Commercial, Industrial  -  March 6, 2019 - By Tim Porter, Urjanet

Are You Still Manually Collecting Energy Data? Three Ways it Will Cost You

Surprisingly, despite the global explosion of cloud-based solutions and digital transformations across industries, many companies large and small are still relying on manual data entry to power their energy data collection programs. Having a team relegated to collecting and entering data no longer needs to be the standard, but sadly, many companies are sticking to this antiquated process. It’s a troubling reality that not only comes with shortcomings but also costs that can add up long before anyone puts their fingers on a keyboard. Today processing a single invoice manually involves at least seven distinct steps, and according to one of our recent studies, the average cost to process it is $12.01. So besides this, how else will entering data manually cost your organization?

  1. The Cost of Poor Data Quality—bad data quality can cost your company, or even your client’s company, millions of dollars. On average, the cost of bad data falls between 15 and 25 percent of revenue. These costs are attributed to errors during entry—such as missing data points or even entire bills—and what it costs to find and fix mistakes. On average, in-house data entry produces an error rate of roughly one percent. This error rate might be acceptable for the average consumer payer, but when it comes to utility bill data, the average bill can contain up to 120 data points, which means you’re looking at in the least, one error on every bill.
  2. The Cost of Delayed Information—utility data entry is a slow process and the cost of delayed or outdated information leads to missed opportunities on new revenue and new business growth. And, late fees. When bills fail to be delivered and processed in time, payments are missed and late fees are incurred. Even the process to avoid late fees are costly; a leading software provider used to spend tens of thousands of dollars a month on express mail fees to get its customer’s bills paid on time.
  3. The Cost of Misused Resources—running a team of staff dedicated entirely to energy data collection is expensive, not scalable and is unsustainable, especially as your business grows. The reality of data entry is that it is a tedious job and by the nature of it, can lead to lower employee satisfaction that will reflect in performance. Remember the cost of poor data quality due to entry errors? Furthermore, manual data entry keeps your team from higher value jobs such as data analysis, customer support, and strategic initiatives—all of which can bring more revenue to your organization. 

These costs underscore how the industry is long overdue for a step forward into the digital age when it comes to collecting and entering utility data. Modernizing starts with automation. Automating energy data collection, via a cloud-based platform, for example, boosts operational efficiency, drives cost savings, and empowers energy management professionals to focus on what they do best—maximizing energy efficiency and advancing innovation. By modernizing and digitizing the process, you’ll be able to reveal data and correlations that provide immediate and actionable insights, deliver a higher level of service to your customers, and scale your own business simultaneously.

 

Tim Porter, director of OEM & partner sales at Urjanet, has more than 20 years of experience in sales and business development, specializing in technology and software. In his current position, Tim serves as Urjanet's global OEM and partner sales director, managing a team responsible for building relationships with energy and sustainability partners and expanding Urjanet into international markets. Learn more about this subject in Urjanet’s latest ebook, “It’s Time to Modernize Energy Data,” or at https://urjanet.com

 

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