England’s water market is now open, meaning that an extra 1.2 million businesses now have the option to switch their water supplier. However, like many businesses, you may be wondering what switching suppliers could do for your business and whether it is worth your time.
We sat down with SES Business Commercial Director Max Langford to find out whether every business will find it worthwhile to switch.
There have been claims that suppliers are only focused on large businesses – will switching suppliers benefit small businesses too?
At SES Business Water, we’re helping businesses of all sizes to switch – we secured 24% of all pre-switch requests before the market opened, and around half of those that have already switched to us are SMEs.
Most small businesses should see savings on their water bills, how much will depend upon where in the country they are as potential savings do vary by region. Businesses of all sizes should also be able to benefit from improved customer services from their supplier. Many of our services are as valuable to small businesses as they are to large businesses - all of our customers are able to manage their account by logging onto our online customer portal, for example, and any customer that has water and wastewater accounts with SES Business Water can receive consolidated bills.
For businesses that have multiple sites in different areas of the country, will switching all of their sites be too much hassle?
No, not at all. Single or multi-site, the process is really straightforward.
Multi-site businesses follow the same simple switching process as single site businesses, so all a business needs to do is decide which sites they want to switch and we will take over the process for them – firstly, we’ll work with them to get a full list of their sites (comparing this to the market data to ensure a smooth transition) and then we’ll do all the hard work to notify previous suppliers on their behalf, whilst arranging for meter reading together with establishing a switch date. It takes roughly around 2-4 weeks for sites to transfer. At SES Business Water we monitor this process closely, ensuring that on go-live all sites in the portfolio are ready.
In fact, switching could make it much easier for multi-site businesses to manage their water supply. We know that keeping track of bills and monitoring consumption can be incredibly time-consuming for multi-site businesses with numerous meters, which is why we created our One Bill solution. Multi-site customers can opt for One Bill to receive one electronic document with all of their consumption and charges across all of their sites, with a single invoiced sum so they only need to make a single monthly payment.
Within as little as three weeks, multi-site businesses could be enjoying one bill and one online view of their consumption for all of their sites.
How will switching make a difference to the water market as a whole?
We believe it’s the responsibility of suppliers to make the open water market a success, and so we’re encouraging all businesses to engage with the open water market because we believe that the more businesses that switch, the more benefits they will see.
Now that businesses can choose their supplier, water retailers will need to commit to a high standard of customer service or risk losing customers. By exercising their right to switch, businesses will gain more influence over suppliers and we hope this will stimulate innovation in the market as retailers strive to provide customers with the best solutions for them. We’re ahead of the curve with our new Wholesale Tracker Plus product, which tracks the annual wholesale rate with a pre-agreed management fee for any services required, so customers have the transparency of knowing exactly what they are paying for.
What should businesses consider before they switch?
It’s important for businesses to think about what they really need from a supplier before they switch. It might be a good idea for any business thinking of switching to first carry out a simple water audit, which should give them a good understanding of their consumption and make it easier to decide what their priorities should be when it comes to choosing a supplier.
There are some services that businesses should expect to receive from their supplier, such as transparency around charges and an accurate bill. Whether a business is looking for a simpler way to manage their account, or help to become more water efficient, SES Business Water can help – they just need to contact our team of experts.
Is it straightforward to switch to SES Business Water?
We have made it as easy as possible for businesses to switch to us – all businesses need to do is fill out an online form, and we’ll handle the rest. From quote to supply, the switching process can take as little as 3 weeks, so it doesn’t take long for customers start seeing the benefits of being with SES Business Water.
We value all of our customers, big and small, and we look forward to providing even more businesses with our high standard of customer service. If you would like to talk to us about the benefits of switching or start your switch to SES Business Water, call us today on 01737 785842.