Transcript [1:50] Efficient usage-based billing
Wayne Goldstien CEO of Global Mentoring Solutions We’re an outsource help desk specializing in providing white-label help desk for managed services providers. Global mentoring has been growing rapidly and as we’re scaling we found that the bookkeeper was spending three weeks a month doing the billing. We decided that we needed to look for a solution to solve that problem. We looked at a lot of different solutions and as we were going for a journey and there wasn’t anyone we didn’t look at. We settled on Ordw ay because we felt that it has the sophistication that we needed to handle our complex billings requirements.
So what makes our billing complex is that we have a lot of recurring revenue as well as overages. And it’s more of a support environment and therefore, the billing process is complex. During the process of building the system with Ordway, we learned that we didn’t know a lot of what we did and it was a very big eye opener for to determine that even though we thought it was very simple, we had a very complex billing structure. Working with the team at Ordway we found very flexible, very willing to flow with us as we went through our discovery of what we do and they had really no objection when we threw curves at them and we say ‘we do this and they’re like, okay, we can think about that.’ But then they came back with a solution. So it’s been a very good experience.
The team has found that using the software is actually much more user friendly than they expected. They were expecting a lot of onerous tasks to go with it and they said it’s actually very simple, very straightforward, does what it supposed to do.
Since our bookkeeper doesn’t have to worry about billing much now and brought it down from three weeks to three days, she has a lot more time to do the management functions we need her to do. The analysis of revenue projections, etc, that we didn’t have time to do before.
Global Mentoring Solutions provides 24/7 outsourced help desk support on behalf of Telco, OEMs, Managed Service Providers + eLearning support providers. The services they offer to their customers mean they need to effectively manage help sessions, tickets resolved, and hours spent during their customer’s monthly billing period. They were in need of a next-generation usage-based billing system that could automate invoicing and payment collections to ultimately remove internal and external friction with their customers.
Search for a better usage-based billing workflow
Historically, getting invoices out to Global Mentoring Solution (GMS) customers meant weeks of internal data collection and massaging. They had to make sure that the number of sessions and other tracked deliverables a client incurred was accurately reflected on the invoice that was sent to customers.
This was an 80-hour exercise over three weeks for the GMS team to produce accurate invoices that included:
- Recurring billing – based on the type of service
- Usage-based billing – tracked support sessions and tickets. Internal systems produced data to understand what to bill their customers. This manual exercise was repeated each month for hundreds of customers around North America.
“During the process of building the system, we learned that we didn’t really know a lot about what we did.” Wayne Goldstein, CEO Global Mentoring Solutions
A partner approach streamlined workflows and operations
During the implementation phase of the Ordway cloud-based billing platform engagement, Ordway and GMS worked together to diagram their usage-based billing process and deeply understand their quote-to-cash workflows.
“Ordway was willing to be very flexible and flow with us as we went through our discovery of what we do and [Ordway] had no objection when we threw curves at them,” said Wayne Goldstien, CEO of Global Mentoring Solutions.
Together, the team working on the project identified and implemented a repeatable process:
- Established a reduced number of Global Mentoring Solutions products and plans
- Created an automated report from GMS internal systems to be used as a usage-import template for usage-based billing
- Identified opportunities to optimize revenue from clients by rethinking their billing period. A switch from billing in advance to arrears resulted in more revenue from customers where they were previously leaving money on the table
- Designed more informative invoice templates to explain charges to GMS customers with subsidiaries
- Automated batch invoicing and payment collections
Three drivers of value from automating usage-based billing at Global Mentoring Solutions
Billing runs are processed monthly and what once took weeks to accomplish occurs in a matter of hours over a few days. Additionally, GMS is now able to provide their customers more details and billing information.
“The Global Mentoring Solutions team found using the software was much more user friendly than they expected.” Wayne Goldstien, CEO Global Mentoring Solutions
Increased efficiency leads to:
- Freeing of internal resources. GMS professionals now have an average of 80 extra hours each month to conduct more important financial analysis for the business including revenue projections. The financial data produced by the Ordway platform is providing their team a trove of information to analyze the efficiency of their business
- Faster payment. By batching invoices, GMS improved their collections and reduced clients with late invoices
- Incremental revenue. Optimizing and aligning value delivered to customers and payment for those services by switching to billing usage in arrears