Welcome to the 3rd of our series of blogs to help you improve your ‘Order to Cash’ process in a practical way and reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on businesses.

Posted by Jenny Esau

Managing Director of Credit Management Group UK

Sun 25th, Oct

Welcome to the 3rd of our series of blogs to help you improve your ‘Order to Cash’ process in a practical way and reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on businesses.

See the previous blogs by clicking on the below links:

We continue to look at the elements that make up the Order to Cash to help you understand what areas of your business should be reviewed and strengthened and how to implement those improvements.

3. Dispute Resolution Management

When cash is tight, some companies look more proactively for excuses to delay payment. Therefore, a robust dispute resolution process is much more important in a recession.

Measuring and monitoring all disputed invoices will help you prevent the disputes happening in the first place, improved customer satisfaction and increased cashflow. We recommend you measure the following :

  • Reason for dispute– publish and circulate a list of approves disputes codes to ensure consistency in reporting.
  • Value– the value outstanding against any specific reason can assist with identifying underperforming areas of the business that need to be strengthened.
  • Volume– adds an extra dimension to dispute measuring. For example, you could have £200,000 against a dispute code but is only 1 dispute. Conversely you could have 1000 disputes on the same code of £200 each. Whilst the total value is the same, the dispute with 1000 separate disputes against the same code indicates that area of the business needs attention.
  • Time taken to resolve the dispute– measure from the date the dispute was reported as well as the invoice date. Improving average time taken to resolve disputes helps the customer relationship as well as cashflow.
  • Resolution Owner– measuring disputes against the department responsible for the dispute e.g. Billing, sales, logistics, can be beneficial in spotting departments that require further development.

Reporting KPI’s across the whole business can also add a competitive element to improving number of disputes and resolution time.  

We suggest you also measure reason codes on credit notes, this will help you to understand valid disputes against customer delaying tactics.

Noting customers with a high volume of disputes can assist identify areas of potential credit risk and should be fed into the Credit Risk Assessment process.  Assigning a proactive collection strategy to the identified customers can be worthwhile allowing the disputes to be identified and resolved before the payment is due. 

Communication with sales is key in resolving disputes and presenting a cohesive organisation to your customer. Have a process for sales to report disputes to credit control and vice versa. There is nothing worse than credit control pushing for payment for invoices the customer has already reported to sales as disputed.

What’s next?

Watch out for our next blog, “Legal action”

 To gain a deeper understanding of some of the areas mention in our blogs, we have some free factsheets and are offering a free Credit Reference Agency Report. Click here for more details

To find out more about our services, click on the relevant links below: 

  • Support service– From as little as £30 per month
  • Training– Low cost webinars and courses to help you improve cash Collection performance and how to use the Court’s Small Claims process. 
  • Outsourced collections– We become your virtual Credit Control department. All communication with your customers is carried out in your name
  • Debt Recovery– Speak to us about our contingency fee service
  • Consultancy– Review and strengthen your ‘Order to Cash’ process in a practical way and coach your staff to improve performance and cash flow.

Or just call us on 03332 413 203, email Contact@cmgroupuk.com

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Guest blog by CGI’s Pulina Abeywickrama, SME Senior Consultant | Agile Project Manager

Posted by CGI

Thu 15th, Oct

Guest blog by CGI’s Pulina Abeywickrama, SME Senior Consultant | Agile Project Manager

Having recently been part of the CGI team facilitating a design sprint on how to accelerate Net Zero at the NWG Innovation Festival, it was very clear to me how easy it can be for someone to feel bamboozled by the latest buzzwords, while trying to make sense of Net Zero, Target 2030, Target 2050, Carbon Neutral, Carbon Credit or Carbon Budget. On social media in particular, some talk about their plans to achieve Net Zero by 2030, whilst others are referring to being in line with Net Zero targets by 2050 or to becoming carbon negative by aiming to remove all carbon dioxide they have released into the atmosphere by 2050.

Whether you are just starting out on your Net Zero journey, or want to take your strategy to the next level, you may be wondering what all of this jargon really means.

Let’s start by acknowledging the June 2019 announcement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which states that “The UK has become the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050”. It also outlines that “The target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels”.

