Within minutes of receiving a brand new supplier product, we’re bang on the case.
For both Corporate and SME tenders, our customers collectively use an almost-comprehensive board of energy suppliers to provide pricing to the end user. After all, that’s how price competition has evolved; through a combination of large and small suppliers providing a mixture of benefits. Some offering incentive rates for Direct Debit payments, others a choice of products incorporating a base-load of green energy, and others focusing on high volume, lower cost deals to lure in the big fish.
Any SME broker worth his or her salt knows supplier products inside out. Advising clients on the pros and cons of a particular product given their circumstances, consumption profile, future site ambitions and a whole myriad of other factors is dependent on understanding how each product can benefit the consumer’s cause. A one-size-fits-all industry this is certainly not. And as we’ve discussed in previous UtilityInsights, it is evident that not only products and prices differ between suppliers, but the way these are presented in matrix / flat files.
Commission banding, min / max AQ thresholds, rates inclusive or exclusive of uplift, standing charge units, maximum validity on prices – the variance between every flat file on the market can be enormous; often subconsciously nudging the broker towards (or away from) a particularly supplier because of this added complexity.
Alongside the products we offer via subscription to TPIs, we develop in-house software to help service our customers. These wonderful tools, never seen by our broker subscribers, serve to improve the efficiency of which we process flat files, so they’re ready for use within minutes of receipt. In fact, one of our developers is specifically tasked to develop flat file processing and continually evolve these applications in order to deal with the increasing complexity we see in the sector.
We process flat files for every and any supplier in the market. 95% of the time, the files we receive can be intelligently parsed and checked by our back office application. But every so often, a new player comes to market, or a supplier releases a brand spanking new flat file format. Just this week, we received our first ever flat file from an emerging energy supplier – one which is relatively unknown to the general populous. Within minutes, our developer was on the case, making the necessary modifications to our flat file processing application to work seamlessly with this new product.
And hey presto – we now support another supplier. Vetted, tested and suitably scrutinised, new pricing files will now be processed within minutes, and made available to our customers at the touch of a button.
Incompatible flat files? Not a chance. We’re on the case and it’s all part of the service we provide.