Development Update - June 2022

We're especially excited about our June Dev Update. You'll see below that this month definitely falls into the 'less is more' category as we bring news of four particularly powerful additions.

The flagship of which has to be (drumroll please), Meter lookup for electric! With it, users of our software can now directly query crucial information from the MPAS database. It's been a long-term goal with an application process that took many many months and has taken considerable resources; so we're very proud to be able to offer it as a vital customer management tool.

Read on to hear more about this and three other fantastic releases in our June dev update...

Meter Lookup For Electric

You can now use this new service to search for information about every commercial electricity meter in the UK. In particular, it can offer three vital pieces of information. The Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN), the meter credentials (profile etc.) and the current supplier information.

Please contact your account manager for pricing details and to have the service switched on within your account.

Built for: PRO CRMBILL VALPORTAL (UK ONLY)

API Endpoints For All Exports

Have you ever needed your data to be automatically exported into a third-party service or even a custom-built application? With this latest feature release, you can.

This could be game-changing if you use your own custom reporting system or if you want to have data fed directly into a third-party management service like Salesforce. No cumbersome spreadsheet download/upload, just your data where you need it.

We'll be rolling this out upon request over the coming weeks. Don't yet have the API product enabled? Talk to your account manager about adding it to your subscription.

Built for: API

There's more...

We've also added the following two great features...

Individual User Settings

We've made some helpful modifications that will allow every user to change the way their account looks and functions (unless disabled by a Super Admin user). With it, users will be able to personalise settings such as pagination and optional features via the profile section. We'll be adding more options in the coming months!

Amend Quote Duration

Previously when pricing, our software only allowed the quote duration to be set whilst creating a brand new pricing request. We've now adapted the process so that within each matrix tender the user can select "Tender Tools > Update Tender Durations". Once the revised dates have been selected and saved, the resulting prices will reflect the newly-selected durations.

Built for: PRO CRMPRICED

Recycle Dead Leads By Campaign

We've added an option to our very useful 'Recycle Dead Leads' tool that will allow you to recycle any dead leads that are associated with a specific campaign.

Built for: PRO CRM

That’s it for this month.

Our software evolves at such an exciting rate so please feel free to get in touch to discuss any of the functionality we’ve added since you last saw it. We’ll be more than happy to arrange a demo to show you around!


Energy Reporting: 03 Carbon Reporting

  • Quickly and easily input a monthly snapshot of any company's carbon metric.
  • Present beautiful carbon reporting for each of your customers.
  • Show a quick snapshot of current carbon performance Vs. previous month.
  • Data is presented in a useful and actionable way.
  • Get month-on-month performance analysis
  • Smart metrics show normalised performance, no matter the growth of the company

More Reporting Drilldown

Goodbye Ugly Reporting

Hello Clarity! Welcome to reporting with a bit of “OH ME, OH MY!” Why are so many…

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Development Update - May 2022

You'll have seen that over the last 6 years, here at UtilityClick we have added many and varied types of useful features to our software. However, this last month has seen what promises to be the most important from a social and ecological standpoint.

We're all very proud and energised to be focusing on a new Carbon Reporting module that we hope will allow you to offer your customers a service that's above and beyond anything they've experienced before. Whatever your thoughts on climate change, it's clear that being more focussed on our environmental footprint has to be good for everyone, so developing a tool that has the potential to make such a difference is a real privilege.

Read on to hear more about this and the other bits and bobs as we look at the dev releases from May...

Carbon Reporting Module

This new module will allow you to record all carbon emissions generated by your customers and their staff. Using a variety of different emissions criteria you can report on elements such as energy usage, travel and accommodation. You can then present the results using our beautiful reporting suite.

This is a stage one release and we have many improvements planned over the coming months (including releasing it into the customer portal so your customers can add and track results themselves). For now, we'd like to invite volunteers to try this new module and feedback on their progress. Please contact your account manager if you'd like further information.

Other bits and bobs...

We've also added the following other bits and bobs...

Restrict Access to Cloud Documents

When uploading associated documents to a customer within the PRO CRM you can now select which user level has access to view. Useful if the contents of the document are confidential.

Built for: PRO CRM

Inactive Date For A Site

Within a customer site, you can now elect to set it as "Inactive" and record a corresponding date. This is solely for administration purposes and will not affect any associated meters or contracts.

Built for: PRO CRM

Recycle Dead Leads By Campaign

We've added an option to our very useful 'Recycle Dead Leads' tool that will allow you to recycle any dead leads that are associated with a specific campaign.