However, when it comes to defining ‘Net Zero’, there are different interpretations of what this means.  Let us clarify some of the key terms to gain a better understanding:

Net Zero

The Institute for Government, the leading think tank working to make government more effective, defines Net Zero as “achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere” and states two routes to achieving it: “reducing existing emissions and actively removing greenhouse gases”, where both must work in tandem.

Carbon Neutral

Carbon neutrality is about having a Net Zero balance between carbon emissions and carbon removal, often through carbon offsetting, or simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether by investing in approaches and technologies that don’t contribute to climate change in the first place, such as, reducing the need for energy by becoming more efficient, and sourcing energy from no-and-low carbon sources.  Carbon neutrality is one subset of Net Zero.

Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offsetting is the approach to compensate for carbon dioxide emissions.  Most companies do this by participating in schemes designed to make equivalent reductions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. At present, carbon offsetting is usually achieved through tree planting schemes or the purchase of carbon credit.

Carbon Credit

A generic term for any government-issued tradable certificate. Each permit allows an organisation to emit one tonne of CO2 or the mass of another greenhouse gas with a carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) equal to one tonne of carbon dioxide.  Organisations that don’t use their allocated permitted emissions can trade their certificates with companies that have exceed their allocation.  This can help to justify investment in approaches and technologies that don’t contribute to climate change in the first place.

Now, If you are a business leader, serious about your environmental and sustainability agenda and who doesn’t want to get caught off guard by soon to be announced legislation on NetZero, then read on, as you will need to consider all of the following:

Target 2030

As per the ‘Fifth carbon budget’ in 2016 , the UK government was aiming to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change by 57% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. However, there are new legally binding targets due to be released by the Committee on Climate Change (the UK’s independent climate advisory body) in December 2020.

NetZero Target 2050

The Climate Change Act 2008 committed the UK to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions relative to 1990 levels, to be achieved by 2050. In June 2019, secondary legislation was passed that extended that target to be “at least 100%”, making the UK the first major economy in the world to legislate for a Net Zero target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, under advice from the Committee on Climate Change. The new legislation is designed to keep the UK in line with the commitments it made as part of the Paris Agreement that came into force in November 2016, to keep global warming under 2 degrees.

Sixth Carbon Budget

The Sixth Carbon Budget , mandatory under the Climate Change Act, is due to be released by the Committee on Climate Change in December 2020 (delayed from September 2020). The release is expected to provide the government with advice on the volume of greenhouse gases the UK can emit during the period 2033-2037, as well as pave the way to the UK’s new NetZero emissions target in 2050.

Environment Bill 2020

In early August 2020, the UK government announced its plans to set out how it will use ambitious, legally binding targets under its landmark Environment Bill 2020 policy paper to combat the environmental and climate challenges we face.

These long-term targets are structured in such a way to be supported by interim targets to ensure that the UK stays on track whilst focusing on four priority areas: 1) air quality, 2) resource efficiency and waste reduction, 3) biodiversity and 4) water.

At this point you might ask, ‘why can’t I just pay someone to plant a few trees and call it a day?’

Well, delivering on today’s environment and sustainability agendas will need more than planting a few trees or buying Carbon Credits.

There are a range of actions you and your organisation can take immediately, to keep on top of the targets and legislation, like applying changes to key areas, such as energy usage, transportation, waste management, property management and encouragement of lifestyle change. But whatever you do, you need a clear plan to achieve Net Zero.

For more information about how to develop and implement your Net Zero strategy, get in touch now.

This is the first blog in the CGI Race to Net Zero series, look out for more.

For more information on this topic or CGI’s relationship with the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, please contact enquiry.uk@cgi.com quoting CGI/LCoC

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Welcome to the 2nd of our series of blogs to help you improve your ‘Order to Cash’ process in a practical way and reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on businesses.

Posted by Jenny Esau

Managing Director of Credit Management Group UK

Tue 13th, Oct

Welcome to the 2nd of our series of blogs to help you improve your ‘Order to Cash’ process in a practical way and reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on businesses.

To review our 1st blog in the series ‘Assessing Credit Risk’ click here

We continue to look at the elements that make up the Order to Cash process to help you understand what areas of your business should be reviewed and strengthened and how to implement those improvements.

  1. Collection strategies

As well as re-assessing risk, it is advisable to re-assess your collection strategies.

