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Business Stream accelerates customer onboarding with RPA

Business Stream is one of the largest water retailers in the UK. It supplies non-domestic customers with water and waste water services across Scotland and England. In advance of the opening of the English retail water market in April 2017, Business Stream acquired Southern Water’s non-household customer base, doubling the size of its business. With increased competition and a changing regulatory landscape, the company turned to Capgemini to help enhance its onboarding process for large, multi-site customers.

The Situation

Business Stream realised that it had a significant opportunity for growth following the opening of the English market. It also recognised that to capitalise on this opportunity it needed to enhance its processes to ensure it could provide a seamless onboarding experience for its new, multi-site customers.

Realising that its existing systems involved a high level of manual interaction across many repetitive tasks, we recommended Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as the ideal solution to reduce costs and improve accuracy.

The Solution

RPA enables software to perform multiple tasks across different applications without reverting to human input. Working closely with Business Stream’s experts, we captured the end-to-end process and used that insight to iteratively develop, demonstrate, test and deploy the software robots. This enabled us to ensure that we were effectively replacing manual activity with autonomous systems.

The system was integrated with Salesforce, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, to store account opening data and track progress, starting when a customer tender is received. At this point the account management team creates a lead in Salesforce and the robot takes over.

The robot interprets the market data set and gathers the number of available Supply Point IDs and the type of services associated with them. This then enables the account management team to have an informed conversation with the customer to verify their site list, with the next robot triggered should the bid be converted to an opportunity.

This robot examines the market data again and creates a status report showing the completeness of the data required to open the account, highlighting what actions need to be taken. It also applies a red, amber or green status to each record, indicating what data or processes are still required to onboard the site.

Once the process is complete the onboarding team uploads the various additional data points required to open the account and the Salesforce status is updated to allow the final robot to open the account.

The Result

RPA greatly reduces the level of human interaction needed in the repetitive and time-consuming process of opening an account. This reduces errors and frees up staff to focus on areas where they can add value for customers. The account management team also benefits from rapid access to the information they need to have detailed conversations with potential customers. This helps to improve service levels and accelerates the time taken to identify and then convert an opportunity.

Management information is now more accurate and reporting more effective, with clear tracking of each account’s progress. With the robotics solution in place, Business Stream can now take over the operation and maintenance themselves, enabling them to refine and improve the system as their needs change.

“The use of Artificial Intelligence through RPA is ground-breaking and bold within the retail water sector. We are always looking to introduce new and innovative ways to deliver improvements for our customers and it was fantastic to be working with Capgemini on such an exciting project. We recognise the importance of providing all of our customers with a smooth onboarding experience and the introduction of RPA provides us with the right technology and tools to achieve this”.

Jo Mayes, Director of Customer Operations, Business Stream

“Our focus is on helping utilities companies exploit digital opportunities and this has been a fantastic project to be part of, really demonstrating the application of RPA in an area of the business that drives true value.  It has been a collaborative project from the outset, working alongside Business Stream’s process experts to understand and develop a solution that works for them.”

Chris Brannan, Principal, Utilities & Assets, at Capgemini

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