E.ON Next is a large supplier with over five million customers. Its large back-office team handles data transfer to keep customers supplied with energy and is always seeking efficiencies.

Working with ElectraLink, E.ON Next identified a particular data transfer process that would benefit from enhancing existing tools to save time and effort and improve efficiency.

Challenge – An E.ON Next data flow process was taking too long

E.ON Next had inefficiencies in being able to send Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP) data flows for gas to other energy suppliers. This problem developed organically through a natural drift in industry processes and market participants’ shifting technology capabilities.

E.ON Next’s data processing team works with a tech partner which has a roadmap to develop an efficient, in-house solution. But, to introduce efficiencies sooner, E.ON Next turned to ElectraLink as its back-office team was already using WebTools for electricity – a set of digital functions to facilitate sending, receiving, and validating data transferred across the Data Transfer Service (DTS). Since the process gap was centred in the DTS, and E.ON Next was already using a version of the solution for other types of data flows, ElectraLink was the clear, trusted option.

Solution – ElectraLink’s D-Flow Master now supports gas as well as electricity flows

The proposed solution for gas flows utilised existing technology built for electricity data flows and already widely used in the industry for this purpose. D-Flow Master in WebTools allows DTS users to create, edit and send electricity data flows securely, compliantly and seamlessly between industry participants.

The solution was then applied to gas flows, particularly DAP. ElectraLink pro-actively directed this change based on pain points which various customers experienced when it came to generating and managing gas data flows.

D-Flow Master Gas Enhancement was developed proactively in response to DTS users’ feedback around their challenges with data transfer. The DTS team worked with E.ON Next’s back-office team to implement the solution as a proof-of-concept.

It took six months of requirement gathering and over a year of development to ready D-Flow Master Gas Enhancement for go-live.

Results – Data flow process time drops from over 10 minutes to two minutes

D-Flow Master Gas Enhancement enabled E.ON Next to overcome the challenge as the back-office team immediately found it was simpler to process DAP flows and send the flows to other market participants.

Adopting D-Flow Master Gas Enhancement and building the solution into a new process allowed E.ON Next to quickly lower overheads, increase efficiency, construct a better compliance framework, and reduce escalations. Overall, E.ON Next now sends DAP response flows more than twice as fast and is able to meet performance targets with greater ease. This in turn has enabled the back-office team to increase process thresholds – a true testament to their growing efficiency efforts.

Alex Cullin, Product Owner at E.ON Next, said:

We feel empowered and ahead of the game now that we have D-Flow Master to send DAP flows. We previously had to send DAP flows through another route which could take up to 10 minutes to set up and send; it now takes two minutes.

D-Flow Master bridges the gaps and lets us fulfil a time-bound, critical industry function using a platform we are familiar with – WebTools – and working closely with a very knowledgeable team at ElectraLink. We actually think more suppliers should use D-Flow Master to make gas data flow transfer and processing smoother and faster across the industry. An easier job for us means better outcomes for our customers in homes and businesses throughout the UK.

Following E.ON Next’s success with D-Flow Master, ElectraLink will engage with its other customers to disseminate the benefits of the solution and how it can lead to operational improvements for the whole energy market.