As mentioned in the Assessing Credit Risk stage, we recommend assigning a customer type to each of your sales ledger account. The customer types is based on risk and also how payment is collected. For example, you may have basic Customer Types model of:

  • High value– Collection strategy is more calls less emails
  • Low value– Collection strategy is more emails less calls
  • High Risk– Short timeline to suspending account and sending a Final Demand letter.

Don’t forget all new customers should be treated as High Risk until you build up payment history with them. 

Other Customer Types with different collection strategies might be:

  • Direct Debit customers
  • Sub-contract customers– construction industry specific, an application for payment is issued instead of a VAT invoice.
  • Government bodies– Generally more bureaucratic than business and may need additional steps in collection strategy to get invoice authorised.
  • Invoice portal customers – common in large retailers and other larger companies.

Contact details

Review all customer’s current contact details as they may have changed with many people working from home. Confirm the most up to date email address to send invoices, statements and reminders

Pro-active calls

Don’t be afraid to call a customer before the invoice is due. The tone of this call should be different to a collection call. It should be more of a ‘customer service’ call, confirming your customer has received the invoice and there are no disputes.

Payment plans

Many companies will have cash flow issues at the moment. If you want to consider agreeing a payment plan with your customer, here are a few guidelines:

  • Ring fence arrears and insist of payment of new invoices in full and strictly to payment terms
  • Confirm the value of each payment and dates payments should be received, cleared funds in your bank
  • Make it clear that any default on the agreement will result in the full amount outstanding becoming  immediately due for payment.
  •  Add interest to the outstanding amount and calculate over the term of the repayments.
  • Get your customer’s express agreement in writing to the terms of the payment plan, this creates leverage if they default on the agreement.

Lower value Accounts

Automate the collection process as much as possible. Investigate the opportunity of investing in software that will allow you to bulk email statements and reminders.

Direct Debit– offer a discount for payment by DD. This payment method is particularly useful for low value accounts, especially if your services are a similar monthly value.

Consider making DD mandatory for higher risk accounts, if you weigh up the collection time/ cost against the profit of those transactions you may well be making a loss, it may be prudent to refuse the business if your customer is unwilling to pay by DD.

Collection Sanctions

Credit sanctions should be built into your collection strategies. Some sanctions you may consider imposing on late paying customers are:

  • Suspend provision of goods/service – basically put your customer on ‘Stop’ until payment of the account has been brought up to date. This will reduce your potential risk to further bad debt.  Giving your customer notice of potential suspension is useful leverage. Make sure your terms and conditions give you the right to suspend service for non -payment or you may find you are in breach of contract.
    • For Construction contracts, there are specific steps you must follow when considering suspending the provision of service. Make sure you comply with these steps to prevent any damages being claimed against you by the main contractor.
  • Interest and compensation– you can charge interest and costs on all overdue debts. If you don’t have any mention of interest on late payment stipulated in your terms and conditions, you can rely on the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 and charge 8% above  base rate plus a fixed amount of ‘Compensation’. Informing your customer in advance that interest will be applied to their debt if you don’t receive payment by a specific date,  is useful leverage to encourage quick payment.
  • Withdrawal of credit terms- you may want to consider advising your customer that unless payment of the account is brought up to date and all future invoices paid on time, you will consider putting the account on a pro forma basis.
  • Letter Before action- see stage 4 for more details.

Just to mention, all communication with customers should be in a customer focused way and include sales when considering credit sanctions. Sales can often speak to their contact to put pressure on their finance department to get your debt paid more quickly.

What’s next?

Watch out for our next blog, “Dispute Resolution Management”

 To gain a deeper understanding of some of the areas mention in our blogs, we have some free factsheets and are offering a free Credit Reference Agency Report. Click here for more details

To find out more about our services, click on the relevant links below: 

  • Support service– From as little as £30 per month
  • Training– Low cost webinars and courses to help you improve cash Collection performance and how to use the Court’s Small Claims process. 
  • Outsourced collections– We become your virtual Credit Control department. All communication with your customers is carried out in your name
  • Debt Recovery– Speak to us about our contingency fee service
  • Consultancy– Review and strengthen your ‘Order to Cash’ process in a practical way and coach your staff to improve performance and cash flow.

