Billing Platform Architecture

BillingPlatform Enables Manufacturers to Pursue Business and Billing Innovation

May 26, 2019

Manufacturing Innovation Is Evolving

Automation, technology, and globalization are transforming how companies operate in many ways. Through Industry 4.0, we are witnessing the digitization of longstanding Manufacturing processes. Man and machine are working closely together, splitting skilled work from more repetitive tasks. Our factories are growing safer and more productive through predictive analytics and remote monitoring. However, not all Manufacturers have what they need to take advantage of new-age innovation. Legacy billing systems and business models can’t capture the value of Smart Manufacturing.

Industrial leaders must increase business agility and evolve to keep pace in today’s increasingly competitive landscape. As disruptive competitors emerge from every corner, Manufacturers need flexible tools and sophisticated capabilities that enable rapid adaptation.

BillingPlatform for Modern Manufacturing

BillingPlatform is a cloud-based solution that can flex to meet the requirements of any Manufacturing business or industrial enterprise.

Thanks to our platform architecture, finance teams can customize billing operations around their modern Manufacturing business models. Companies can easily deploy subscription pricing to lease production equipment and capacity or monetize consumption through usage rating.

Usage rating is achieved with the native mediation engine from BillingPlatform. The engine ingests raw data from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices and converts it into the appropriate format for billing, invoicing, and reporting purposes. As a result, Manufacturers can offer tiered rating and pricing according to utilization that is measured by smart sensors.

With our integrated system, Manufacturers and OEM’s can sell predictive maintenance packages for critical machinery or offer access to real-time performance data for industrial equipment. With BillingPlatform, Manufacturers have a future-proof solution capable of supporting innovative- and complex business models at scale.

What Challenges Are Manufacturers Facing Today?

Manufacturers face several obstacles in today’s fast-paced market. Many organizations still rely on outdated infrastructure that is expensive to maintain. Legacy operational technology (OT) requires lots of floor space, costly hardware, and consumes plenty of energy to support their information technology (IT) stack. It takes too long to update these on-premises systems, and many don’t enable fully integrated financial ecosystems.

Often, industrial businesses and Manufacturers maintain disparate systems for enterprise-level processing, including billing, ERP, tax, and provisioning. Consequently, they must manually update reports and do much of what could be automated today by sophisticated, cloud-based solutions.

To compete in the modern world, Manufacturers must automate and expand beyond traditional Manufacturing revenue streams. Leaders need to identify growth opportunities that complement existing offerings and pursue them aggressively.

BillingPlatform Integrates Seamlessly with Core Applications and Enables Business Process Automation

BillingPlatform’s flexible data model allows users to customize the solution as needed to fit within their existing financial ecosystems. Finance teams can connect all essential applications to the billing solution with SOAP and REST APIs. Enterprises can extend data as needed and push real-time updates to external databases.

Additionally, BillingPlatform users can automate complex billing scenarios and workflows within the solution and by establishing direct data connections between billing and other applications. Our workflow engine enables industrial businesses to achieve scaled automation, which is crucial for Digital Transformation.

For example, Manufacturers can automatically bill customers for aftermarket remote monitoring services and send usage data to sales teams. They can also eliminate the need for manual calculations and reduce unnecessary billing errors.

Overall, BillingPlatform simplifies billing so that Industrial enterprises can expand their businesses and unlock new sources of revenue that were previously unattainable.

How Are Manufacturers Responding to Industry 4.0?

There are many Manufacturers on the front end of innovation. These organizations are finding ways to expand revenue opportunities with technology.

Wisconsin-based Briggs & Stratton recently launched an IoT connected services platform that enables landscapers to track equipment, maintenance schedules, job costs, and more. With InfoHub, users can minimize downtimes and increase productivity with real-time wireless monitoring. Briggs & Stratton charges monthly subscription fees for access to its next-gen fleet tracking capabilities.

The global auto parts Manufacturer, Hirotec, is using IoT and cloud-based technologies to analyze robot performance and identify opportunities for improvement. The company provides end-to-end support, allowing others to optimize their robotic deployments.

Wolverine Advanced Materials transitioned over to a cloud-based ERP to scale and adopt lean Manufacturing for its automotive braking systems. Doing so enabled the company to predict costs and profitability for individual parts accurately. Overtime is down 60%, and first-pass quality has improved by 15%.

BillingPlatform Driving Business Model Innovation Today

Enterprises across numerous sectors are using BillingPlatform to achieve similar innovation.

For example, a virtual conferencing company uses BillingPlatform to automate billing within an integrated financial ecosystem consisting of a CRM, conferencing bridges, and payment gateways. The enterprise monetizes usage through BillingPlatform’s mediation engine and sells creative plans and packages with a dynamic product catalog featuring a variety of pricing models.

BillingPlatform also helped an in-flight entertainment provider deploy a consumption billing model that mediates usage data, routes it to specific client rate plans, and flows into customer-facing reports.

A leading energy service provider implemented BillingPlatform to optimize billing processes related to orders, sales, installations, and maintenance operations. BillingPlatform now integrates directly with the company’s CRM platform, Salesforce, and supports a vast product catalog, which syncs with sales data on a nightly basis.

No matter the business model or sector, BillingPlatform has the architecture and capabilities needed to bring new pricing tactics to market.

What Role Does the IoT Play in Manufacturing?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has major implications for the Manufacturing sector. With wireless sensors and low-power, wide-area network technology, Manufacturers gain connectivity throughout their entire supply chains and global footprint. Thus, they can create new data pipelines that feed advanced analytics capabilities.

Industrial enterprises can use this information to personalize offerings and enable predictive analytics. They can study customer behaviors more thoroughly and tailor pricing to different client accounts. As billions of IoT devices flood the market in the coming years, revenue opportunities will only become more prevalent.

BillingPlatform Built for IoT Success in Manufacturing

BillingPlatform helped SmartBike, a Clear Channel subsidiary, launch an IoT business model built around more than 25,000 digitally enabled bicycles in 9 countries. They used BillingPlatform to:

  • Ingest customer and transportation data
  • Monetize data from smart bicycles
  • Scale to multiple regions and countries
  • Automate revenue recognition

Today, SmartBike has a global billing capability that efficiently monetizes massive volumes of IoT data. The company can also easily up-sell, cross-sell, and offer time-based discounts to customers through the dynamic BillingPlatform system.

Read the full case study here.

How Does BillingPlatform Enable Manufacturing Innovation?

BillingPlatform is highly versatile, which means Manufacturers can adapt the solution as needed to take advantage of modern technologies without overhauling entire systems.

Leaders can standardize core billing operations around streamlined bill cycle processing to do more with fewer resources. They can implement subscription pricing for equipment rentals, usage-based rating for IoT devices, or tiered rating for aftermarket remote monitoring, all within a single solution.

Because BillingPlatform is cloud-native, it is highly secure and reliable. Manufacturers don’t have to worry about natural disasters, power failures, and other crises that could otherwise impact private billing information. Finance teams can also efficiently scale billing operations up and down with customer demand or market disruption.

For those pursuing Digital Transformation and seeking a dynamic billing solution, look no further than BillingPlatform!

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