Built for: PRO CRM

Commissions Export Optimisation

Requesting exports of a considerable size can take time and in some extreme instances could cause the request to time out completely. We've optimised the SQL code so that exports from our Commissions module are now completed up to 5 times quicker.

Built for: PRO CRM

Additional Value Types for Bespoke Water Charges

When managing a bespoke water charge within the Procurement module you can now select from an additional two value types - 'Per day' and 'Percentage of annual spend'.

Built for: PRO CRM

LOA Reporting Functionality Added to Dashboards

Using the Customer Rankings dashboard, you can now view and filter customers by any LOA expiry date (and within any given date range). Useful when reporting against any upcoming expiries.

Built for: PRO CRM

Restrict Access to Activities

We've amended restrictions around the Activities module so that a non-super admin user can only see activities for which they are either the owner or had the activity assigned to them. E.g. They cannot see activities just because they are the Account Manager of the Customer.

Built for: PRO CRM

Days At Deal Status

We've added a new piece of information to the "Deal Status / Last Deal Status Change" column within the Pipeline module. You can now see how many days a deal has been sitting in its current stage. What's more, you can check the 'History' of any deal to review deal status changes, the date it was changed and who changed it.

Built for: PRO CRM

New "PAY ON RECEIPT - SPLITS" Payment Profile Added

We've developed a new payment profile for when you need to show forecast and actual commission information based on team splits. This is useful when you need the commission applied to the split amount, not the total contract amount.

Built for: PRO CRM

That’s it for this month.

Our software evolves at such an exciting rate so please feel free to get in touch to discuss any of the functionality we’ve added since you last saw it. We’ll be more than happy to arrange a demo to show you around!


Learning From Napster & Metallica

Further reading...

Development Update – June 2023

June marks the halfway point of the year and it's a good opportunity to look back at…

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Introducing Your Next Level PRO CRM

Keep reading to discover the top 5 features that our customers have cited as their…

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Development Update - April 2022

Easter came and went for the dev team and despite the on/off/on again nature of work over this period, the team still managed to maintain the rapid development pace that seems to be a theme for 2022.

Over the coming months and throughout this year, you'll see we'll be making many changes to the customer portal, both in terms of looks and functionality. We're already well into the design phase that will see a better UX experience for your customers and this month we've embarked on improving how your customers submit meter reads.

Elsewhere and on a more general level across all our systems, we've been continuing our focus on ensuring absolute security for you and your colleagues. To find out more about these and other bits and bobs, read on below:

Meter Reads Improvement

We've enhanced the Meters section of both the Customer Portal and PRO CRM. This recent update allows customers to add their own meter reads. This data is then visible within PRO CRM and can be validated through the BILL VAL product.

Built for: PRO CRMBILL VAL

Security Improvement: Restrict User Sessions

At UtilityClick we take your security extremely seriously and we're constantly pursuing areas where any potential improvements can be made to protect your data. We're adding yet another layer of security that restricts an account to one location at a time, so you can be certain that if you are logged in to UtilityClick, then no one else can be.

Other bits and bobs...

We've also added the following other bits and bobs...

Ability to manage supplier matrix pricing at user level

Previously it was possible to enable or disable a particular supplier's products to control which matrix pricing was returned when quoting. We've enhanced this feature so you can now enable/disable on a per-user basis. E.g. You could allow sub-broker access to your pricing and enable alternate products to which you use internally.

Built for: PRO CRM

Improved Search Functionality Within Activities

A few months back we made significant improvements to the search feature found within the Leads module. We've now developed a similar improvement within the Activities module. You can now search Activities by Meter Number, Site Address, Site Postcode as well as Customer Name.

Built for: PRO CRM

Support for Multiple Commission Rates

This is an optional feature that allows for different commission levels to be set for different meter rates. E.g. If you require a different commission set for meters with a varying day and night rate. This optional feature is only available when adding manual bespoke quotes and is available upon request.

Built for: PRO CRM

Re-assign tasks when changing lead generator or account manager

When amending a Customer/Lead's "Account Manager" or "Lead Generator" the system now displays a checkbox asking if you'd like to also transfer all open tasks to the new lead generator/account manager.

Built for: PRO CRM

Add Customer References to Vendor Agreements Export

When exporting Vendor Agreements to Excel, the Customer Reference is now included as an additional column.

Built for: PRO CRM

USA System Language Update For Dashboards

We've adapted our new dashboard suite so that it better reflects the region it's being accessed from. Specifically, when accessing from the USA, all general terminology has been updated so as to use a more familiar vernacular.

Built for: PRO CRM

That’s it for this month.

Our software evolves at such an exciting rate so please feel free to get in touch to discuss any of the functionality we’ve added since you last saw it. We’ll be more than happy to arrange a demo to show you around!


