Background: The client started trading in 2011 and supplies electricity to commercial SME premises. Its business model was to install Smart Meters to all sites and have customers set up on direct debit. This it believed would ensure customers would have accurate reads, pay promptly and if necessary the supply could be remotely disconnected.
When It contacted ACS, it did not envisage a need for disconnection services and engaged ACS to provide a Trace + Collect service to recover debt on final billed accounts where there had been a change of tenancy and the customer had vacated leaving no forwarding address.
Field service requirements: Rapid growth of the company highlighted some unforeseen circumstances;
- Inability to arrange for installation of a smart meter
- Lack of signal from smart meter
- No team, process or resources in place to deal with Live debt
This led to an increasing debt burden for the company, which, along with the usual cash flow pressures experienced by high growth businesses, meant a solution needed to be found quickly.
Resource limited: The client could have created an in house disconnections department but they did not have the time to recruit and train the staff required and a spiralling head count wasn't the sort of growth they wanted.
ACS utility services: At the time utility services was a part of Advanced Collection Systems. ACS took over the management of Live debt under Its Collect + Disconnect service. The advantages to the client over contracting directly with a field services only company were real time management of their accounts without any additional staffing or resource burden and continuous cash collection activity from those accounts while the disconnection process was underway.
In the following 12 months ACS we managed over 4400 accounts for them and collected almost £2.0m cash while the disconnection process was underway, providing a much needed boost to their cash flow and giving them the time they needed to manage their growth.