Development Update - June 2021

June has most definitely been a 'SPEED' month here on the dev team.

We love these tasks - they're not necessarily about adding a new feature but finding creative ways to make a process quicker.

When looking to subscribe to a new software package, primarily you're looking to see if it does A, B or C. However the often-forgotten element is: How quickly can it do A, B or C? If your software is slow, it not only adds time to a task, but breaks your rhythm too.

Read on to learn how we've engaged the afterburners for our users by adding bulk management tools and adapted the way our system exports data.

Speedier Data Exports

If you have a lot of data loaded then system exports can take a long time to be ready. We've rewritten each module using pure SQL code, which means requested exports will now complete much faster.

Built for: UKUSA

Bulk Reassigning Customers

We realise the unnecessary admin required if you need to make wholesale changes to a customer. We've now made it super easy for you to bulk reassign customers based on changes to your team.

Built for: UKUSA

Other bits and bobs...

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

"Business Type" added to Data Export

A new column has been added to Sales Export to help differentiate between Custom/Bespoke and Matrix opportunities.

Built for: UKUSA

New "Lost" Status

When managing your Pipeline and selecting a deal status of "Lost Contract" - a new "Duplicate" option can now be selected for "Reason for Loss".

Built for: UKUSA

Scottish Power Pricing Zones Updated

We fixed an issue with Scottish Power pricing where gas quotes needed amending depending on Zone Type.

Built for: UK

Verbal Script Commission Warning

We've added an optional feature when generating a verbal script. You can now prefix a script with an additional disclaimer, explaining the process of adding a commission rate to any deal.

Built for: UKUSA

"Referral Partner" field added to Customer template

When bulk uploading customers you can now include a "Referral Partner" that will subsequently be shown within the system. Download the latest customer template from your Admin area to use.

Built for: UKUSA

MAKE SITES / METERS INACTIVE WHEN CUSTOMER IS MADE INACTIVE

Currently, making a customer inactive does not automatically make associated meters inactive. This optional feature will ensure that any sites and meters associated with an inactive customer are also set to inactive.

Built for: UKUSA

Non-UC Admins Can Delete Failed Imports

User levels below Admin are now able to remove any failed data imports.

Built for: UKUSA

Improved Referral Partner Export

We've sped up your workflow by allowing the month and year fields to be left blank when running a "Referral Commissions" export. If left blank all available data will be exported.

Built for: UKUSA

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 - May 2021

The month of May has been a bitty one in the dev team.

New feature ideas come from all sources. As you might imagine, most are spawned from our customers but many are generated by staff and some are simply dictated by industry change.

The priority of each feature idea can vary for numerous reasons but two common traits considered are "How long will it take to develop?" vs. "How many customers will it help?".

As mentioned, for one reason or another, this month it's the 'bitty' features that have taken our priority. They're relatively quick to develop compared to the showstoppers but when combined, you have a set of new features that will hopefully help the many.

Read on to find out more about each of these features.

Supplier Pricing Participation

You can now mark whether a Supplier will be participating within a tender/custom pricing request. Suppliers can also update the flag within their portals. Ideal for keeping on top of who will be quoting on pricing day.

Built for: UKUSASupplierLinks

Parent/Child Pipeline UI

We've updated the system interface to make it much easier to review your Parent/Child portfolios. You can now use a collapsible grid to easily view all child contracts linked to a single parent contract.

Built for: UKUSASupplierLinks

Show rates in dollars rather than cents

We've listened based on your feedback and updated the system accordingly. Rates in the USA system can now be shown in dollars as well as cents.

Built for: USA

Other bits and bobs...

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

System Export enhancements

Numerous columns have been added to data export across the entire system, providing a more detailed level of reporting.

Built for: UKUSA

History Logging - Leads and Contracts

History logging within Leads and Contracts have been improved to help you monitor even more changes with your data.

Built for: UKUSA

Business Type added to Contracts, Tenders & Sales Exports

Business Type has been added to Contracts, Tenders & Sales Export reports.