Or just call us on 03332 413 203, email Contact@cmgroupukcom

Leave a comment

Guest blog by Alan Nunn – Communications Subject Matter Expert at CGI

Posted by CGI

Mon 27th, Jul

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been the subject of countless forecasts that predict exponential growth of devices and data generated. What has been missing is the “so what?” and real use cases showing how the technology will make a difference to businesses and citizens.

To quote some of the figures – Statista predicts that there will be over 25 Billion connected devices by 2025, IDC predicts more devices (41.6 Billion) and that these will generate 79.4 ZB of data. A Zettabyte (ZB) is a one followed by 21 zeroes, or a thousand million Terabytes to translate it into something we might actually have in our homes. A Grand View Research report predicts that the device management market will be worth $5.1 billion in 2025. That’s three reports with very big numbers in them, but let’s look at why these trends might be real now.

What will all these devices be doing for us? Most readers will own a health tracker of some sort – possibly a smart watch or fitness tracker. These are great examples of how we can gather data and use it to change our behaviour – get a bit more exercise, eat a bit less, lose some weight, get the resting heart rate down. In exchange for this data, the companies collecting it know a lot about us and can offer us relevant products related to our goals. This is the ecosystem in action. The devices are widely available, and range from very low-cost devices to highly complex accessories with capability on a par with mobile phones and prices to match. Most devices operate using a local connection to a phone, while a few have a direct mobile connection with a SIM card (or more likely e-SIM). Some rely on a specific wireless access network such as LoRa (a long range, low power wide-area network optimised for devices where long battery life is important).

Moving beyond our individual lives, local authorities are starting to experiment with IoT. Some are deploying parking sensors to know whether places are occupied or available. Some are deploying air quality sensors to be able to understand the impact of traffic and industry on the environment, which in turn has an impact on citizen health. Some are deploying “smart bins”. These typically rely on mobile networks, although some use dedicated IoT communications networks deployed in a local area to provide guaranteed coverage. For most city-based applications, mobile coverage is good enough today, and the operators are already addressing poor coverage areas. This means that in most cases the infrastructure is already in place to enable IoT deployment.

For some applications where very high data rates (e.g. Video Surveillance) or very low latency (e.g. autonomous vehicles) 5G rollout will be a key enabler, but that’s for another blog.

So what exactly is a “smart bin”? Companies have started putting sensors in bin lids which can detect the fill level, the tilt angle (has the bin fallen over, or was it pushed), and even temperature (did someone just set a fire in the bin?). Fill level enables the collection agency to know when to schedule emptying, rather than the usual weekly or two-weekly regular collection. This means that low-usage areas can go longer between collections, and high usage areas (shops, restaurants etc.) can be emptied more frequently. Overall this can reduce the number of bin-collection journeys and therefore the cost, and environmental impact.

These are just a couple of examples which we are working on in CGI, we have an extensive catalogue of other use cases ranging from agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. While a single use case may not be cost effective, bringing multiple use cases together gives an economy of scale by re-using the central data system and the communications infrastructure needed to collect data and send information out to consumers. If you want to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

For more information, email enquiry.uk@cgi.com and quote CGI/LCoC

 

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Guest blog by Graham Hainsworth – Director Consulting in CGI’s Water Sector Business

Posted by CGI

Mon 27th, Jul

Talk to anyone in the industry right now, and the message is the same: we need to be smarter with our water if we are to cope with future demand. Every day in the UK, over three billion litres of water is lost through leaks, and the average consumer uses about 150 litres of tap water a day. These levels are unsustainable and are part of what is pushing us to the brink of water shortages. Combined with drier weather, climate change and an increasing population, we face not having enough water to meet demand in just 25 years.

Water companies are our front line of defence against water wastage. In the latest Ofwat price review, water companies are committing to a reduction in leakage of 16 per cent by 2025. Reducing consumer water usage is high on the agenda, too: companies must find ways to cut average water use to 131 litres per person per day, a reduction of 13 per cent on today’s levels.

This battle to preserve the water supply demands smart thinking – and smart devices. At CGI, we are currently working on the beginning of smart home technology for water, exploring how the Internet of Things (IoT) can drive change. We believe smart sensors in homes can be broadened out to connect households all feeding data back to the water company to generate a view of what is happening in the network. This is big data in action. By applying analytics to the regularly collected raw sensor data, water companies will be able to identify anomalies from normal consumption and pressure patterns to pinpoint leaks in the network much faster than they can currently.

