Change doesn’t come easy when established systems have been in place for long periods of time. A nationally recognized health care provider was experiencing invoice and billing issues with its existing utility suppliers. The real estate department was struggling to find a viable solution to streamline processes and get payments on time and into the financial cycle to the accounting department.
This company had a long standing relationship with Qube Global Software, their trusted lease administration provider for managing the residential style portfolio of leases. The lease administration department was requesting better in-house services for their tenants as part of the latest software upgrade.
The most significant problem was the extended turnaround time between utility usages and receiving invoices. Excel spread sheets and outdated delivery capabilities weren’t allowing for billing to be completed in a timely fashion. Furthermore, invoices for outdated delivery capabilities were no longer acceptable. The in-house systems were being challenged to do more with less as inefficiencies became apparent. The question of improving the management of utility meter readings to decrease billing delays was directed to the experts at Qube Global Software.
An internal review to expand usage of existing technology system becomes intriguing
The process of looking for improved methodologies within existing systems fell to the combined efforts of the corporate director of real estate services and Qube Global Software’s customer support team. The decision to look at alternative ways of raising invoices to tenants for the utility usage (Electrical Meter Reading) had already been made and approved. Because that portion of the process was labor intensive, the transition had stalled. The real estate team was in need of a solution that would enable the invoices to be raised, with comprehensive debt management and income analysis.
Other problems due to the shortage of staff existed: billing issues needed to be revisited as the outsourced service provider dealing with electricity billing was in arrears, and reimbursement for services was no longer done in a timely manner. There were data tracking issues when a tenant transferred from one apartment to another. With every new lease, if the mailing address was not updated, incorrect meter readings were generated with improper information. Subsequently, billing was sent to the wrong tenant, further delaying payments. The utility company would process the bill, and the hospitals needed to process the arrears and invoices. From energy out to delivery of fees in, the system was truly lagging.
A combined effort of utilization and implementation experts created levels of compromise with ground breaking enhancements and results
It seemed that Qube Global Software had the existing functionality to capture utility meter readings. From this point, the comprehensive accounts receivable module could bill and recover debt from the customer in a particular apartment unit. Links into third party software was created, allowing tenants and leases to be automatically generated. The interface made for improved efficiencies with tenant turnover and utility meter readings.
The solution overcame the hurdle caused by utility invoicing issues, going from the existing design to something more involved and detailed. The hospital was looking for consistency to improve the process of transition by customizing the existing billing statement. The billing was further streamlined via emailing of statements raised to the customer right from the billing process, eliminating the need for user intervention.
The first live invoice was delivered in the spring of 2013. The real estate team continues to master the system as modifications are established and implemented. With noticeable efficiency improvements, the hospitals have decreased estimated meter reading times, improved credit invoicing and improved monitoring of email ‘mail shots’.
Looking ahead, the internal teams continue to rely on Qube Global Software for guidance and support. Residents now receive invoices on time and submit payments within receipt of invoice, with the ultimate goal of payment closer to delivery improving every cycle.
Together, these business partners are exceeding expectations on a regular basis.