Development Update - March 2022

It's funny how certain themes seem to develop around a particular month. The theme for March has most certainly been one of security. It helps that one of our founding directors has been compulsively security-obsessed since day dot and it's something that is heavily ingrained into everyone within the team.

We've made great strides this month with our progress in offering 2-factor authentication on all accounts. Separate from this, we've continued our integration with Microsoft authentication services. Not only can you now force your users to ONLY use Microsoft credentials to access UtilityClick, but you'll also be able to use any associated Microsoft email account to send official system notifications.

Read on to hear more about this and the other bits and bobs as we look at the dev releases from March...

Multi-Factor Authentication

You'll soon be able to add an additional layer of security to your UtilityClick account (together with all user accounts) by switching on 2-Factor-Authentication. When applied, you will be sent a code to a preregistered mobile device that you will need to use along with your normal password. This feature will be rolled out over the coming weeks and we strongly recommend deploying it for added peace of mind.

Send System Emails With Your Microsoft Account

Email notifications sent from within the system can now be sent from a user's email address, instead of from your central company email address. When switched on, this feature will allow you to log in using your Microsoft credentials and then have notifications (such as tenders or LOAs) come directly from your email. Please contact your account manager to have this activated within your account.

Built for: PRO CRMPORTAL

Other bits and bobs...

We've also added the following other bits and bobs...

Force Microsoft Authentication On Your Account

We've been integrated with Microsoft authentication services for some time (allowing users to use their Microsoft 365 credentials as well as their UtilityClick one) but this recent update allows admin users to force ALL account users to only use their Microsoft credentials.

Built for: PRO CRMBILL VAL

The Ability To Edit Or Delete Activity Notes

We've overhauled the notes section within the Activities component. You can now edit or delete notes as you see fit. Note that only Super Admin users have the ability to edit or delete notes that were not created by them.

Built for: PRO CRM

Support for Multiple Commission Rates

This is an optional feature that allows for different commission levels to be set for different meter rates. E.g. If you require a different commission set for meters with a varying day and night rate. This optional feature is only available when adding manual bespoke quotes and is available upon request.

Built for: PRO CRM

Vendor Agreements Linked to Customer References

It was already possible for vendor agreements to be linked to Sites/Locations, Meters/Accounts, Contacts, and Contracts. This latest update now makes it possible to also link vendor agreements to Customer References.

Built for: PRO CRM

Quick Access to Supplier Products When Reviewing Quotes

We've added a handy link to quickly view supplier product details when reviewing quotes within the Procurement component. From the quote results screen, simply click "Go" and "View Product".

Built for: PRO CRM

Parent Company Added To Portfolio Export

Within the Analytics component, when exporting Portfolio data, we've added a new column where you can now see 'Parent Company' information.

Built for: PRO CRM

Multi-Select for Export Data

Previously, when exporting data through the Analytics module, you've been able to select precise singular criteria of which data to include. For example, you could export Accounts that were managed by one particular account manager but you were unable to select multiple managers (without exporting all the data at once). We've added multi-select fields to many of our data export screens, so you can now quickly select multiple configurations within each export.

Built for: PRO CRM

Total Cost and Total Annual Cost Added At Meter Level For Tender Export

When exporting tender information (via the Tenders - Export Data screen), the Total Cost and Total Annual Cost is now included within the export on a per meter basis.

Built for: PRO CRM

Checkbox Added To Skip Redirect After A Data Import

When importing data into the system, you're helpfully redirected to the upload results screen after each successful import. There are instances where it's preferable to stay within the data import screen post upload. As such, we've added a checkbox so you can choose whether to remain on the data import page or move on to review the results.

Built for: PRO CRM

That’s it for this month.

Our software evolves at such an exciting rate so please feel free to get in touch to discuss any of the functionality we’ve added since you last saw it. We’ll be more than happy to arrange a demo to show you around!


Bill Val 2.0 With Advanced Validation

William & Valerie (or Bill & Val for those just catching on) is the nickname for our latest fantastic product – BILL VAL. With it, you can upload batch data files directly from suppliers straight into our system.

Once uploaded our system systematically examines each entry to ensure it’s correct. Upon completion, results are broken down and summarised, enabling succinct reporting back to your customers.

Instant Imports

Raw format imports for EDI/XLS/CSV.

Beautiful Presentation

Analyse pass/fails in a clear, understandable format.

Custom Thresholds

Set your own pass tolerances at customer or global level.

The Best Reporting

Stop sending emails to your clients. Present all types of reports within your very own white-labelled customer portals.

Instant Usage Analysis

Import day Day+1 HH / AMR data straight from the Data Collector.

