At Gotransverse, we talk a lot about how the right billing system can make or break a company’s efforts to scale. But what about a billing system’s role in preparing companies for dramatic, unexpected shifts in market demands? After all, if there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s the incredible importance of flexibility in the face of chaos.

When “business as usual” is no longer possible, the businesses that can turn on a dime have a distinct advantage in their ability to both continue serving customers and keep revenue flowing. Consider the pivots we’ve seen business after business make during the pandemic: cell phone providers waiving late payment fees to support customers, restaurants converting to general stores and companies that rely on in-person interactions rolling out online offerings, to name a few. These businesses are able to quickly cut costs, repackage existing offerings, discount products and services, or roll out new offerings to support their communities and keep their doors open. On the other hand, less agile companies are likely to find that “business as usual” is all they’re equipped for. They’ll be unable to evolve quickly enough to keep pace with a market that’s in constant flux.

Agility Is More Paramount than Ever in Uncertain Times

In the best of times, an organization’s ability to understand and respond quickly to market demands is the key to keeping customers engaged and loyal. And yet, even in the best of times, those rapid shifts are easier discussed than made: MGI Research found that only 29 percent of companies can implement new services and pricing plans in less than four weeks. In the worst of times, whether it’s a pandemic or any other major economic disruption, that agility becomes more critical than ever as businesses need to be able to adjust in a matter of days, not weeks.

Unfortunately, the very platforms that are supposed to support that growth are often what’s standing in the way. Legacy and homegrown billing systems often impede agility, as they’re designed to support a business’ needs only at the time of implementation. They weren’t built to support scale (up or down) or drastic change. This means new offerings and pricing models are difficult to configure and may require a billing specialist to make changes, leading to delays that would be troubling under normal circumstances, and could be devastating in turbulent times.

The Systems that Future Proof Your Business

Even before COVID-19, we were in an era of profound disruption of business models in every industry. We already knew optimizing existing processes wasn’t enough, and savvy businesses were already looking to find the systems and strategies that would enable them to continually pivot and evolve models based on customer needs, constantly unlocking new and unique value. You can learn more about these digital transformation initiatives in our recent webinar, but for now, let’s focus on the foundation of those transformations: agile billing. These agile billing systems are flexible enough to empower users to stay at the top of their markets, no matter how fast those markets are changing.

The platform is highly configurable, able to accommodate any number and combination of one-off, subscription, and usage-based billing models. This means users can bundle offerings in a wide variety of ways based on what customers need — and rearrange those bundles as often as necessary, with minimal lag time and no billing specialist required.

It’s also much easier to launch new products and services with an agile billing platform. While legacy systems may require weeks or months of lead time, these change-friendly systems allow businesses to launch quickly, responding to customer needs in real time.

Additionally, agile billing platforms help businesses reduce costs significantly — an especially important feature in times of economic distress, when everyone is battening the hatches. By automating tracking, billing, and reporting, they minimize the time and resource costs of manual interventions, errors, and revenue leakage. But perhaps more importantly, they’re scalable, meaning it’s much easier to increase capacity — up or down — with an agile billing system than with a legacy or DIY platform. With traditional billing platforms, users generally pay for a certain amount of usage capacity whether they’re using it or not. That means that, when usage spikes, companies have to scramble to add capacity, and when it goes back down again, they find themselves overpaying.

But an agile billing platform like Gotransverse’s is elastic, meaning we can add or remove capacity on demand based on our customers’ usage needs. This means there’s no boundary to upper growth, because elastic capacity is a marginal cost. But, most useful in times like these, it also means customers aren’t stuck paying for unused capacity when usage dips. While fixed capacity is an investment that may or may not ever pay off, elasticity is more like a usage-based subscription — you’re only paying for what you use.

Whatever Is Next, Be Sure Your Business Is Ready

To be perfectly blunt, we don’t know what’s next. We don’t know yet what the new, post-COVID normal will look like, and we don’t know what the next economic disruption will be. But we do know that companies can prepare by implementing the systems they need to “future proof” their business — that is, to give them flexibility and agility to grow rapidly in the good times and pivot quickly and dramatically when necessary.

Here at Gotransverse, we’ve supported companies in a wide variety of industries in their efforts to enable scale and evolution through agile billing. You can view some of our recent case studies to see how we’ve empowered our clients to expand into new markets, launch new products and services, and more. Then, when you’re ready to learn about future proofing your billing systems, we invite you to schedule your complimentary, personalized demo to find out whether Gotransverse is the right choice for your business.