Fast growth requires flexible IT, and a flexible partner.
Fast growth in these rapidly changing times requires a flexible IT environment that can handle the changes and even speed up supporting business processes. If your IT environment isn’t flexible enough to grow with you, it becomes an obstacle.
Rapid growth is certainly one way of describing a recent newcomer to the energy market such as Essent.be. As a start-up company, it didn’t only have to be able to connect and change gear faster than its competition to be able to grow; it also had to deal with changing legislation in the energy sector. Flexible organisation was essential for sustainable growth. You can only achieve this with flexible processes and a flexible IT architecture that make it possible to adapt processes to new situations very quickly.
Huge reduction in ‘cost to serve’
Essent.be had ambitious plans for growth when it entered the Belgian energy market in 2007, so a future-proof IT architecture was an absolute must from the very outset. Cnext helped Essent.be with its architecture so it could continue growing for years without having to modify its IT all the time. This proved vital, according to Koen Rousseau, IT Manager for Essent.be: “The solution that Cnext implemented for us, for tens of thousands of customers at the time, still runs without any problems even though we’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of customers now. This also means the application’s cost to serve has been massively reduced.”
As well as reducing the cost to serve, the average times for business processes have also been cut. The speed at which you approach, monitor and serve customers is often the difference between success and failure. The flexible IT platform allowed Cnext to speed up Essent.be’s processes, resulting in clear time savings. Koen Rousseau: “Our B2B sales can respond to quotation requests faster, which is an important advantage when trying to win new customers. And our B2C division can create and send invoices faster for less cost too.”
Improved invoice quality
As well as increasing the speed, the flexible infrastructure also has other benefits, clearly visible to the invoicing department in particular. It doesn’t just cost less to create and send invoices; they also contain fewer mistakes than before, significantly cutting the number of interventions required by the call centre. And it’s much easier to add a targeted marketing message on invoices now too, at the right time for the right audience.
Essent.be and Cnext opted for automation based on flexible middleware to allow fast modification and expansion. So far we’ve always been able to adapt to rapidly changing legislation and circumstances quickly. The environment will also help Essent.be deal with new challenges and opportunities in the future. Cnext is continuing to manage and maintain the middleware environment and helping to adapt existing processes and develop new ones.