Consumers can benefit from this bigger picture, too, receiving information that puts their individual usage info in a broader context, perhaps even encouraging a sense of motivating competition. How would you respond to knowing you are using twenty per cent more water than other customers in your neighbourhood?

Project Barnacle is leading the way in making smart home technology for water a reality. Barnacle is a smart device able to detect water leaks and potential issues with the water supply before consumers are even aware there is a problem. In partnership with Northumbrian Water, CGI has put a working prototype of Barnacle into a live test environment, to achieve a proof of concept that will pave the way for full-scale development. This innovation is an excellent example of how smart technology can play an essential part in tackling one of the water industry’s hardest challenges.

The question we are continually asking ourselves at CGI is how can we innovatively work with water companies to enable the smart water revolution? And the answer? Well, the smart water trial is just the beginning. We see a future where smart technology in the home supports water conservation by consumers and water companies, helping us to manage precious water resources sustainably.

For more information, email enquiry.uk@cgi.com and quote CGI/LCoC

 

 

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As I’m leaning on the stand-up desk in my makeshift home office, that over the weeks has been turned into a video and podcast recording studio

Posted by Chris Dawson

Tue 19th, May

As I’m leaning on the stand-up desk in my makeshift home office, that over the weeks has been turned into a video and podcast recording studio, I begin to reminisce over my years in business, with aching legs wondering what is wrong with a sit down desk and why I always need a pee?

It’s the 11th May 2020, I’ve been here for nearly 8 weeks of lockdown, with fluffy overgrown hair and a scruffy beard, writing blogs, articles, recording videos, podcasts, presenting webinars and helping panicking sales teams across the world.

Exactly nine years ago, 11th May 2011 I was sat at a different desk; a dining table in my old house. I was registering 6th Door Ltd with Companies House, taking flight with my idea to help salespeople through the recession that was gripping the world.

As with all business ventures I had my critics, the naysayers, the risk averse commentators, quick with finding their problems to all my solutions. “It’ll never work” “you’re crazy” “terrible time to start a business”. But I had a clear goal in mind mixed with a belief that I could genuinely help people and a strong desire to take my destiny in my own hands. For anyone who is in business for themselves these feelings will be only too familiar.

The premise was simple. To change people’s outcome by changing the language they use – the vehicle to deliver this: Sales training.

I have a lifelong background in sales and helping salespeople, from my early days of door to door canvassing and running market stalls through to FTSE 100 companies and publishing. I know first-hand the power that every word you tell yourself and others has on achieving your goals and creating the reality that you experience. Our paradigm of the world is controlled by every communication we witness and everything we say to ourselves. The water cooler mood hoovers were never successful in sales offices, and the team members who started every proclamation with “the problem is” always had more problems than they had commission. If people can develop and change their inhibiting language and the words they express, they can rapidly change their outcome and their feelings and observations of what is around them. When they master using the right language with prospects and clients, they always get a more positive result.

So, through the recession I went, aware of what I was saying to myself and others. Every problem became a challenge, every “no but” became a “yes if”, and everyone who told me that I “can’t” was abruptly met with a “watch me!” After a time, my reputation grew along with my client base.

After the recession came Brexit. Another golden opportunity for the language of the nation to turn negative and the pity parties began breaking out. Again, I kept focus and upped my resolve to achieve my goals and control my language. I ignored criticism from anyone I would not turn to for advice and was fortunate enough to meet my now business partner in The Sales Dojo, Leon McCowan. In business the company you keep can make the difference to the company you are building and after 5 years flying solo, surrounding myself with positive, driven and fun people has definitely pushed me further.

I started 2020 full of optimism. I’m nine years on from that dining room table and I coach and train sales people from all four corners of the world. I’m a Fellow of the ISM, I teach sales skills at The University of Liverpool, I write blogs and magazine articles, create video content for YouTube, we’ve recently launched The Sales Dojo Podcast and our Sales Dojo events attract attention from around the globe. 6th Door Ltd delivers tailored sales training programmes to businesses from every sector imaginable and I’ve helped over 10,000 sales professionals hit their targets and earn their bonus. All by helping people learn to love language, play with the words they use and flip their mindset to one of possibility and gratitude.

