What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Around 75% of our customer base is signed up to Methodia’s online portal, whether it’s by mobile or web. I think this is a success in itself, given that not every energy supplier in the UK has a customer portal or app. We’ve separated ourselves a bit from other competitors, and it’s given us a competitive edge.
We have 100 brokers pricing through us. It’s difficult to say how many more have signed up with us as a result of Methodia’s work, but, when we first started speaking to these brokers, we had very little to showcase in terms of system tools and the ability to manage their customers. Now, they have access to a broker portal where they can secure contracts themselves, and see how their customers are going to view their bills and raise queries. We have a great set of tools to sell gas energy to our network, whereas we had very little before. They’ve given us the ability to offer a package to the broker.
We’ve also had some good feedback from a customer point of view. Users can log into the system on behalf of their own users, and it’s easy to use and understand. They like the way their bills are presented, our reconciliation statements, and the way the system credits and debits itself. We’ve had good feedback from the industry about it, although we haven’t heard from individual customers.
How did Methodia perform from a project management standpoint?
Their project management team is clear and concise. Methodia creates project plans, see those through, and share reports on a weekly basis, to make sure we all understand what the goals are. If there’s a delay or problem, they’ll stay late and work hard to make sure we’re getting things done on time. They’ve been genuinely great from start to finish, especially our project manager. They understood everything we wanted them to do, and they came back to us when they had a question.
We built a real connection and trust very quickly. They weren’t scared to showcase their systems with demos, and there was a lot of videoconferencing to start with.
As we’ve grown the relationship, we’ve become more integrated with Methodia’s back-office
team. We flew out there in June 2018 to meet them. We were speaking to them every day, but we’d never met them face to face. We have a stronger relationship now because we’re dealing with 8–9 people from their team, not 1–2. They’re resolving issues with our system on a daily basis, so we need to speak to them every day. We’ve gotten to trust them more after meeting them, and we’ve given them more work as a result.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Methodia’s motto is “If you grow, I grow”, and we love it. We’re an aspiring business, and the idea that a supply-chain partner wants us to grow is really inspiring. The fact that they’re happy to work with us to get there gives us a lot more ambition and drive.
The teams themselves are great. They work hard, they work late, and they get everything done. They’ve made some mistakes, but they rectified them. The language barrier hasn’t been a problem.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Methodia is system-focused, and they can sometimes forget about the customer. For example, if the industry thinks we have to do it one way, that’s what they’ll suggest. It’s important for them to make sure they continue to listen to the end user, namely suppliers.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Clients should visit Methodia’s offices and meet their team, and get a level of trust in the team. It’s important to fully integrate with Methodia, and not just rely on Skype and phone calls. Meeting them face to face and realizing there are people behind the names will make for a better relationship.
It’s also important to review the terms and conditions properly before shaking hands. Methodia will honor those terms, and we haven’t had any issues in this area. I suggest clients demo the systems offered by Methodia and make sure they understand what’s in the vanilla package.