Nobody likes staring at loading screens. So we’re pleased to introduce even faster pricing! Zoom.
Supplier flat files – or pricing sheets – contain all the information needed for a broker to provide an electricity or gas price to their customer. These pricing sheets are updated by the suppliers as market forces create movements in wholesale energy prices. For some suppliers, this means a regular weekly release, plus irregular releases depending on dramatic movements in these underlying fundamentals.
The number of combinations of prices depends on a number of things – utility type, contract duration, contract start date, meter type, meter profile, the region in which the meter is located, the required end date…the list goes on. Add to this different pricing levels which vary depending on the commission applied to the price, restrictions on the end date of a contract or the duration of that contract and you can begin to see the potential minefield this creates.
At the extreme end of the spectrum, one particular supplier’s pricing file contains in excess of 120,000 combinations of available prices. At the other, they can contain as few as 50. On average, for each of our customers, our system will hold approximately 750,000 individual prices across all suppliers and both utility types, which are constantly changing on a day to day basis.
This is a huge number. And for every quote generated through UtilityClick, these quarter of a million prices are scoured depending on the variables mentioned above in order to find the rate which applies in each case. Once the rates have been found, we calculate contract cost, commissions and present this to the broker for comparison – et voila, out pops a friendly list of options for the end customer to choose from. Multiply this process by 100 quotes, and you’ve got an idea of the average task the system needs to perform every time a tender is generated.
But just because something’s difficult, doesn’t mean it isn’t achievable. Quoting efficiently and accurately is fundamental to the success of our customers, and we take this very seriously indeed. Despite its challenges, we think the automated process of quoting shouldn’t just be quick. It should be lightning fast.
So today, we’re delighted to say we’ve released optimised quoting code into our platform which utilises the power of the cloud infrastructure we have at our disposal. Our customers are hammering out the quotes and already enjoying much quicker price generation.
And that just makes us pleased as punch. You’re welcome!