Then, from nowhere, came a global pandemic – you could not write it! Businesses shut their doors, the economy nosedived, millions of workers furloughed or jobless and of course the unthinkable loss of life and grief.

Through this darkest of times an amazing thing has happened – people’s language has changed. Recently our paradigm of ‘key workers’ has shifted wildly – we cheer and clap for binmen, shop assistants, trolley pushers at supermarkets and of course our glorious NHS. The press and social media we consume have changed their language, and along with it we have changed our realties. What only a few months ago seemed impossible; working from home, not using public transport, becoming an NHS volunteer (over 1 million people signed up) and cheering and praising workers on the front line has had a seismic shift on our perceived reality, of our values and priorities. The world has changed but along with that so has the language we describe it with. Working parents are now home schoolers, we love a dog running in on a business video conference because ‘being real’ is now a sought-after commodity, and we refer to NHS workers as ‘heroes’. We ask our neighbours if they’re OK? And we really mean it. We say thank you to the guy on the till in Asda – and we really mean it. This attitude of gratitude and new vocabulary has changed how we feel about the world around us and our change in language will give us a positive change in outcome.

We will get through this, and when the tears have dried and the Nightingale hospitals have shut their doors for the final time it is how we communicate with each other that will pull us through. Let’s keep asking each other if we’re ok, let’s keep talking in “yes ifs” and not return to “the problem is”. Let’s continue referring to NHS staff as heroes and clapping the binmen, let’s make our “can’ts into cans” and our “dreams” into “plans”

Nine years on, a recession, Brexit and a global pandemic, what have I learnt about running a business? My advice (not that anyone wants advice) is be aware of your words because they become your reality, keep an eye on the company you keep because they become the company you run, along with our amazing NHS be the hero in your story and get a sit down desk.

Chris Dawson FISM

Director – 6th Door Ltd and The Sales Dojo

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While most businesses already have a comprehensive strategy in place for their electricity and gas consumption, water management is often overlooked.

Posted by Inspired Energy

Fri 13th, Mar

While most businesses already have a comprehensive strategy in place for their electricity and gas consumption, water management is often overlooked. And it’s easy to understand why - as a busy professional, your to-do-list is already overflowing - especially if you have a large portfolio to manage and regulatory reporting to contend with.

But if water optimisation isn’t on that to-do-list for 2020 then it needs to be and here’s why: 1 in 3 water bills contain errors, meaning you could be unknowingly overpaying. And these errors aren’t small mistakes – you could be owed thousands from historical billing errors.

How can I take back control of my water costs?

Of course, you could try to investigate your water charges yourself, but water billing is a complex matter and needs an expert eye. Your water bill is made up of a range of different elements and will vary depending on whether you’re metered or unmetered, with businesses paying a standing charge plus either a volumetric rate or a charge related to the value of your property. You might be billed for sewerage services for collecting and treating foul sewage, surface water drainage, highway drainage and trade effluent. Likewise, water retailers have different approaches to charging for surface water drainage and highway drainage. Without a thorough knowledge of the network with its complex water market and charges, you’re fighting a losing battle.  

Revenue recovery water audit

Carried out by qualified water engineers, our 5-step audit process will allow you to determine whether your charges are correct. Our team will carry out your audit without any cost to you or obligation – we just ask that you read the results of our report to see where we can save you money.

Step 1: Analysis

We start our audit by analysing your charges, costs, and consumption, starting with the last 12 months of your water bills. We investigate every single element of your water usage which has an associated cost. We also look at your consumption levels, benchmarking them against what we’d expect for your site(s). Once our desk analysis is complete, we’ll conduct an unobtrusive site survey to further validate our investigation.

 

 

 

Step 2: Site survey

Many of our clients come to us having already had their costs validated but without having had any targeted site visits. Without going to site, you simply cannot check that water charges are correct for complex and non-standard sites. A site visit allows for in-depth checks to be carried out to ensure your site infrastructure and network diagrams correlate with the audit findings. For example, most bills include a fixed standing charge based on the size of your water meter - without visiting the site and looking at your water meter, it’s not possible to ascertain whether you’ve been overpaying.

