Energy Retailer Uses ProArch's Dataware to Save Hundreds of Work Hours and Improve Data Quality
The company is a commercial and industrial electricity retailer that wanted to better harness data to improve their broker commission reporting process.
- Dataware Data Platform
- Data Analytics Consulting
A Resource-Draining Commission Broker Reporting Process
A large, energy retailer was expanding quickly. To support their growth and maintain their high levels of customer satisfaction, they needed to reengineer and scale up their commission broker reporting process.
At the time, it took multiple people two full weeks to prepare monthly broker commissions reports. That was because the commission structure and data were spread across multiple systems and their deal pipeline. To bring together all this information, the team would have to pull data from Salesforce, run reports, download information from the billing system, and refer to historical corrections from a financial perspective. Then they would calculate the commissions and send a report and email to each broker.
After all this work, the static reports were several weeks old. The finance team didn’t have access to real-time, relevant data, so they didn’t know how much commission was owed to whom until the reports were complete. The brokers themselves weren’t getting timely information about their commissions.
As the company grew, this arduous reporting process became exponentially more challenging. The company knew they needed a way to bring their data together and communicate electronically in one automated process to their brokers. That was when they turned to ProArch for help.
A Trusted Partner with the Right Expertise
Selecting ProArch to automate the commission broker reporting process was an easy choice. ProArch was already an established partner, providing IT infrastructure support and other services.
ProArch began the project by bringing together all the key stakeholders—including the head of data and analytics, the lead data analyst, the CEO, the manager of retail operations, and other teams—and the board who would be affected by the project. This helped ProArch to understand both the technology and business side of the challenge, which was crucial for delivering a solution that would work long term.
With everyone on board, ProArch rolled out our fully functional, ready-to-use, hardened, and secure modern cloud data platform: Dataware. Dataware applies Microsoft’s reference architecture and ProArch’s data methodology for building data solutions.
ProArch then completed a full implementation of the platform:
- Deploying Dataware, ProArch’s data platform, within a week
- Deploying Excel and Salesforce connectors and building custom connector for the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) System
- Applying a high level of security, including access restrictions, firewalls, and virtual networks
- Providing a level of operation logging and auditing and created a management portal
- Funneling 11 sources, including Salesforce
- Building the complex algorithms to calculate the commissions
- Integrating data between the billing system and the line of business system
Today, ProArch continues to provide ongoing upgrades to the platform, adding relevant products to their stack as the company changes.
A Solution That Benefits the Whole Business
All the solutions ProArch incorporated have become part of the client’s ordinary course of business—they don’t have to think about it! The data conversion solution enables their business, giving them access to historical information that allows them to quote the customer.
“We went from being a team that was there to fix a specific problem to an integral part of their future business plans,” says Murray Foxcroft, chief technology officer of data analytics and software development at ProArch. “That’s all due to the quality of Dataware and the flexibility of the platform. They have been able to use these solutions to make decisions to expand the business.”
Other benefits include the following:
- The automated commission broker reporting process runs daily, providing updated, real-time information.
- Hundreds of work hours are saved, and resources can be redeployed into more pressing tasks.
- Data quality has improved with issues in their backend systems exposed and fixed.
- Overhead costs are minimized.
- Accounting visibility has increased, and the finance team can be confident that the commissions are accurate.
- Customer satisfaction has increased, as brokers can now receive better and more timely service.
Stakeholders benefit, too, as they receive a daily commission report that is 100 percent up to date. With the risk of human error, the organization as a whole has greater insight into the business and their data. Raw data is now in a usable format that can be utilized by all areas of the business.
In the future, ProArch and the client plan to create an internal self-service portal and a customer insight portal that will allow customers to see their data online, accessing more of the data that the company holds.
In the meantime, a ProArch-dedicated delivery lead, data architect, and data engineer are overseeing the platform. They continue to increase data flowing through the platform and expand to more areas of the business.