Customer Portal

Present data to your clients with ease. Allow them to submit meter reads for instant validation.

As an energy broker, you know that the world is changing and you need to offer your customers more than just ‘the best price’. You’ve seen the evolution in our sector; your customers now demand more than procurement only services.

For all of this functionality it’s not as much as you would think. And no other system offers more ‘value’ than our Bill Val product. Unlike other systems, we do not price per meter/invoice validation, which can become incredibly expensive. With BILL VAL by UtilityClick you pay one set monthly fee, no matter if you validate one thousand bills or one million.

Possibly! But we’re confident we’ve built a bill validation product that is better than anything that’s come before it. If there is a useful feature that doesn’t exist and is integral to your workflow, there’s a very good chance we’ll build it… And the good news is we build fast, really fast (take a look at our monthly updates from the development team to see how much we add, every single month).


Development Update - February 2022

There's been an undeniable air of excitement in the dev team this month. I can't recall a time when we've had so much R&D work in progress with so much potential to make a huge impact.

One project in particular will give you the option to 'boost' your dashboards. With it, you'll be able to create your very own graphs, tables and reports. For instance: Need to create a dashboard specific to Dan in Sales so he can see what's important in his pipeline? No problem.

The boost will also provide a new dashboard that monitors matrix pricing trends over a period of time. With it, you'll be able to see which suppliers are pricing competitively on various types of meters and when. We'll be in touch again about Dashboard Boosts but if you'd like to get in front of the queue, please contact us or your account manager to signify your interest.

Read on to hear what else we've been up to in the month of February...

Bill Val Thresholds

When validating bills for customers, it's quite often the case that a few pence difference between the 'expected' and 'actual' isn't of vital importance. We've added the ability to set a tolerance threshold of just how far out you'll allow the difference to be, before receiving an alert.

This tolerance can be set individually over almost any aspect of the bill. What's more, you can alter this tolerance on a per-customer basis, should you have certain customers that require more stringent validation than others.

Built for: BILL VAL

Other bits and bobs...

We've also added the following other bits and bobs...

Improved Customer & Lead Snapshot

You can get a quick overview of all the important bits by visiting the Snapshot section within Leads or Customers. We've now added the company number (EIN for the USA) to the Leads and Customers Snapshot screens.

Built for: PRO CRM

Search and Filter Cloud Documents

Within our PRO CRM you can upload any documents that would be useful to store against a lead or customer. We've now added the ability to search through these documents either through their description or by date.

Built for: PRO CRM

New Lost Contract Reasons

When marking a contract as "Lost" you can select from a handful of useful reasons why that contract was lost. We've added more selectable options here to give you a more detailed analysis when reporting.

Built for: PRO CRM

Speedier Detailed Export

Our PRO CRM allows you to export procurement data in varying degrees of complexity. We've made speed improvements to the most "Detailed Export" so it completes much faster.

Built for: PRO CRM

Bill Val UI

As an addition to the threshold work described above, we've improved the user interface of Bill Val reporting so you can now clearly see the actual vs expected difference as a percentage.

Built for: BILL VAL

Approx Commission with Opportunity Exports

Previously when performing a tender export, an "Approx Commission" value would only appear if one had been set manually by the user. However, when viewing a new tender directly within the system, a user is helpfully shown the "Approx Commission" value, even if one has not been set (by using the partner's default broker fee). The process has now been updated so that exports now marry the information provided when viewing an opportunity within the system.

Built for: PRO CRM

That’s it for this month.

Our software evolves at such an exciting rate so please feel free to get in touch to discuss any of the functionality we’ve added since you last saw it. We’ll be more than happy to arrange a demo to show you around!


Does Good Design Matter?

Precursor: In 2020 we wrote an article titled “Could A CRM Give You Pleasure?” which proved rather popular. We’ve also spent much of last year improving the UX of our software.

Does any of it really matter? Thankfully there have been numerous studies to answer this very question…

For example, in 2005 a group called The Design Council studied portfolios of companies that traded on the FTSE over the past 10 years. What they discovered was that the companies that put an emphasis on design outperformed the FTSE 100 index by 200%*.

More recently, in 2015 the National Endowment for the US Arts released a study that concluded that small businesses saw a 17.5% increase in average sales on improved goods and services when they invested in design**.
https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/NEAIndustrialDesignManufacturing-4.28.2017-rev.pdf

So let’s drill down into

Five reasons why design doesn't just matter for the energy sector, it's imperative:

Good design has the power to simplify the complex processes that you find in the energy sector.