Step 3: The report

This is where it gets interesting - in your report, we’ll either give you the news that everything is in order, or we’ll provide details of where you’ve been charged incorrectly. As well as checking your charges, we’ll identify areas of excessive consumption. Where inefficiencies are identified, we’ll tell you what remedial action is required, together with the associated costs and the potential savings, so that you can make an informed decision on whether to move forward with our recommendations.

Steps 4 & 5: Implementation and recovery

If you do decide to go ahead with our recommendations, then we do all the hard work for you, putting together your case, contacting your supplier to correct your charges, and recovering any monies overpaid. You’ll receive a refund for any historic billing errors, as well as benefitting from the long-term cost savings of having your charges corrected by us. Where excessive consumption has been identified, our engineers will identify the cause and arrange for remedial action.

Put simply, we’ll ensure that your future charges are accurate and that they are as low as possible.

Our end to end water solution

Our water audit is the basis for any good water optimisation strategy, but there’s more you can do. You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and many of our clients use the funds recovered from our audit to invest in monitoring technology, helping them to better manage their water usage and spot leaks early. We can also support with bill validation and water procurement - using our industry knowledge to secure the best value contracts for your business, as well as advising on self-supply for larger consumers.

Previously, business customers had no choice if they were receiving poor service and being incorrectly charged by their water provider. However, since the opening of the water market in 2017, consumers have started to realise that they now have a choice. They can choose what is the right approach for their business. Using an independent water audit specialist can help you take back control and reduce your costs significantly.

For more information visit: https://inspired-water.co.uk.

Or call the partnerships team today on 01772 689250.

 

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Most business owners recognise the advantages of shopping around for the best energy deal, but without the time, resource and expertise to find the best tariff, it can be an almost impossible task.

Posted by Inspired Energy

Fri 13th, Mar

Most business owners recognise the advantages of shopping around for the best energy deal, but without the time, resource and expertise to find the best tariff, it can be an almost impossible task. Many small businesses have found that instead of trying to navigate the energy market themselves, it’s often better to work with an energy consultant, who already has a detailed knowledge of the marketplace.

Today’s competitive and complex energy markets have generated a host of energy consultancies all eager to help businesses find a good deal but choosing which one to use can be tricky. So, which essential qualities should you look for when selecting an energy consultancy for your business?

  1. Independent market expertise

Working with a good energy consultant should mean you’ll get an informed and unbiased comparison of the UK’s major suppliers. Look for an independent consultant who has good, long-standing relationships with a wide range of suppliers; this will make them best placed to find the optimum price for your energy.

  1. Quality service

Find a consultancy who gives you direct access to a dedicated account manager for complete consistency. They can help you secure the right contracts at the right time and stay in control of your budget.

  1. A transparent, jargon-free approach

The energy industry is full of jargon and endless acronyms - a good energy broker will understand the complexities of the industry, but they’ll understand that you don’t need to know it all.

If your consultant says anything you’re unsure of, make sure you feel comfortable enough to ask them about it, and remember there’s no such thing as a silly question. You need to be able to trust your adviser, so a transparent approach is crucial.

Established in 2000, Inspired Energy plc has grown to become one of the largest utility consultancies in the UK. Call us on 01772 689 250, email partnerships@inspiredenergy.co.uk or visit www.inspired-referral.co.uk

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As a busy business owner, you may feel there are not enough hours in the day to secure your next energy contract. You know you’ll get around to it, but when you’ll get around to it is another matter.

Posted by Inspired Energy

Fri 13th, Mar

As a busy business owner, you may feel there are not enough hours in the day to secure your next energy contract. You know you’ll get around to it, but when you’ll get around to it is another matter. But renewing your gas and electricity supply contracts is something you simply can’t afford to ignore. With rollover charges almost always being seriously poor value, early action is key to securing the best possible deal for your business. 

Lock in early to avoid overpaying

When renewing your energy contracts, suppliers will have you believe that you don’t need to do anything until your contract is almost up, often getting in touch with you to renew around 60 days before your end date. However, you can actually lock in your rates from around 12 months before, and the longer you leave it, the more likely you’ll drop into the variable rate. Plus, due to market increases, it’s in your best interests to get a quotation early in order to secure a lower unit rate. 

