The organization has also seen strong benefits from Oracle Utilities customer care and billing. For starters, the centralized customer information system provides SSGC with a 360-degree customer view to cater to specific needs of all user departments. It also employs industry best practices to achieve efficiency, productivity, and quality in all operations, enabling SSGC to improve customer service while lowering the cost of doing business. For example, in the billing department the resolution time for a main line break went from 3 to 10 days down to 1 to 3 days, by minimizing the time it took to receive the complaint. Shifting gas service from one address to another dropped from 10 to 20 days down to 1 to 15 days. The time it took to stop gas service altogether dropped from 3 to 10 days down to 1 to 3 days. Commercial billing complaints, which used to take 13 hours to resolve, are now resolved in 3 hours.
SSGC has also been able to deploy sophisticated new call centers that can leverage the consolidated customer information, enabling real-time status tracking of all customer requests and resulting in prompt and timely information dissemination to customers, automated bill processing, and a reduction in billing errors and customer billing complaints. Due to more-efficient call receiving processes and having the right information available to SSGC employees during a customer interaction, SSGC was able to significantly reduce the time required for a number of customer services.
Another key benefit of the solution has been its extensive integration with SSGC’s Oracle E-Business Suite and other key business systems, enabling company managers to track, monitor, and report on business processes and fulfill internal and external reporting requirements. From an ROI perspective, the project has been extremely successful. SSGC has calculated that its payback period for the entire project has been a mere 95 days.
But it’s not just about increased customer service. It’s also about increasing business opportunities. Based on its success with its customer care and billing project, SSGC has leveraged its experience and business process leadership by forming a division that’s now bidding on multiple projects around the world, opening possibilities for dramatically increased revenues. The company is currently pursuing a number of new consulting opportunities. Oracle has recommended SSGC to its partners in the Middle East and other regions for customer care and billing and Oracle E-Business Suite projects. SSGC is advising another gas utility in Pakistan on Oracle Utilities customer care and billing and Oracle E-Business Suite, and it is implementing Oracle Financials, Oracle Purchasing, and Oracle Inventory Management for a leading group of hospitals in Pakistan. SSGC will integrate these modules with a state-of-the-art hospital management system for the same customer.
The Benefits of an Integrated ERP Solution An important component of SSGC’s success with its new systems has been the level of integration that comes from building on an integrated stack such as Oracle’s. Updated financial information is now readily available from a single system to support decisions throughout the company, an improvement over the previous mix of different systems spread across different departments. Use of best practices and Oracle’s integration modules has resulted in a significant decrease in data entry and errors.
“Integration is the highest benefit of implementing a strategic ERP solution,” says Zafar. “Our aim in implementing ERP is reducing data redundancy and redundant data entry. Whatever happens in one area has a ripple effect in other areas. Our new customer care and billing system has enormously improved the quality of transaction booking. All our Oracle modules are integrated with Oracle General Ledger, saving us time and a lot of manual data entry.”
One of the more important payback benefits from the new ERP solution is that it not only saves time and money on routine transactions, but it also freed up SSGC personnel to work across functions and develop many new skills. In addition, the new solution provides stronger compliance and accountability, because there’s a single source of data access throughout the company, and an audit trail is available for each transaction.
Achieving solid financial results doesn’t come from simply installing new software. It comes from knowing how to motivate employees to embrace change. Zafar and his team knew that good change management was critical to success for the project. As a result, the team took the time to understand the process of change, formulated a strategy for an efficient and effective transition, closely managed expectations, continuously communicated the benefits being achieved, proactively guided employees through the change process, and celebrated each success.