Wiesbaden/Cologne, 03 November 2020 – Aareal Bank AG, in cooperation with pixolus GmbH, a specialist developer of mobile data recording applications, has developed a new digital solution for recording and processing meter readings. Aareal Meter will help companies from the energy and housing industries to digitalise meter readings, thus boosting efficiency in what used to be a time-consuming and error-prone exercise to date. Aareal Meter, which is immediately available, comprises a digital order-processing portal and a meter-reading app.
Each year-end, recording the readings of water and energy meters (for example) regularly involves extensive administrative efforts for property managers and housing industry enterprises. Passing on the recorded data to energy utilities, or using it to invoice service charges, is both cumbersome and time-consuming, since the process is largely manual, analogue and paper-based. Aareal Meter can be used to optimise this reading process, involving little roll-out efforts. This will not only enhance the efficiency of data reading: the automated process flow and high data quality supports everyone involved in getting their job done.
Using the smartphone camera to record meter readings
Aareal Meter comprises a digital order-processing portal (used to manage the process) and a meter-reading app, which uses a smartphone camera to capture consumption data straight from the meter. The app shows meter readers which consumption data they need to record, where and when. Meters are automatically assigned using a bar code scan, with data being scanned automatically. Moreover, each reading is documented using a photograph, which is stored in the system, in order to be able to easily resolve any discrepancies.
The Aareal Meter Portal serves as a centralised platform where housing enterprises, property management companies and meter-reading service providers can process data. The cloud-based platform is used to import utilities’ order data, to manage property and meter data, and to process and dispatch reading instructions to mobile devices used by property managers and meter-reading service providers. Users can check the read-out status and manage data at any time: for example, thanks to automatic synchronisation between app and portal, information about faulty or newly-installed meters is directly passed on to dispatchers. Such updates supplement the database – another benefit of Aareal Meter.
From idea to market-ready product – in just twelve months
Aareal Meter is the result of strategic cooperation between Aareal Bank, as the leading service provider for the property industry, and pixolus, a start-up specialising in mobile data capture. Within just twelve months, the two partners have developed the concept into a market-ready product which is already being used by the first clients. Martin Konrath, Director Key Accounts at Aareal Bank, said: “Together with pixolus, we have created a new digital market standard which is distinguished by high levels of efficiency, reliability, and transparency. At the same time, Aareal Meter will raise the service standards for energy service providers and landlords alike.” Dr Stefan Krausz, Managing Director of pixolus, added: “We have focused on a high degree of user-friendliness in particular: using the app is intuitive, with manual data entries and the potential for errors reduced to a minimum. Specifically, dispatchers can use the portal to access information on the current processing status, managing the entire process through just a few clicks.”
Stadtwerke Düsseldorf (“SWD”), Dusseldorf’s municipal utility, is one of the pilot clients. Eckart Birkenkamp, Head of Distribution to the Housing and Property Industries at SWD, has been convinced by test results gained during the pilot phase: “Using Aareal Meter has removed the need for manual transmission of data, eliminating numerous queries and thus markedly speeding up processing. Exact recording, with precise timing and a meter photograph, ensures transparency and significantly reduces errors – a satisfactory solution for everyone involved.”
More information on Aareal Meter is available on: www.aareal-bank.com/en/aareal-meter.