If you were to create a piece of software that fulfilled every part of your job – that system would be complex to a point of chaos but good design can simplify it all into manageable chunks. If done right, the design can act as a translator, simplifying the complex language of your processes.

Good design can affect users emotions and can actually make your team happier.

It may seem trivial to focus on emotion when talking about software but companies are realising more and more that it’s possible to evoke a positive response from simple interactions, like a hover effect or a popup animation.

Firms such as Apple have built billion-dollar products around how good it can make a user feel, where everything is carefully crafted to give the user a positive experience.

A CRM is much like your phone. You’ll likely spend more time looking at it than you will your own family, so it’s only right that it should also invoke positivity for the user.

Good design can make your team more efficient

As humans, we have an inbuilt nature to take the perceived quickest route to a solution, especially if we’re unsure of the path ahead. When performing a complicated task, good design can provide useful tools precisely where and when they’re needed along a workflow. For instance, having an important button appear more prominent than other page elements can help guide users eyes on where they should go next.

Good design can help highlight your wins and losses

Presenting your data is all well and good but if its meaning is not clear, then it’s likely to be overlooked. This is even more apparent when reporting within the energy sector. Good design can help declutter and present important, actionable information whilst giving the option to drill down to the data that matters. Users can then focus clearly on the presented facts and adapt swiftly to the cause of their wins.

Good design can provide assurances of a high level of service.

If we hold two products side-by-side, we’ll invariably focus on the better-looking of the two. This is where the good design looks to assure us that “If they’ve spent this much effort perfecting how it looks, then the way it works must also be as equally well thought out”.

Although we know that doesn’t always hold true, it’s inbuilt within us and we still can’t help but use it as a base for commercial decisions. When providing completely re-brandable software like ours, it’s even more imperative that when your customers are using it, the way it looks matches the high level of service that you provide.

Summing It All Up

Investing in good design is superficial by its nature but the results will bleed into numerous positive areas, far and beyond aesthetics. Here at UtilityClick we care enormously about the software experiences our users will have, that’s why we invest so much in a design to convey that. We don’t believe any equivalent system can attest to that.

If you’d like to see how we’ve taken these 5 points above (and a few more) to transform our software, get in touch for a demo:

An interactive side-by-side of old Vs. new for our PRO CRM product.


Development Update - January 2022

And we're off! Despite the Christmas cobwebs, January in the dev team was just as busy as the months that preceded it. I think we were all thankful for the rest but also just as happy to be back with the team, planning the next 12 months of new features.

The new system redesign that we announced last month has taken much of our focus. We had many users requesting early access and we're happy to say that feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. As such, we're pleased to mark February 18th as the official date when all of our software will switch to the new design.

Read on to discover more about the new look as well as other bits and bobs.

Custom Branding With The New UI

As previously mentioned, the new design will be going live on all accounts very shortly (February 18th). Our final push has been to adapt the new look so that it works for any system that has custom branding set. If you utilise your own logo and colours within any of UtilityClick's software, then you'll also be able to experience a better UI come February 18th.

Other bits and bobs...

We've also added the following other bits and bobs...

Improvements to The Sales (Tables) Dashboard Reporting

Within the 'Booked Breakdown', 'Won Breakdown' and 'Lost Breakdown' Sales report, you can now drill down to which deals were bespoke and which were matrix.

Built for: PRO CRM

LOA Start/End Date Validation

Customers have reported that they occasionally forget to enter a correct start/end date on a system populated LOA. If turned on, this new feature will prompt users that both a start and end dates must be present before the upload can proceed.

Built for: PRO CRM

Speed improvements for Customer Imports

As part of our ongoing mission to speed up system-wide imports/exports - we've made improvements to ensure importing customer data is now more robust and completes much faster.

Built for: PRO CRM

New bespoke charge units added to Bill Val

We've made Bill Val even more comprehensive and added support to check for additional bespoke charge unit types (including £/meter/month).

Built for: BILL VAL

Activity Sub Types Are now filterable

We've extended the search facility within the Activities component, it's now possible to filter by Task, Type AND Sub Type.

Built for: PRO CRM

Bespoke Charges Summary

Multiple bespoke charges are commonplace in water procurement, because of this we've adapted all quoting results screens (including exports) to include a summary of all bespoke charges per quote.

Built for: PRO CRM

Bespoke Charges On Excel Imports

Users have been able to add bespoke charges to quotes and contracts for some time but now you can now add them when importing in bulk via an Excel file.

Built for: PRO CRM

That’s it for this month.

Our software evolves at such an exciting rate so please feel free to get in touch to discuss any of the functionality we’ve added since you last saw it. We’ll be more than happy to arrange a demo to show you around!