The energy industry is facing a change in light of digital transformation. While renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar, have the most substantial bearing on the industry there is also a growing demand behind the scenes. Driving digital transformation is the need to revolutionize how consumers interact with utilities while empowering sectors such as kinetic energy to become more efficient. It allows energy companies to make improvements to existing business strategy while improving business processes. This guide offers an overview of the digital tools available to offer back end efficiencies for the energy industry.
Meeting Consumer Expectation
The Internet of Things is driving consumer behavior. They are constantly using their smart devices and today that includes the desire to control their energy consumption. This means the average customer expects a digital relationship with utility companies. Rising to meet this need requires access to data in a different way than traditionally shared. Secure infrastructures allow for the secure sharing of information, using cloud computing and migration.
The energy industry can look at ways to integrate their services and manage their data to make it accessible to their customers. In some cases this might require the transfer of paper documents to digital files that can be more easily archived and shared on the cloud.
Digitalization enables energy and utility companies to engage with customers either on their own or through customer service departments. However, today’s consumer expects proactive, real-time interactions throughout all phases of the customer lifecycle.
Using digital monitoring allows people to feel they are in control of their energy usage. Using document management allows you to share a common database located in one place in hand with real-time data searches. This empowers both customer service teams and/or consumers to gain insight into their usage for improved customer experience.
Digitizing Paper Files
In the back end, old archived records from billing to usage can become cumbersome and take up space. It also makes it difficult to access information when required. You can convert any document to a digital file for not only standard paper files but also microfilm and microfiche. From an operations standpoint, large format scans for utility assets such as renewable energy can also be scanned as well as photographs or mixed digital media. For even greater efficiency, you can purchase your own high-speed document scanners like these ones from Kodak Alaris and let your team get to work.
By scanning documents, you can integrate older formats with your new electronic data and information. This allows you to:
- Gain access to your valuable information to increase efficiency
- Reduce expensive physical storage costs
- Reduce compliance risk
- Increase data security
- Increase your commitment to paperless sustainability practices
- Introduce a digital mailroom
Also affecting back-office practices, collection of revenue is also dependent on manual, inefficient processes. This can interfere with many aspects of running a profitable business from the inefficiencies of labor costs to a lack of process to collect bad debt. This can result in millions of dollars being written off by utility companies. Energy companies must be able to accurately track transgressions in payments. By introducing cost-effective workflow automation, they can improve efficiencies and ensure that everything is being managed properly.
Cloud-based and on-site solutions can automate and manage business processes from beginning to end. This includes ridding your accounting department of paper-based processes to decrease costs and increase productivity. You can also support compliance and greatly improve the way you process, manage and secure your invoicing. You can boost productivity and often even reduce the required number of staff while enjoying better results.
Other benefits to workflow automation can include:
- Streamline and automate your AP department
- Manage sensitive HR records to keep them safe, secure and available as needed
- Sending and receiving documents securely and electronically
- Reducing your use of expensive couriers
- Eliminate time wasted searching for records
- Put an end to “lost documents”
Workflow automation is completely flexible and scalable so it can be updated to meet changing needs. Whether you need an onsite solution or wish to improve your current IT infrastructure, you can easily find an affordable way to incorporate a robust On-Site solution.
Oil and Gas Document Management
Oil and gas companies maintain a vast amount of documentation and data. Document management can provide control over mission-critical processes and documents allowing for safe, secure collaboration between teams. You will be able to digitally capture, secure, distribute, and manage data so you can move forward with business and production plans.
The right document management solution will allow you to:
- Reduce operating and storage costs
- Centralize data to break down information silos
- Streamline business processes and overall workflow
- Ensure accuracy and document veracity
- Search faster with index and tagging functions
With data captured electronically, your team will be empowered to work more efficiently.
Digital transformation initiatives in the energy industry brings digital technology to many different business models. Whether you are dealing with customers or managing projects to harvest renewable sources, digital transformation strategies offer a road map to success.