As part of our new ‘meet the experts’ series, we introduce the people that have made Gentrack the utilities cleantech leader it is today. In this first instalment, we introduce our Risk and Profitability Operations Manager, Martin Stevens, who shares how he adds value by combining Gentrack software solutions with his extensive settlements expertise.
Martin and the team support Gentrack gas and electricity customers to drive profitability and manage cash flow risk. Their work supports healthy cash flow, enabling energy suppliers to take care of their customers along the energy journey and ultimately be more energy efficient.
Tell us about your role within Gentrack, what does it involve?
I’m the Risk and Profitability Operations Manager for Gentrack, and I oversee our Profitability and Risk Managed Services – which is technology agnostic and available to electricity and gas energy suppliers. I’ve been with the company for more than 10 years, and I’ve seen a lot of change and built a great deal of knowledge on the right way to manage settlements (and the impact the wrong way has on gross margin) in the decade I’ve worked for the business.
My role is hands-on with customers, analysing settlements data to identify and fix issues with over and under-payment. I give expert advice and support and am a direct point of contact so that there is always someone at the end of the phone, ready to help. I’m also responsible for the initial onboarding of customers, and then help them to maximise their cash flow and portfolio health as we work with them.
What makes Gentrack’s approach to customers different?
Our audience is the CFO, CEO and Head of Settlements at electricity and gas suppliers in the UK. We start by forecasting the specific added value we believe our services could deliver for the customer, based on their current challenge. We then report and deliver against it, to agreed SLAs.
To do this, we utilise our Assurance software solution, meaning that we can focus on the key problems or issues with processes and highlight any mismatches/misalignments between energy purchases and sales. We use our software solution to do a bottom-up analysis of the supplier’s portfolio and use the data to show what they have paid the industry and what they have charged their customers.
What impact does your job have on the customer?
Due to my experience, I have extensive knowledge that can help support all types of energy supplier businesses. Often businesses don’t know what they don’t know. Within electricity and gas, there are a vast number of processes and complex data, meaning there may understandably be areas where knowledge is missing – to understand the data, you need certain expertise, and that’s where I can help. I give advice and review the whole portfolio to find any issues that are hiding and recover value.
How do you help customers overcome challenges?
While a customer may have their own reporting and manage it well, it’s the bits that don’t sit in those areas that often drop off and don’t get any focus. A customer may not have time to manage the whole portfolio and so only looks at the largest accounts – when you go through the whole portfolio, the missing money can add up to millions of pounds of value. The highest value that we have recovered for a single site was £2m (I&C), which is not a small amount!
How does your role help add value for customers?
Well, one example is with customers who have overpaid system charges. Unless the energy supplier requests a refund, the value that has been overpaid would normally be written off – and if customers don’t know they have mispaid, they will not seek a refund. In the electricity market, if you don’t act to get that money back within 14 months, a supplier could be losing real money every day as it becomes unrecoverable.
We work with customers to get claims raised and successfully navigate through the complex processes, and we often find that customers could have paid hundreds of thousands of pounds more than what was expected.
What’s the best part of your job?
My expertise and our software solution gives us a unique view of a customers’ portfolio that can be hard to find with differing and complex data sets. It’s always very gratifying when I can identify an issue, see how it can be solved and then use that knowledge to stop the error occurring again. Sometimes, it’s as simple as two teams such as Finance and Settlements using different data and not knowing that they need to work more closely together. I am very proud of the work I do with the team to stop cash flow leakage and feel it’s a real benefit to energy and gas suppliers – we know how complex the energy industry is and what tight margins retailers are working to. It’s great to be able to help.
Find out more
Are you looking to understand your energy portfolio and ensure that you’re on track? Get in touch with Gentrack’s experts today. Contact us.