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Jan 9, 2023
For energy providers, time and resources to take on the major disruption rattling the industry sector are scarce. Intelligent automation offered by Natuvion Digital may help to automate standard processes by up to 90 percent.
The last twelve months have seen many areas of the German and European economy suffer from radical changes and uncertainties. Energy suppliers are particularly affected. A typical digital transformation requires high efforts - for example, to meet customer expectations and stay ahead of the competition. Furthermore, incidents caused by the energy crisis seriously disrupt the core business. There is a notable impact on procurement, purchasing, and customer delivery, and there is no end in sight. Constantly changing conditions in a global economy and the geo-political environment, such as the energy fee and gas price cap, make it even more difficult for energy suppliers to run and adapt processes and systems efficiently. In addition, prices are through the roof with out of control inflation forcing companies to consider workforce reduction. At the end of the day, the entire organization is not in the position to address the matter truly requiring immediate attention.
Energy suppliers are the specific target group of the solution portfolio that Natuvion Digital has created. Software solutions in the area of robotic process automation (RPA) are designed to ensure and improve agility and capabilities for crucial systems and processes. These digital assistants enable energy suppliers to automate and accelerate many standard processes. RPA allows for transformation of typical manual efforts into fully automated tasks, such as the switch to a different supplier or change to another pricing model, or the recording of meter readings. As a result, administration and system owners are relieved from non-value adding work load. The additional, free capacity can be spent on urgent needs, such as current measures to soften the impact of dramatic price jumps on consumers. As a secondary effect, automation can help to alleviate the shortage of qualified personnel, and that with very reasonable, relatively inexpensive investment.
Natuvion Digital supports energy providers in improving process efficiency with its intelligent RPA solutions, complemented by optional consulting services. Taking advantage of this offering would lead to significantly higher productivity, fewer errors and bottlenecks, and reduced process cost.
When using RPA, it is important that these solutions can be seamlessly and easily integrated into the existing system environment at an energy supplier. To achieve this, Natuvion Digital uses a private cloud infrastructure. Software and infrastructure are one aspect of the holistic approach for energy companies, and decentralized robotic solutions and services, directly accessible, complete the portfolio. This portfolio includes standardized robots (robot as a service), as well as specific, custom designed automation.
During the current challenging and uncertain times, energy suppliers are no different than other companies demonstrating reluctance when longer commitments for solutions are on the agenda. Future forecasts are too vague to be able to determine which solutions will still meet the requirements in the long term.
With RPA solutions by Natuvion Digital, this issue is virtually nonexistent. While little to no capital investment being required for IT platforms and licenses, or knowledge transfer, resources are eventually freed up through automation. Flexible payment models allow energy suppliers to individually scale as the situation demands.
For their various processes, many energy suppliers feel forced to rely on manual activities. Despite ongoing digitization, large tables and forms are common tools supplementing the core ERP system. Whether contract data, consumption readings or billing details, there are many cases where employees spend endless hours manually comparing data for completeness and consistency. Robotic software comes to the rescue.
The following is an example of the high level of efficiency that can be achieved with automation. The monthly billing of end customers and the posting of open items and receivables are the last but most important steps in an energy supplier's meter-to-cash process. The energy supplier receives thousands of customer deposits at the time of billing and these have to be booked against the corresponding customer contract accounts. The house banks provide account statements which are imported into the billing system and used to generate individual payment batches for posting. The system automatically creates deposit bookings with a large number of those being unclear of where they originate from. A large number of energy suppliers analyze manually every single payment to eventually book or reverse it.
Digital assistants, implemented using RPA solutions, import house bank statements into the billing system. When generating the payment batches, each individual deposit is analyzed in seconds. RPA is used for detection and cleansing of these before the payment batches are booked by the accounting system. Payments that cannot be clearly assigned are made available as so-called clarification cases. Digital assistants process each individual case and book these open items by leveraging history information, comparing invoice and contract data, or by amount matching. This automation solution may close up to 90 percent of clarification cases with time savings of up to 70 percent.
RPA solutions can be applied to many different business areas of an energy supplier, opening the door for huge potential of time savings through automation. With capturing and validating meter readings being just one of many typical scenarios, others include move-in and move-out of new and existing customers, market communication clarification cases, incoming invoice processing, customer credit payment, supplier switch, or submitting direct deposit mandates.
The advantages of automation go beyond routine tasks in core business areas at energy suppliers. Additionally, operations and the provisioning of systems vastly benefit from a high degree of automation. Free capacity is being used to accelerate digital transformation, especially to quickly adapt systems to new regulations or to execute carve-in and carve-out projects.
Do you think automation could simplify your day-to-day work? At the same time you still have doubts as to how to exactly implement intelligent automation?
In our booklet, we feature twelve specific use cases from the energy sector. These examples show you the results and optimization potential you can expect from the use of RPA.