Built for: UKUSA

User Type access applied to Employee Payments section

Based on customer feedback, we have added User-Level access to the Employee Payment section of the system.

Built for: UKUSA

Option To Exclude Completed Activities from Activities Export

A tick box has been added to the Activities Export page to allow you to exclude completed activities from the report.

Built for: UKUSA

Suppliers with no relationships excluded from matrix pricing

We have amended the system to only show by default matrix pricing for suppliers that are marked as No Relationship within the supplier section.

Built for: UKUSA

Other field added to Supplier Contacts

A new field called Other has been added to Supplier Contacts so that you can also add contacts that don't fit into our pre-set categories.

Built for: UKUSA

Bug fix - changing meter/account usage

We have fixed a bug that was causing an error screen when changing usage figures within a tender/custom pricing request

Built for: UKUSA

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 - April 2021

It's been another busy month for the dev team. Although (in the UK at least), we've had a lot of national and school holidays (Easter), we've by no means slowed our usually high-paced release schedule.

The phrase "Time and tide wait for no man" comes to mind... but it should really be rewritten to "Time, new features and tide wait for no man".

Here are a few of the items that have taken the bulk of the team's time this month, together with a brief description:

Employee Payment Terms

We've added a brand new feature as an enhancement to our Commissions module. You can now create your employee payment profiles. The system will then report to you the monthly payments due to your internal agents!

Monthly Usage Tool

When switched on it will allow you to store monthly usage interval data you hold for the meter in question, feeding into your commissions. Simply locate the relevant file, upload and let the UtilityClick system do the rest.

We've completed the US phase of this feature. Next month we plan to begin the implementation process on the UK system.

Other bits and bobs...

It's never just about the big projects. We've also added the following other bits and bobs...

HH MATRIX LOOKUP ADJUSTMENTS

The system has been enhanced to return the appropriate Available Capacity rate based on kVA banding levels.

CLICK-TO-DIAL TOOLTIP UPDATE

The click-to-dial tooltip has been updated to show the phone number for the appropriate contact for those TPIs not using the dialler integrator software.

LEAD EXPORT OPTIMISATION

Exporting lead data from the system for our TPIs who have lots of leads was taking a while. We've optimised the export now to reduce waiting times for accessing the report.

NEW ACTIVITY TYPE

We've added "Tender Refresh" to our list of Tender Activity Types. Ideal when your customer doesn't sign down the first time around!

ACTIVITY EXPORT IMPROVEMENT

The time that an activity is created/due/completed has now been added to the activity export report.

CUSTOMER PORTAL UPDATE

The product name for quotes/contracts has been added to the customer portal to help your end-user customers on tender day.

"NO ACCESS" USERS

These are users who can be added for internal purposes but do not increase the cost of subscription.

SPEED INCREASE FOR TENDER CREATION

We've made speed improvements to the creation of major tenders - with bigger optimisations on the way soon!

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!


A Secret Track - UtilityClick Jukebox

Marvin Gaye

I Heard It Through The Pipeline

Dolly Parton

KPI Will Always Love You

Guns N' Roses

Sweet Parent/Child Tender Of Mine

Jackie Wilson

Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Supplier And Supplier

Stevie Wonder

Signed, Sealed And Set A Renewal Notice For 24 Months

We don’t just create innovative music features, we also make great software to help procure energy. If you would like to see a demo of our system and understand more about how we can help you dance to a better beat – feel free to get in touch, we’d be happy to show you around.

Further reading...

A Super Hero Customer Portal For Suppliers

Suppliers - It's time to do more for your customers. Upgrade what you do with a SUPER…

Read More

A Super Hero Customer Portal for Brokers

TPIs - You do a lot for your customers. Showcase it all with a SUPER HERO CUSTOMER…

Read More


A Gift Guide For Energy Brokers

A White Vest

As worn by John McClane in Die Hard

It’s Christmas so it’s time to dispense with the formal and get comfortable. Give them a sleek white vest to relax in. All the better if they accidentally spill some red cranberry sauce down the front.

