"Hot Start" service makes sense out of customer spreadsheets

One of the key services Utility Management Services offers is the "Hot Start", in which we convert your current utility tracking system to the Utility Manager software.  We convert home-grown spreadsheets or databases, as well as other off-the-shelf tracking software.

One "Hot Start" we've recently completed involved converting nearly 200 spreadsheets developed by the customer.  As this customer found out, given the number of facilities and utility bills they wanted to track and analyze, spreadsheets quickly became the wrong tool for the job.  Here are some of the issues encountered in this customer's spreadsheets, which are often found in spreadsheets we convert:

  • inconsistent listing of sites, utility vendors, accounts, and meters;
  • inconsistent entry of usage and cost details from utility bills;
  • inconsistent entry of billing dates and service period dates;
  • entry of over 1,000 duplicate bills that spreadsheets can't prevent;
  • formulae that were incorrectly built so they mistakenly omitted charges or included the wrong data; and
  • very limited reporting and analysis capabilities, particularly for more than one site at a time or the whole organization.

The Utility Manager software is a database application that provides the needed horsepower to process and analyze larger numbers of bills, while at the same time ensuring consistency in how sites, vendors, accounts, meters, billing details, dates, and so on are entered.  Duplicate bills are automatically prevented by Utility Manager and the calculations are accurate.  Also, Utility Manager provides robust and powerful reporting and analysis capabilties... for just one site, any group of sites, or the whole organization with just a click of a button.

Converting this customer's set of nearly 200 separate spreadsheets to one unified, complete Utility Manager database will give them reporting tools and analysis capabilities they could only dream about when using spreadsheets. 

More info on Hot Starts

Submitted by umsken on Fri, 11/12/2010 - 14:54