The Regional Municipality of Peel adopts CDIT’s Intelligent Capture for Energy Management Solution
Located west of Toronto, the Regional Municipality of Peel (Brampton, Mississauga, Caledon), serves 1.3 million residents and over 88,000 businesses.
As such, the municipality relies on a complex network of infrastructure (e.g. buildings, roads, lights), each associated with separate maintenance and energy costs. The accounting department receives close to 1000 Energy Bills a month via fax, email and mail. As one of Canada’s fastest growing regions (2nd largest in Ontario), reducing costs by introducing efficiencies has become a top priority in the processing of Energy Bills.
Several elements can increase the cost of an energy bill. For instance, the utility may use an incorrect rate, or miscalculate the amount of energy used. Due to the high volume of Energy Bills processed per month by the Municipality of Peel, the study of all these parameters by Energy Coordinators or Accounts Processing (AP) clerks often leads to late payments and unnecessary, extra charges. The challenge at hand was to enable the AP department to receive the invoices in a timely manner and avoid late payment charges, while giving the Energy Management (EM) department the possibility to review the data collected from the bills in an efficient and thorough manner (greatly assisted by automated extraction, calculation and notification alerts). Combining both these measures would allow for significant cost reduction and efficiency improvements.
To solve this efficiency challenge, the Regional Municipality of Peel decided to engage several of its departments (Mailroom/AP/EM) into a new work-flow, that took advantage of both new technology (Kofax Capture, Kofax-Transformation Modules) and existing technologies (Livelink ECM, McKin-stry EEMSuite).
- KTM Extracts data from all utility bills automatically (using CDIT’s customized extraction rules), including Energy Line Items.
- Automated validation rules include lookups to McKinstry EEMSuite, enabling an efficient and accurate notification alert if any discrepancies with the data are detected (Account Number, Meter Number, Rate/Quantity/Amount calculations).
- Image/metadata is exported to McKinstry EEMSuite & Livelink ECM.
- The documents enter the system via Document Scanning (Kodak Scanner + Kofax VRS) as well as Folder Import (PDF Files).
“..savings to date are a combination of identified billing errors, cost avoidance achieved through more efficient energy procurement strategies …”
In full production since January 2007, the high quality of data provided by CDIT’s Intelligent Capture Solution for Peel’s Energy Management system has resulted in a savings of over $1.5 Million, realized only one month af-ter implementation. “To date the energy program has successfully realized savings of approximately $32 Million”. In addition to the costs savings realized through high quality data, the OCR success rate has reduced the manual effort to process and validate utility bills in half, resulting in ap-proximately $100,000 savings per year in staffing.