployment time, while ensuring adaptability to market shifts and regulatory modifications. It also integrates analytical services, such as debt and fraud analytics.
Utilihive’s integration platform as a service (iPaaS) presents a robust suite tailored for utilities to refine and manage every phase of operations, from smart meter data to billing. With a flexible and highly scalable integration framework, it supports instantaneous data synchronization and coordination from varied sources like smart meters, IoT devices, operational systems, and enterprise platforms.
The platform’s user-friendly interface and low-code setup allow businesses to craft and set intricate processes and regulations, making data translation and validation more streamlined.
Utilihive provides utilities and their partners with a comprehensive collection of a library of pre-configured integration applications, facilitating automation of the meter-to-cash process. This collection contains predefined integration flows tailored for popular smart metering and grid processes, which can be personalized using the Utilihive (F)Lowcode DSL.
Cogsdale’s Meter To Cash Management
Cogsdale’s Meter To Cash Management software enables utilities to accurately track consumption, generate and send out invoices, receive prompt payments from customers, and ensure reliable revenue acknowledgment. Cogsdale’s Meter to Cash Management tool aids Utility Service providers in obtaining instant data on consumption and billing, streamlining workflow processes, and converting intricate data into user-friendly insights for all team members.
What are meter-to-cash solutions?
Meter-to-cash is a comprehensive process encompassing meter reading, billing, payment collection, and revenue management. In essence, it represents the journey from the moment a utility is used to the point where the company receives payment for the service. This includes both hardware solutions like smart meters and software solutions that track meter usage from both smart and traditional usage measurement devices.
Benefits of Implementing Meter-to-Cash Solutions
1. Operational Efficiency
By automating the meter reading and billing processes, businesses can reduce human error, streamline operations, and ensure timely revenue collection.
2. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
Accurate billing and transparent processes lead to increased trust and satisfaction among customers.
3. Financial Insights
These solutions often come equipped with analytics tools, offering valuable insights into consumption patterns, revenue trends, and potential financial bottlenecks.
Selecting the Right Meter-to-Cash Solution for Your Business
1. Understand Your Needs
Before diving into the vendor selection, outline your specific needs. Do you require a solution that caters to a vast consumer base or a niche audience?
2. Scalability is Key
Your chosen solution should grow with your business. Ensure the system can handle an increase in workload as your customer base expands.
3. Security Considerations
With the rise of cyber threats, a secure meter-to-cash solution is non-negotiable. The software should adhere to industry standards and have regular security updates.
4. Integration Capabilities
The new system should seamlessly integrate with your current infrastructure, be it CRM tools, ERP systems, or other legacy software.
5. Vendor Reputation
Mistakes in meter to cash directly impact either revenues or customer satisfaction. Therefore robustness and maturity of the solution are critical.
What are the weaknesses of meter-to-cash solutions?
High Initial Costs
Implementing a full meter-to-cash solution, especially when introducing smart meters and AMI, can be very costly. The cost includes not only the technology itself but also training and potential infrastructure changes.
Technology Integration Challenges
Utilities often have legacy systems in place. Integrating new meter-to-cash solutions with these older systems can be complex and time-consuming, and may lead to data inconsistency issues.
Data Privacy and Security
With the digital transformation comes the risk of data breaches. Utilities have to invest significantly in cybersecurity measures to protect customer data and ensure compliance with regulations.
Complexity in Rate Structures
With advanced metering, utilities can implement more complex rate structures, such as time-of-use pricing. While this can be beneficial, it can also be confusing for customers and may lead to billing disputes.
Implementing new systems may lead to temporary disruptions in operations. If not managed well, this can result in billing errors and customer dissatisfaction.
Smart meters and AMI systems have maintenance needs. Over time, these systems can become obsolete, requiring upgrades or replacements.
Customers might resist the implementation of smart meters due to concerns about privacy, potential health risks, or simply resistance to change.
Dependence on Technology
In the event of system failures or technological glitches, billing, and cash collection could be significantly impacted, potentially affecting a utility’s revenue stream.
With the adoption of new technology, there is a need for skilled personnel to manage, maintain, and analyze the systems. Finding or training such personnel can be a challenge for many utilities.
Data Management and Analysis
With AMI and smart meters, utilities can access massive amounts of data. Efficiently managing and extracting meaningful insights from this data can be challenging.
In some regions, regulatory approval might be required to implement certain meter-to-cash solutions or to adjust rate structures. This can slow down the adoption process.
As utilities move towards more connected solutions, there’s an increased risk of physical infrastructure attacks or sabotage.
If you have further questions, reach us out
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