Smartcar, a software company based in Mountain View, California, specializes in automotive technology. Smartcar’s vehicle API enables you to connect to vehicles without any hardware to verify mileage, manage EV charging, issue digital car keys, track fleets, and much more.
In this case study, we sat down with Travis Joseph, Product Manager, to understand how Smartcar leveraged Octane to overcome billing inefficiencies, streamline financial operations and continually iterate on pricing strategies.
Before integrating Octane into their operations, Smartcar faced significant operational challenges related to their billing and usage reporting. In the pre-Octane era, Smartcar struggled with a very complex process to manage usage-based billing. While the platform technically supported usage-based billing, the actual implementation was challenging and required many workarounds.
Smartcar struggled to efficiently report usage for customers and accurately invoice them, particularly for contracts structured around credit-based payment models. The billing process was time-consuming, and as the company scaled, this inefficiency became a significant obstacle. The need for a billing system that treated usage as a first class citizen became evident.
With the introduction of Octane, Smartcar found a flexible and effective solution to their billing and operational woes. Octane natively supported Smartcar's usage-based pricing plans, making it easy to push a live stream of their metering data to Octane. As a result, they no longer needed to maintain an in-house system.
The simplicity in the metering and the out-of-box usage-based pricing capabilities made the billing operations much simpler. Additionally, Octane's intuitive analytics and reporting features offered a unified view of usage and revenue, facilitating improved forecasting and strategic decision-making.
The integration with Octane enabled Smartcar to eliminate the manual and error-prone aspects of their previous billing system. It significantly reduced the time spent on billing processes, allowing the team to focus more on core competencies and customer-centric initiatives. Also, Octane further improved many of the integrations into the existing financial stack. For example, Invoices would be automated and pushed into Quickbooks, facilitating easier billing reconciliation.
Smartcar leveraged Octane's capabilities across various crucial aspects of their operations, benefiting multiple stakeholders within the organization:
- Financial and Sales Operations: Octane became a centralized hub for finance and sales operations, providing a single source of truth for pricing structures, contractual terms, and usage limits. This facilitated effective contract management and accurate revenue reporting.
- Product Management and Engineering: Octane put product managers in the driving seat to experiment with pricing changes and quickly implement them, enabling better monetization and product offerings. Engineers were able to reduce their homegrown billing infrastructure footprint.
- Customer Support: Octane's functionality was extended to support teams, providing a convenient way to manage and modify customer limits.
Smartcar's integration with Octane significantly enhanced their operational efficiency, particularly around usage reporting and billing. By leveraging Octane's capabilities, Smartcar streamlined their billing processes, reduced operational time, and gained valuable insights into usage and revenue.