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Survival of the quickest

Written by

Chris Broadhurst, ENSEK | Head of Sales & Marketing

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Last month (March) saw a record number of consumers switching electricity supplier, with nearly half a million jumping ship, and half of those moving from a big 6 supplier to a smaller independent.

This week we look at the challenge the Big 6 are facing from this ever increasing competition, and why it’s time they took note.

For the third time in the last year switching has exceeded 400,000 – a clear signal that moving supplier is becoming more and more commonplace. What’s more interesting is that 43%, almost half, of these switches last month were moves away from the big 6 and to the smaller independents. Customers are voting with their feet, and doing so in large numbers. It’s not just customers moving away either – talent is being drained away too. Independent suppliers offer a dynamic, fast paced and growing environment that’s attracting good people away from the established players.

These are clear signs that the times are changing, but the question is; are the big six capable of changing with it?

With the big six essentially inheriting a large portfolio of customer’s simply by occupying a particular region, they’ve never had to work hard to acquire a large customer base. Consequently, they’ve become insular and potentially complacent when it comes to serving those customers. Independent suppliers, on the other hand, are the antithesis of this – hungry to win and retain business from day 1, and doing so at a growing rate.

For institutions like the established big six, organisational change is a tough nut to crack. But with competition showing no signs of slowing, acting now is vital.

So what needs to change?

A better question is why people are moving away. There’s a multitude of factors affecting a customer’s decision to move supplier; price, customer service, technology… the list goes on. But at the heart of all this is agility – specifically the supplier’s ability (or inability) to act and react quickly to market changes and customer demands.

Agility isn’t something typically associated with institutions like the big six, but it’s a lesson they’ll need to learn quickly if they’re to keep pace with the independents that are rapidly gaining market share.

At ENSEK we help established suppliers and independents to be more agile; our core data reconciliation engine ‘Libra’ cracks open the vast data set that suppliers work with every day, allowing them to dynamically interpret and interrogate their portfolio’s data from a single source.

Interested? Get in touch.