There are many definitions for Revenue Assurance, but I prefer defining it as the use of data quality and process improvement methods to improve profits, revenues and cash flows.
Gone are the days whereby most of us thought that revenue assurance is only good and suitable for the Telecom industry. Today, with growing competition, increased cost of production/ business cost of operations, need for timely reporting to all business stakeholders among other factors, revenue assurance does not only carry a customer or consumer perspective as it is the case in the Telecom industry but also to business partners. In brief, it’s no longer B2C but rather B2B.
A week ago, I spent about 4 days without water at home. I then decided to call Dora; my NWSC customer relations officer and the conversation was as below;
ME: Hello madam, am I speaking to Dora of NWSC?
Dora: “Yes please, how may I help you, sir?”
ME: This is Mustapha; your client, I am calling to find out why I have spent 4 days without water at my home?
Dora: “We are sorry sir, but we have leakage on that water line in your area, our technical team is busy working on leakage in another territory, but they are likely to fix that soon. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
ME: So how soon will soon be?
Dora: “Like tomorrow”; she replied.
ME: All right, thanks. But keep me posted on the progress.
On the 4th day, the leakage was fixed and when Dora came to take the meter reading at the end of the month, I asked her a simple question, how does NWSC evaluate your performance as a commercial officer?
“We are given targets of how much money we must collect from the clients by the month-end, if one fails to hit the target, then he/she has failed to perform”; she responded.
This kept me wondering, could it be that most Government agencies that supply the public with utilities put more focus on Revenue collection neglecting Revenue assurance? – Maybe, maybe not!
To make you understand Revenue Assurance and Performance need using my experience as narrated above, I want you to imagine the NWSC long water pipe that carries water from the source to your home.
If this pipe developed some small holes through which water leaks, the corporation will lose some water thus a difference between the amount of water supplied and received.
Remember for this water loss, costs were incurred for its treatment, pumping it and then five days I spent without water, the corporation lost some revenues among other costs.
This, in one way or the other, will not only affect the consumer/customer but also other stakeholders. For instance, the profitability of the corporation will fall, employees in need of salary increments will find it difficult, some of the corporation’s plans will be put on hold for long, and generally affects the growth of the business.
So, there comes Revenue Assurance that gives you a detail about these holes which are responsible for revenue losses, performance gaps of technical staff to fix the leakages, and other gaps and flaws in the system that may expose your organization to revenue losses in a near-distant future.
- For instance; for NWSC case, if leakage occurred on the main water line and say it takes 6 hours without fixing it, how much in revenue terms will the corporation lose per hour?
- If a customer is billed say Ugx. 500,000 – 1 m a month takes 2days without water, how much will the corporation lose both in customer satisfaction and revenue terms per hour?
- In case a client reversed a reading meter for a certain period of time, how much will be lost in revenue terms before you consider that standardized fine you charge him as a penalty?
- Which of the branches has a high impact on the corporation’s revenue growth, what is its risk to such revenue leakages and how ready are you to mitigate them?
All these are questions you cannot answer based on opinion however experienced you may be. But these questions are key to inform your planning and decision making.
Are you a company or any other business that features large transactions, diversified products & services, and or complex processes? You need a methodology that focusses on top-line: Revenue rather than making decisions focused on the statement of profit or loss. Consider undertaking a Revenue Assurance, this is the only way to maximize your revenues through identifying and handling revenue leakages, performance gaps, and getting real-time status and trends of your organization.
Here is the good news, Summit Consulting Ltd under its domain summitBI and solutions helps you to design a Revenue Assurance and Performance model that is tailored to the nature of your business. The model avails support tools that are used to analyze, generate diagnostics, measure outcomes, develop timely reports and recommendations.
The biggest advantage of our model is that it saves you lots of money since it doesn’t require you to invest in buying a new system as it uses Advanced Excel tools and Data Analytics which you already have, and most of your staff have at least some knowledge about. All you need is to invest in the staff know-how of the model.
Also, since the staff is involved from the beginning in designing the model, it becomes easy for them to learn it easily and own it, this coupled with the team execution strategy of how the top management can work with downstream teams to come up with ways to save, utilize, and multiply growth of your organization makes it fantastic.
We are Summit Consulting ltd, improving the clients’ condition is ever our Goal.