Strategic energy management has become a trending topic as of late, as prices remain volatile and going green has become a competitive advantage. This has opened up a number of new opportunities for energy brokers in deregulated markets to meet these growing needs.
Unfortunately, as energy brokerages grow, new problems emerge around managing scale and offering an efficient and personalized service to their customers. This means that energy brokers need to invest in the right tools and infrastructure to meet these need while continuing to grow their brokerage. To do this, a wholly new type of transformation is needed. Simply stated, energy brokers need to become energy management software companies.
Why Energy Brokers Need to be Energy Management Software Companies
Energy brokers have to manage an overwhelming amount of data, that’s not limited to their own business. They have to manage leads and sales funnels, create and manage contracts with customers, conduct due diligence for pricing opportunities, create and manage contracts with suppliers on behalf of their customers, manage the energy usage of their customers, and manage their own business metrics to top it off.
Accomplishing this can be difficult, given the fragmented nature of data sources and data types. But, if an energy broker makes the leap to become an energy management software company, they can leverage technology to address their needs. To help them in this transformation, UM Technologies has built our energy management platform, designed to offer assistance and automated solutions in virtually every aspect of energy management.
The First Step Towards Becoming a Software Company
The first step to becoming a software company is understanding your needs. Identify the types of data that need to be managed, and where it is located. List the gaps in your ability to manage that data and identify systems such as UM Tech’s to address the gaps.
You will always need to account for the operational side of your business (sales, marketing, revenue), as well as the customer end of your business (managing contracts, customer energy usage, pricing opportunities). Make sure the software solution you pick addresses those needs but don’t lose sight of other blue-ocean opportunities to manage aspects of your business you don’t have a handle on today.
Leveraging Technology to Achieve Greater Performance
At UM Tech, our suite of energy management products are designed to augment each existing need that energy brokers face today, and in the future.
The Contract Management Portal (CMP) helps tracks sales, leads, commissions, and customer contracts. Keep up to date with customer contract expirations and renewals to take actions when required. CMP is the ultimate CRM in terms of managing contracts with existing customers, as well as tracking leads to assist in gaining new ones.
The Supplier Admin Portal (SAP) manages pricing opportunities and contracts with suppliers on behalf of broker customers by facilitating a clean exchange of data and documentation. Brokers can schedule pricing opportunities for suppliers to bid on and exchange documentation so that each party can perform its due diligence before POs.
UtilityModule (UM) is utility management software designed to provide effective energy management to brokers and end users. UM tracks energy usage, which can be used to assist in budgeting, reporting, as well as analyzing when utility disturbances occur at a particular building.
EnergyAuctions (EA) is a reverse auction platform that is transparent and competitive. Use it to help your customers get the fairest price from suppliers, and at the same time, provide suppliers the type of data they need to feel confident in their bids.
Finally, the Business Intelligence Portal (BIP) ties this all together to provide complete, effective energy management. BIP is designed to support brokers’ business operations and provide them with a comprehensive view of their business. With the ability to monitor pricing opportunities to revenue tracking, the BIP can identify inefficiencies that need to be resolved for greater efficiency, as well as identify new ways to grow the business through new opportunities in the market.
Energy brokers should strongly consider maturing into energy management software companies to stay competitive in an increasingly tech-enabled market. UM Tech’s suite of energy management products are designed to support and improve this transformation.
For more information about our suite of energy management products, contact us today.