An Energy Bureau is something that can bring multiple benefits to an organisation – having the bills handled by an outsourced office, taking away the responsibility of querying invoices, having energy & finance reporting completed on your behalf. Often clients find that once the system is in place and fully integrated to their own ways of working, the work carries on in the background with little to no input required from themselves. But what is it that makes an organisation start the process of an outsourced Bureau? What are the signs that an Energy Bureau would benefit your organisation?
1. Staff changes and departmental growth
Often energy data is handled by either an organisation’s energy specialist, or a member of a finance team. Their responsibilities will often involve the handling of the utility invoices and keeping an eye on the overall costs. When that member of staff moves on or the team dynamics change, gaps in knowledge and processes can appear. We find that customers often look to fill that gap with outsourced specialist knowledge to complete the job – and due to the scaleability of using outsourced services can identify savings in the process. An Energy Bureau team is dedicated to taking care of your contract, regardless of holiday allowance and absence at your organisation, your utility bill validation processes will not stop.
2. Portfolio changes
Similar to the above, when an organisation starts to grow the work can become too much for individuals. Often their time may be better used implementing energy saving projects or in other areas of their jobs, and the processing of invoices and chasing of suppliers becomes a hindrance. This is where an outsourced Energy Bureau can assist in taking away the time consuming elements of utility invoices. In the past year we have seen Police Authorities merge, London Boroughs join forces to manage their energy management and housing authorities putting up new properties, these are portfolios growing faster than sometimes they an feasibly be managed accurately.
3. Priorities & Focus
Simply put, utility bills are time consuming – from the time to enter them to the checking of the accuracy of your suppliers. Often we see that customers simply have to look at getting the expertise to complete the work themselves. Are there are things you’d rather be doing? Or rather your time was able to dedicate more time to? Are there tasks which have taken a backseat for way too long that you’d really like to tackle?
4. Missing bills/data quality
It is easy to let issues with supplier management mount up. These will typically manifest themselves in a high number of missing bills, more late payment notices, periods of bills missing. All of these issues can cause problems with your current supplier, and also when looking to change supplier in the future.
5. Legislative demands
With more legislation being imposed on organisation of varying sizes, it becomes more imperative to keep on top of an organisations liabilities. By having the data handled it can free up time to make sure the legislation is handled
Are you using the most effective methods of gathering, processing and checking your data? An Energy Bureau can bring new energy management software options to your attention. Supporting the way you can access your data, create reports. There could be quicker and simpler ways of you getting the information you need than the current method you are using.
7. Managing supplier relationships
Managing multiple utility supplies and commodities per property can be a tricky task for any energy management or financial team to executive effectively. If you don’t have staff with the skill set or bandwidth to maintain these relationships, it’s wise to allow an expert to step in. A good outsourced Energy Bureau will take over the portfolio management process, following through with meter readers and site moves keeping the database and suppliers fully up to speed with changes.
8. Money and savings
By not effectively managing your utility bill validation, you could be missing out on savings and recoveries which an Energy Bureau has the time and expertise to make. Do you really know how much and where you are making overpayments at this point in time? When was the last time you looked back at your multi commodity bills and identified overpayments through metering discrepancies or waste?
An Energy Bureau can accommodate your unique needs, from your portfolio structure and size, you can choose which elements to outsource and the length of your contract with the Energy Bureau. It could be that you need a short term, or long term solution to cover a period of leave, or a restructure.
The decision to outsource to an Energy Bureau can seem like a large financial commitment, but we find that the savings will often exceed the annual cost. Organisations that use our bill validation service recover an average five times more in savings than the cost of the service.
If any of this sounds familiar to your organisation, you may want to consider your options around having your utility handling outsourced. Find out more about the TEAM Energy Bureau Service.