Benchmarking the billing function


For three years now, the GBA has been conducting an annual benchmarking survey amongst its biller members. So far, this has been focused on the telecoms market. However, as deregulation begins to bite and competitive advantage, either through operational excellence or through diversifying service offerings, is of ever-increasing importance, so the need to be able to measure billing processes via an independent third party becomes more attractive.

The benchmarking survey measures eight key parts of the billing process, from order entry and data capture, the most common reasons that bills are inaccurate, through to vendor response times, billing efficiency and ultimately to payment handling, collections and fraud.

For several months now, the GBA has been working to convert this telecoms benchmarking work into a framework that is suitable for the energy utilities world. As part of this effort, the beginnings of a methodology is emerging that will produce an independent, standardised way of measuring the Cost to Serve.

This model will be developed further over the coming months. As in the telecoms industry, the work and areas to be measured will be driven by the Billers’ Club.

As part of the initiative to constantly improve the value that the GBA brings to its members, it is in the process of establishing relationships with information providers, consultancies and subject matter experts in the fields of revenue assurance and CRM. With this in mind, an extension to the benchmarking project that will emerge in the near future is a CRM focus, and one that allows companies to measure how effective the links and interfaces (both technical and business) are between billing and CRM.

Ultimately, as the GBA continues to develop the benchmarking models, the opportunities to measure billing processes not only against peers and competitors within the same industry, but across different industries and regions will emerge. This is where the real value will lie.
If you are interested in helping develop this model and methodology, please contact Alex Leslie at the GBA –