The Challenge of Digital Transformation
What it means to energy supply companies
Dr. Christiana Klingenberg, Solution & Product Manager, Uniserv GmbH
One of the current economic trends is described by the keyword "digital transformation". There is a lot to read about, but often there is no concrete indication of what is meant by the term "digital transformation". A straightforward and practice-oriented explanation would be, for example, that analogous business processes were converted into digital processes in the context of digital transformation. This explanation certainly does not cover all aspects, but can be explained with simple examples.
While a few years ago, consumers had to personally present themselves at public utilities, in order to conclude contracts for electricity and gas, this can now be done very easily via appropriate online portals. And even if one does not want to source electricity and gas from the local cities, today there are several comparison portals on the Internet, which facilitate the digital service and price search. Also the reading of the counting stations is now more and more automated. The fact that the door must be opened to an employee of the public utility is less and less frequent. Through new technologies, data collection and reading by radio are commonplace outside the building.
An industry in the process of changing customer flexibility
But what does this mean for the energy supply companies? On the one hand, it is the recognition that consumers are becoming increasingly self-sufficient and are increasingly demanding this independence. On the other hand, it may be the realization that IT is not yet optimally positioned for the future.
With the increasing independence of consumers, new "points of entry" are created, which means that new (customer) data are brought into the company in different ways.
Historically, the systems that hold consumer data or data related to consumers are not all interconnected via interfaces. As a result, an automatic synchronization is also missing if a data record is changed at one point. Thus, different systems are at a different update level. This can hinder service processes, e.g. a consumer needs help with his contracts, which he has completed online, but the CRM system does not yet have the current data. Then the service employee has to search for the appropriate data of the consumer in various applications. This search is (time-) consuming and error-prone, especially when looking for names, while hearing and typing errors creep in.
Effective Data Management: The potential of Customer Data
What is missing is the 360 ° view of the customer, which helps the employees to retrieve up-to-date information about the person and, if necessary, to respond to inquiries correctly. This requires a master data management solution for customer master data, which combines technologies, processes and services. By matching the customer data in your systems (data analysis), the identification of duplicates and the formation of Golden Records, you get the all-encompassing, clear and up-to-date view of the consumers.
Other advantages of a 360 ° view of the customers with synchronized systems are:
- (Other) non-commodities can be offered to consumers
- Due to the contract history, a contract with better conditions can be offered proactively, which increases the long-term customer loyalty
- Forecasts for the development of various business segments can be prepared by comprehensive analyzes of all consumer data
- Products can be advertised in concrete form or repelled if they are not profitable
This is just a small excerpt of the possibilities offered by the 360 ° view. A driver that will play a major role in digital transformation is the implementation of the Data Protection Principles (GDPR), which will enter into force in May 2018. The handling of personal data is regulated here very precisely. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in high fines.
It is important that processes and data all around the consumer are managed correctly. Because then these data become a real asset and the companies are fit for the requirements of the future.
Do you have questions?
Do you have any further questions, suggestions or would you like a personal consultation on the subject of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? We are at your disposal!