5 Feb 2002 – Npower, one of the UK’s largest retail energy companies, has introduced a new customer management application supplied by SPL WorldGroup, which will enable it to provide new gas and electricity customers with a single bill for both energy products.
SPL WorldGroup is a provider of customer management solutions to the global energy industry. SPL said Monday, it had achieved the implementation of the new system within a six-month period.
“As we looked at ways to compete in the deregulated market, it became clear that offering our customers additional products and services, including combined gas, electricity and telephone, was a critical first step to achieving competitive advantage,” said Philip Addis, director of Business Systems for npower. “People want to simplify their lives and if we can help with our part, thanks to SPL’s flexible and scaleable billing and customer management system, we will be in a better position to further strengthen our position in the UK energy market.”
As a result of the de-merger of National Power in 1998 and the integration of a number of subsequent acquisitions, Innogy, a UK FTSE Top 100 company, was formed. Innogy has been quick to exploit opportunities in the newly re-regulated UK market. It formed npower with a specific purpose of pursuing an aggressive vertical integration strategy that focuses on Commercial & Industrial (C&I) and residential retail markets. Npower supplies electricity to 7 million customers and also the second largest supplier of gas in the UK.
An independent big five consultancy, that worked with npower to help manage their transition to a competitive energy services company, recommended SPL’s customer management solution to meet this demanding commitment. In March 2000, SPL and npower began a three-month proof of concept project for its dual-billing functionality. Following that successful trial, npower selected the SPL WorldGroup software as their customer management platform on which a viable customer relationship management strategy could be built.
“Successful on time delivery, especially in such a short period as six months, is not something you associate with most customer management implementations,” said Addis. “However, SPL’s team was confident it could deliver and build on the company’s 100 percent success track record. We are thrilled with the business impact that the implementation has already had and are looking forward to rolling the project out to all of our customers.”
npower has expanded both through organic growth and the acquisition of four companies over the last 18 months. It was important for the company to develop a core customer management platform that was flexible enough to accommodate its changing product portfolio as well as scale to accommodate its rapidly expanding customer base.
“Our partnership with SPL has put us well on our way to driving down the cost of servicing each and every one of our customers as well as improving the way we service their very specific needs,” said Addis. “As we continue to provide added value service and products to the market, we are confident that the SPL solution will provide us with the right infrastructure to cope with the demands placed on our company within an increasingly competitive marketplace.”
Subsequent phases of the project ran through January 2002, bringing 500 000 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers on board and migrated the company’s current seven million retail customer base to the SPL product.
Ultimately, npower will provide all customers with combined electricity and gas bills and, at a later stage, the ability to receive their telephone charges on the same bill.