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What will you get from an Energy Bureau?

Outsourcing doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  When we start to engage with clients regarding an energy Bureau service it is often the case that they know what is wanted, but are concerned about the journey.  Where will bills go?  Can I see them still?  What about Finance procedures?  Can I generate my reports?

These are all typical and reasonable worries, but ones that we tackle head on.  Our staff, fronted by Head of Operations Martin Theobald with more than 10 years of Bureau experience, work to ensure that the service you require is the service you receive.  So what may be the worries holding you back?

Will you find more savings than it costs?
Always an early question and also a relevant one.  We cannot guarantee that our Bureau service will recoup more savings than you pay us.  If anyone were to promise you this, you should be concerned.  Savings from suppliers are generated when a supplier invoices you incorrectly.  If suppliers are perfect, savings won’t be there.  However, in all of our collective years in the industry we haven’t found a perfect supplier. Over 60% of our clients in the last 12 months have seen savings recovered that outweigh the cost of their Bureau. Of the 40%, they have still seen significant validation savings made. However these are not the only savings …

How much time will I save?
There are two options when loading utility invoices; quickly and inaccurately or patiently and in detail. Moving invoicing to an electronic format rather than paper can save you time, but it doesn’t ‘close the loop’. Invoices still need to be checked for accuracy. The Energy Manager package has a wide range of validation tools to identify where invoices may have errors, but these still need to be checked through and queried with suppliers.

Our Bureau service handles this time consuming element on your behalf. We pick out the potential errors, raise with suppliers and handle through to closure with the aim of finding savings. We know this is the most arduous of the tasks when handling invoices and how to resource appropriately to handle it, both in skills and numbers. All the time that would have been tied up looking into billing errors is now free to undertake more advanced energy management tasks.

The energy Bureau will also provide your key reporting requirement each month directly to you. No more configuring reports and running them our staff will work out what your energy report needs are and provide the service on your behalf.

Over 60% of our clients in the last 12 months have seen savings recovered that outweigh the cost of their Bureau. Of the 40%, they have still seen significant validation savings made.

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Will my input still be needed?

There may be times we call upon your expertise.  If sites are suddenly consuming far higher than before or meter numbers have changed on an invoice, then we will need to contact yourselves to find out if there is a reason.  Conversely, when sites are sold or leased, we would need to know to ensure that billing stops at the correct time, to the correct reads.

However we will always try and keep this to a minimum.  The majority of queries can be handled in-house by our trained staff and the first you will know about them is when the savings come in!

What will I get in my inbox?

This one is always a balance.  We steer clear of offering to run 300 reports every month for you, as nobody realistically will benefit from this.  We want to deliver quality, not quantity.  Savings and query reports are always useful, to understand the work that we are putting in day-to-day, and then it is down to what you will benefit from.  One of the key benefits to Energy Manager over other products is the flexible reporting package.  By entrusting our Bureau to run your energy management reports, you are unlocking the knowledge of our staff who use the software every day.

If the reports that you require don’t presently exist in the software, or you would benefit from an amendment to current reports, then we can help with this.  What we deliver to you can be dictated by your requirements, although we are more than happy to make suggestions.  Equally, we are happy to be flexible as the contract progresses.  We realise that needs change, there are updates to legislation and organisation priorities can be amended; therefore we always ensure we are on the end of the phone and ready to change our deliverables when needed.

Can I retain some of the control?

Of course.  An energy Bureau is there to handle as much or as little as you want and we design our offerings to be as flexible as possible; we currently offer service provisions from only bill input and validation through to complete packages.

My Finance team are nervous – should they be?

In the words of Tom Jones, it’s not unusual.  Finance teams often work to strict procedures and timescales to ensure payments are made efficiently.  One of the popular services we offer in the energy Bureau is to create payment files from the Energy Manager system that are sent to the Finance team directly which fit straight into their own finance packages.  Simple, quick and secure, it reduces the amount of work from all parties and in many instances actually speeds up the payment process.

Can I see my data still?

Yes, in as much or as little details as you choose. We can give you full access to the data in a Read or Write capacity, as well as your colleagues. Alternatively, our Web Reports system offers a full view of the data with some high level reporting tools.

I have end users – will they be able to see the data still?

Not a problem.  As per the above, our Web Reports system offers a flexible online window to the Energy Manager package, utilising state of the art dashboards that your energy Bureau can configure on your behalf.  Site Managers, secretaries, facilities staff, pupils; they can all have their own logins to see how the energy is being consumed on your portfolio.

More questions?

Of course, there may be priorities that we haven’t answered within this.  If that’s the case, or you would like to know any more about our energy Bureau service, please contact the office on 01234 834650 or sales@systems-link.com

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