Procure Smart

Three things you didn’t know TPIs did

A woman at a TPI holding a tablet at a wooden table as she discusses business energy

There is a lot of debate in the non-domestic energy sector around the different roles Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) play.

Often, these discussions centre around financial metrics such as average margin or price procured.  However, many businesses find the non-fiscal benefits of working with a TPI to be the most impactful.

So this short blog is dedicated to those TPIs going the extra mile for their customers and fighting the corner of UK businesses in the face of today’s volatile trading environment.

TPIs are an automatic queue skip

We’ve all ended up in a soul-sapping phone queue at one time or another.  Energy suppliers receive incredible amounts of inbound calls and queries, many of which require urgent attention and are subject to complex prioritisation processes.

Working with a TPI is a great way of jumping those queues.  Your TPI partner can mitigate this issue in two ways.  For more basic queries, TPI account managers will often be able to answer your question themselves.  Situations like mis-calculated billing, particular sources of charges and how contracts work can be sorted by speaking to your TPI, with no phone queue needed.

For more complex issues that need to be dealt with directly with your supplier, TPIs can again save you time.  By utilising their direct relationships with senior supplier contacts, a good account manager at your TPI will be able to resolve issues on your behalf.  Just make sure you have an up-to-date LOA logged with them.

An expert in your corner with suppliers

Businesses can find themselves in difficult circumstances from time to time.  If you can’t pay your business energy bill for a period, your TPI account manager can assist you with creating a payment plan collaboratively with your supplier.  Too many businesses in this situation simply fail to pay their bill; then get a nasty shock with a disconnection letter further down the line.

Working with a TPI means you can be more pro-active at times of difficulty.  Having an expert in your corner who speaks the language of business energy can be beneficial in building a payment plan which works for you.

Procure Smart has been instrumental in reversing supplier disconnection decisions and setting up replacement plans as a negotiator.  This outcome is better for customer and supplier, both of whom can work towards a commercial resolution.

Often, newly incorporated businesses can struggle to attain an energy contract, due to their lack of credit or their sector.  TPIs can both advise on the best strategy to minimise costs, but also vouch for your business with a supplier and earn you a contract you may not otherwise have secured.  Procure Smart has done this successfully in the past, to challenge a supplier’s default position on a sector type.  We worked with the supplier in question to prove that the customer was not the risk their processes assumed it was.  This created a major saving for the customer versus the rates they would otherwise have needed to pay.

Supplier onboarding

Your TPI has completed a cost comparison for you, you’ve agreed the best contract to secure and you’ve signed on the dotted line.  Job done, right?

But for TPIs like Procure Smart, that’s just the beginning.

For more complex switches such as changes of tenancy (CoT), there is a period of communication which needs to be monitored for issues and objections to transfers.  These can be complex with short windows to be addressed. 

When it comes to smoothing over this transition, TPIs are, as Ofgem’s Head of Non-domestic Retail Policy put it, “worth their weight in gold”.

When TPIs claim to save businesses time, it is not just about the quoting and comparison process.  There are major benefits post-agreement that account managers can provide for your business.

Speak to us today for a free, no-obligation quote and get smart.

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