SMEs are missing out on price savings

The savings available when looking for a new energy contract can be substantial, so it’s essential to compare providers. While larger businesses tend to be savvy when it comes to finding price savings on their supply, many SMEs are put off from shopping around because the energy market is complex, time-consuming and at times frustrating for business owners. In fact, Ofgem report that over half of businesses have not engaged in the energy market for the past 12 months. *

Our energy experts can take the pressure off by searching the market for you. We work with the UK’s major energy suppliers - plus, because we have significant buying power, we can negotiate the best possible price. On average, we save SME clients around £500 on their renewal quotes.

 

Our experts will do the hard work for you. Get a quote today. Call 01772 689 250 or email partnerships@inspiredenergy.co.uk

www.inspired-referral.co.uk

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Water is often referred to as ‘the forgotten utility’. While many large businesses are clearly focussed on their comprehensive energy strategies, it seems many are yet to implement a strategy around managing their water usage.

Posted by Inspired Energy

Fri 13th, Mar

Water is often referred to as ‘the forgotten utility’. While many large businesses are clearly focussed on their comprehensive energy strategies, it seems many are yet to implement a strategy around managing their water usage.

Without a water management strategy, many businesses don’t realise when they have a leak or that they are wasting water unnecessarily.  A burst water pipe could easily lose 1,500 litres per hour, which could cost as much as £41,000 a year if left unidentified.  By adopting a good water management strategy whereby, you take a proactive approach to monitoring your water network, you could cut your water bills by as much as 30%.

Here are our top 3 water saving tips:

  1. Detect and stop leakages – leaks that go undetected can cost businesses thousands. Installing data loggers across your water network, will allow leaks to be identified and located quickly.  
  2. Fixing tariff errors – 1 in 3 water bills contain errors, meaning businesses could be unknowingly overpaying.  In a world of complex business water rate structures and ever-changing tariffs, it is more important than ever to check your bills are correct.
  3. Maximise procurement opportunities – only 13% of businesses have taken advantage of the open water market since it opened in 2017¹. Switching to a better deal or setting your businesses up as a self-supplier can bring unique benefits.

Our water experts have worked with a wide range of large businesses across all sectors, from retail to manufacturing and water intensive industries, uncovering millions of pounds of savings. 

It’s time to stop pouring your money down the drain.  Talk to our water experts to find out how our end-to-end water management solution can help you to take control of your water usage and keep your water bills low.

For sector-specific guides, or to register for our upcoming webinar on water optimisation, visit: https://inspired-water.co.uk.

Or call the partnerships team today on 01772 689250

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Successful Credit Management During a Pandemic – Part Three

Sun 25th, Oct

Welcome to the 3rd of our series of blogs to help you improve your ‘Order to Cash’ process in a practical way and reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on businesses.

Race to Net Zero Blog

Thu 15th, Oct

Guest blog by CGI’s Pulina Abeywickrama, SME Senior Consultant | Agile Project Manager

Successful Credit Management During a Pandemic – Part Two

Tue 13th, Oct

Welcome to the 2nd of our series of blogs to help you improve your ‘Order to Cash’ process in a practical way and reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on businesses.

Why now is the right time to take IoT seriously

Mon 27th, Jul

Guest blog by Alan Nunn – Communications Subject Matter Expert at CGI

How IoT can create a sustainable future for water

Mon 27th, Jul

Guest blog by Graham Hainsworth – Director Consulting in CGI’s Water Sector Business

Happy 9th Birthday 6th Door Ltd

Tue 19th, May

As I’m leaning on the stand-up desk in my makeshift home office, that over the weeks has been turned into a video and podcast recording studio

How to take back control of your water costs

Fri 13th, Mar

While most businesses already have a comprehensive strategy in place for their electricity and gas consumption, water management is often overlooked.

How to choose an energy consultancy

Fri 13th, Mar

Most business owners recognise the advantages of shopping around for the best energy deal, but without the time, resource and expertise to find the best tariff, it can be an almost impossible task.

Business energy: Don’t get caught out by rollover rates

Fri 13th, Mar

As a busy business owner, you may feel there are not enough hours in the day to secure your next energy contract. You know you’ll get around to it, but when you’ll get around to it is another matter.

Business water matters – Top 3 water saving tips

Fri 13th, Mar

Water is often referred to as ‘the forgotten utility’. While many large businesses are clearly focussed on their comprehensive energy strategies, it seems many are yet to implement a strategy around managing their water usage.