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Challenges and opportunities

Utility companies are confronted with continuous changes and need to react to those changes in an appropriate manner. Some examples:

Cost-efficiency:
All utility companies are facing efficiency-challenges and pressure to reduce costs.

  • From retail or supply point of view, this pressure is coming from several aspects, for example:
    • More customer-driven processes (sales & support) push supply companies to optimize cost and quality and shorten the response-time in their contacts with customers. This has an impact on both front-office and back-office processes.
    • Customers become more and more aware and assertive, pushing utilities to deliver high quality services and products  at competitive prices.
    • Competition is on the rise as more consumers generate their own power using ever more affordable alternative technologies.
  • From distribution point of view, other drivers can be indicated:
    • Investment requirements are increasing, pushing up costs as utilities replace aging infrastructure and enhance the capabilities of their systems.
    • Market and public pressure to reduce distribution costs, as they are a relevant part of the total energy-cost.

Liberated market: Atrias / MIG
By 2018, Atrias (the new Belgium Federal Central Clearing House) will go live with CMS (Central Message System), together with a new MIG (Message Implementation Guide) release.   This change will have a major impact on all Electricity and Gas utility companies, active in Belgium and will change quite some existing processes and business flows .

Changing legal requirements
Legal requirements are not always that stable in Belgium, and quite often complex – to say the least.  E.g. VAT changes in 2014 and 2015, ever changing region specific tax rules, changes in distribution and transport costs, etc…

New technologies
Customers want to interact with their utility company in new ways (web, social media, smart phones), and expect more and more new services (maintenance contracts, assurances, energy audits…) which are not directly linked to their core business of delivering gas, water and electricity.

 

UCON helps you tackle these challenges.  All utility companies face similar challenges: our consultants cope with these and the impact they have on your business.   They can propose best practices and facilitate the implementation of new processes that will help your company turn these challenges into opportunities.