They’ll be so impressed they’ll be sure to say:

"Yippee-Ki-Yay M..."

World's Best Cup of Coffee

As championed by Buddy in Elf

We know what it’s like, the kids will have you awake long before the sun comes up, eager to open those presents. So give that special broker the helpful wakeup they’ll need with the world’s best cup of coffee.

One sip and they'll be saying:

"You did it! Congratulations! Great job everybody... It's great to meet you"

A Gangster Movie on VHS

As watched by Kevin in Home Alone

Everyone loves a good gangster flick so grab them a classic oldie and cuddle up on the sofa with some popcorn.

Just make sure you choose a good one, otherwise they’ll be saying:

"I'm gonna give you to the count of 10, to get your ugly, yella, no-good keister off my property..."

Keep the change, ya filthy animal!

Further reading...

Development Update – June 2022

We're especially excited about our June Dev Update. You'll see that this month…

Read More

Energy Reporting: 03 Carbon Reporting

Energy brokers, you know it's more important than ever to provide additional value to…

Read More


Introducing The Swiss Army CRM

UtilityClick has reached a rather considerable milestone. We’ve now developed well over 100 optional add-ons for our PRO CRM.

That's a good question! When a customer talks to us about using our services, 99 times out of 100 the response is:

"Your system is great but we have this one slightly quirky thing we absolutely need it to do - could you build it?"

Check out a few of the 100+ optional add-ons that you could enable in your account:

Climate Change Levy Toggle

Include CCL as default into your cost proposals.

Sales Pack Requirement

Force your agents to complete Sales Packs prior to accepting quotes.

Team Filters

With a click of a dropdown, you can filter your data by Teams as well as Agents.

Meter Status Automation

Meters are automatically marked as inactive once a site is marked as inactive.

Bulk Issue Terminations

Add a button to speed up the process for multiple contracts in Pipeline.

And that barely scratches the surface...

We understand that your business is different from any other. You shouldn’t have to adapt your systems to rigid software. You simply need software that fits your workflow.

Interested in seeing how UtilityClick can fit your workflow? Watch our latest advert for a brief summary of UtilityClick, then check out our core features to see what it can do out of the box.

If there’s anything you think you’ll need that’s missing: Get in touch for a demo. Chances are we’ve already built it and it can be enabled for your business as one of our ever-growing optional add-ons.


Could a CRM give you pleasure?

I’m going to hazard a guess – you, the reader, have once felt some kind of strong emotional response while:

  • Watching a movie
  • Listening to a piece of music
  • Gazing at a work of art

…but probably never while online, confirming the purchase for your favourite detergent?

Let's take a step back for a moment...

Apple

Whether you love or hate their products, there's no denying their success.

Their ginormous resurgence over the last couple of decades hasn’t come from creating the best hardware but by how it makes a user feel.

Case in point – A common question hurled at Apple customers might be:

"Why would you pay $3,000 for something that would only cost $1,000 for the PC powered equivalent; you absolute buffoon!?"

It’s a fair question (minus the buffoon) and the answer was found by Steve Jobs and his team back in 2001, with the release of the original iPod.

They posed a radical question – What if Apple’s ultimate goal wasn’t (like their competitors) to increase profits. Instead, what if their primary goal was to give consumers pleasure from buying and using Apple products? Then the profits would take care of themselves.

It’s a discovery that has shaped many products since.

By replacing archaic clicking actions with more natural gestures, giving the user a feeling of goal completion through touch, or simply adding visual flourishes or animation when moving between processes.

If you can create something that feels natural and gives emotionally positive feedback when used, we as human beings will feel connected with it. If done right it will trigger chemical reactions within the brain, known as pleasure.

Which brings us nicely back to your CRM.

If you are using a CRM to manage your day-to-day business, you’re likely interacting with it more than you interact with your own family. As such, shouldn’t it be as pleasurable as possible to use?

