Revolution in the billing process – PROMOS initiates an open platform for utilities cost management with SAP®

Invoices from energy suppliers and service providers, consumption data from the heating meter reading service and smart metering tools – all these sources flood the housing company with endless data, which needs to be carefully prepared for the annual operating cost statement. How do housing companies with digital utilities cost management stay in charge of their data? PROMOS knows the answer.

Billing operating and utility costs is one of the basic tasks in the context of real estate management. The housing company is inundated by huge quantities of data from supplier and waste disposal company invoices, consumption data from the meter reading company and data from the IoT, all of which needs to be processed carefully and yet also efficiently. The expenses for the labour-intensive main plant are not apportionable and must therefore be borne solely by the housing company itself. It is not without reason that the industry’s digital agenda increasingly focuses on utilities cost management and is looking for suitable solutions to get a grip on the flood of data. In addition to establishing efficient processes, the overall goal that unites all efforts primarily entails expanding services, for example in that housing companies are always able to provide information to tenants, saving costs and developing new business areas.

Digitisation provides companies with a good opportunity to rethink existing processes and make them more efficient, or to discover new business areas and digital services in which they could gain a foothold. This results in significant value creation potential for the housing companies, their partners and service companies. With the appropriate infrastructure, the data sovereignty over existing energy data opens up new possibilities for business options to integrate further actors in the housing and real estate industry. The challenge therefore entails networking companies, tenants, owners, partners and the existing technical equipment to form a digital ecosystem.

The easysquare cloud solution from PROMOS offers the perfect framework conditions for this and many companies have for years been successfully integrating it into their internal and cross-company processes – be it to support the handover processes during a change of tenant or to map audit-proof property inspections within the framework of legal safety obligations. The takeover of the accounting software EXAD, which has been established on the market for more than 20 years, and its technological transformation to the easysquare cloud now provide the comprehensive framework conditions for innovative and digital utilities cost management.

A holistic solution thanks to the sum of its modules – the all-in-one platform for your additional costs

With easysquare utilities cost management, PROMOS provides the housing business customer with an infrastructure for a digital billing process. The offer is scalable and gives customers the opportunity to implement their own digital agenda step by step in cooperation with existing partners, their own service companies and new service providers. Depending on the company’s individual requirements, the existing processing can initially be optimised via the individual function modules, which leads to increased transparency in processes and content.

Figure 1: The function modules in easysquare utilities cost management.

Version 2.0 of the Utilities Cockpit (NKPU), which has been proving its value for years, provides employees in the area of additional costs with an ideal, user-friendly tool for monitoring and managing the billing process in SAP®. From processing external billing results in a wide variety of formats (A/ML/BK/D/E record) to generating complete utility statement letters including all annexes to monitoring the respective billing status, the first module ensures that you will not miss any functionality in the leading ERP system.

The second function module comprises an easysquare dashboard, which can be used to connect existing service partners to the NKPU. The data logistics created in this way are the prerequisite for a digital and automated billing process and also offer the option of digitising all other processes between the company, its tenants, owners and also partners. In this way, master data and consumption information can be exchanged automatically during the course of the EED, as can orders, invoices or change of tenant reports. With the integration of further mobile easysquare solutions such as the tenant app, the craftsmen portal, quality management and solution for legal safety regulations or the professional app, all participants can be integrated into the digital ecosystem.

In the next expansion stage, the billing of consumption-based additional costs can be integrated into the company’s own infrastructure with the function module of easysquare consumption billing (EXAD). Thanks to the high level of ERP integration and cloud-based usage, it is possible to avoid system interruptions and define a barrier-free process. Thanks to the access to all data available in the billing area – be it master data, cost data, consumption data or meter data – maximum flexibility and transparency are achieved. In this way, the company can integrate the existing data into all desired internal and cross-company processes, evaluate it or simply make it available.

Companies aiming to perform the entire billing process themselves, including installing and reading meters, can use the fourth function module of easysquare device management for assembly, reading data and planning. Or, if preferred, they can link their own device management to the solution.

Informationstechnologie und Immobilien (IT&I) Ausgabe Nr. 33 / April 2022

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Thanks to the scalability of the modular range of solutions offered, it is possible to define hybrid billing models, in which several partners are integrated in parallel. Existing ERP interfaces are thus liberalised from the employee’s viewpoint in the area of utilities. During further processing in ERP, it makes no difference where the data ultimately comes from, and the administrators benefit from being able to concentrate on their own standardised procedure in the company.

Data sovereignty with easysquare

Mass processes such as billing utilities offer ideal tuning mechanisms for automating and digitising the workflows described in them and procedures for data exchange. Increasing the number of process steps that are carried out digitally increases the potential for cost saving. To round off our considerations, let us take a look at the legal obligations with regard to energy efficiency. In this respect, companies currently have the opportunity to initiate radical changes in order to achieve data sovereignty and, if necessary, even overcome the obstacles to self-billing. With easysquare utilities cost management, companies have the ideal foundations for implementing their own strategic goals and thus taking a big step in working through the digital agenda. As an innovative software specialist for real estate process optimisation for more than 20 years, PROMOS will continue to be your reliable contact partner for the tools you need to digitise your company.

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