We’re humbled to hear the positive feedback we get from our customers about how nice our system is to use but we know there is always work to be done.

Just like Steve, at UtilityClick we take user experience very seriously and continuously improving the UX is very much part of our roadmap. Over the next few months, we’ll be making even more improvements to ensure that our customers days are that little bit more pleasurable.

Get in touch below if you’d like to be the worm in our apple.

Latest articles...

A Super Hero Customer Portal For Suppliers

Suppliers - It's time to do more for your customers. Upgrade what you do with a SUPER…

Read More

A Super Hero Customer Portal for Brokers

TPIs - You do a lot for your customers. Showcase it all with a SUPER HERO CUSTOMER…

Read More

We're writers too!

Get energy broker articlesdelivered to your inbox.

Enter your email below and we’ll write to you about once every 2-3 weeks.


    Come with us if you want to live…

    As a sequel to our previous time travelling Insights article, we look now to the present and see how code automation has helped build reliability and intelligence.

    If you’ve read part one, you’ll be aware that so far this year we’ve released a whopping 680 upgrades (that’s in the first 6 months of 2020 alone). These range from all-but-invisible performance tweaks, or minor bug fixes, right up to huge modular extensions (like our recent addition of the Water module).

    This number of deployments is by no means unusual for us but they do require a significant resource in man and machine power prior to release; specifically when testing.

    This is why we have invested so heavily in building an automated testing machine for the future.

    Ultimately, we’ve built something that

    can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear and it absolutely will not stop. Ever...

    Until any potential bugs have been found and tested.

    Our Process

    Once an upgrade has been coded and signed off by our developers, it enters the testing phase where:

    As Miles Dyson or Skynet can attest, it is, of course, impossible to ensure 100% certainty for any technological release. However, with these measures in place, we’re able to mitigate against issues way above the norm and look to provide a seamless transition between versions T-800 and the T-850, and the T-1000 and the T-3000…

    The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make…

    So if you’d like to experience a future where you can run multi-site tenders, monitor sales opportunities and forecast commission payments, please ask for a demo.

    Latest articles...

    A Super Hero Customer Portal For Suppliers

    Suppliers - It's time to do more for your customers. Upgrade what you do with a SUPER…

    Read More

    A Super Hero Customer Portal for Brokers

    TPIs - You do a lot for your customers. Showcase it all with a SUPER HERO CUSTOMER…

    Read More

    We're writers too!

    Get energy broker articlesdelivered to your inbox.

    Enter your email below and we’ll write to you about once every 2-3 weeks.


      Where we're going we don't need roads

      We know what you’re thinking...

      ..."Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me you built a time machine...out of a DeLorean?"

      Yes, yes we have.

      Back then we felt we were in a unique position, having experience of both software development and brokering energy. We knew the software we wanted to build didn’t exist and we were confident others in the industry felt the same.

      We worked harder than Biff cleaning his manure filled car, to get that first version of our CRM released (and probably smelt worse too). But we were very aware that that was just the beginning.

      Fast forward and...

      ...if my calculations are correct,

      so far this year we’ve released over 1000 upgrades to the UtilityClick system (that’s in 2020 alone).

      That number may seem heavy but it’s by no means unusual for us. Each broker is different and we know we must constantly adapt the system to stay current.

      Take a look at the release timeline below, detailing our most important updates:

      Our Timeline

      Major Features Added To The UC CRM

      You may think that approaching a CRM to ask for a specific feature to be built just for you would result in a…

      ..."Why don’t you make like a tree and get outta here?"

      response.

      But we are a little different – we recognise that our customers drive our platform to be better and so we review every customer suggestion seriously.

      Over the past 5 years, throughout this process, we’ve onboarded a team of world-class developers that are excited to be continuously building ingenious new features for our customers – Even if…

      ...I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. Your kids are gonna love it.

      Don’t see a feature you require? Not all elements are listed – contact us to check.

      If there’s a useful feature that doesn’t exist within UtilityClick, there’s a very good chance we’ll build it.