The Importance of Enterprise Content Management for Renewable Energy
The renewable energy sector has been put in an interesting position by the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, many projects and contracts were delayed across the industry. On the other hand, many leaders in business and government around the world have had the chance to rethink their energy priorities.
And within this sector, the pandemic has allowed for a rethinking of how processes are managed and how workflows can be better streamlined.
By incorporating a quality content management system, renewable energy enterprises can better position themselves to take advantage of the post-pandemic business landscape.
Recognizing the Challenges of the Moment
Renewable energy companies have faced delays and frustrations from the pandemic and the responses of some governments in the last year and a half. Projects that were funded and underway before the pandemic halted the world are set to continue, but other contracts are in a more precarious position.
Shifting policy priorities can result in further delays of projects that are in the planning stages. If funding that was originally earmarked for renewable energy expansion is redirected, that can mean reductions in the schedule of tenders and auctions that are either postponed or fully canceled.
Contracts with private companies that are striving to hit decarbonization goals can be lucrative. Still, they carry greater risk than government contracts because they are often shorter and open wind and solar providers up to wholesale energy prices and market volatility.
On a slightly smaller scale, ensuring recruitment of top talents and retaining them in the long term is also a challenge being faced by the biggest renewable energy companies.
With those challenges facing the industry, why is enterprise content management important to an organization?
Benefits of Enterprise Content Management
To define the benefits of having an enterprise content management in a company, we must first know what enterprise content management (ECM) is. ECM encompasses the strategy, methods, and tech you use to manage, collect, store, access, and evaluate the information you need for your business.
Customized content management system software
ECM can sometimes be confused with document management, but it actually includes tools for managing document processing as well as images, web content, videos, and more. And unlike off-the-shelf products, customized content management system software can be tailored to meet your needs—and can evolve along with your business as your requirements change and expand.
A content management system designed to meet your business’s unique needs brings a wide range of benefits. For example, while a document management system can let you know if you are on pace to hit your key deliverable milestones, ECM can also track maintenance records, including images and walk-throughs to help recognize potential problems faced by wind turbines in your client’s area and make them available to field agents and local maintenance staff.
By allowing you to store and categorize your content in a system that is accessible from multiple locations, you allow your team, no matter where they are, to access all the information they need with a few keystrokes. No more scrambling to find the specific document in a filing cabinet or searching through siloed data from department to department.
With ECM, you can grant access permission based on user profile and leverage cloud functionality to secure content storage. You also create a direct pathway from data collection in the field to your teams in the office. Real-time collaboration between your team members becomes possible from anywhere in the world.
These can seem like little things, but they become massive over time. How much money do you spend on workers trying to track down the right content? How much do you spend on printing costs? How much do you spend on waiting?
With governments all over the world scaling back or delaying renewable energy projects, it is imperative to have a streamlined, efficient organization that makes the most of every dollar put into it.
ECM helps ensure that organizational costs will not become an excuse for someone who wants to prioritize other energy sources or providers.
Content management system reduces the cost
ECM reduces all of those costs dramatically. A content management system reduces the need for multiple hard copies of every important document you work with, reducing printing costs.
Storing your data electronically makes it all discoverable within your system. Finding content not only becomes dramatically faster but always having the latest version becomes possible along with finding it in context through metadata.
A unified management system updates information as soon as possible, meaning that you only have to wait for collection when you need new data to come in, not for collection and entry into an analytical database.
These aren’t the only enterprise content management examples, though. ECM also opens the door for automation of processes that are repetitive for workers. Using tools like robotic process automation can eliminate bottlenecks in your workflows and reduce the risks and costs of human error.
In turn, that automation gives your team members more bandwidth to focus on higher-level tasks and innovations that can help your company stand out from your competitors and secure the most lucrative contracts in the public and private sectors.
Streamlining your processes
Using your content management software to streamline your processes improves employee morale as well. Instead of dedicating as much as ten to fifteen hours a week to entering data into spreadsheets, they can instead focus on adding relevant skills and applying their expertise to ventures that will help your company thrive.
That high morale and sense of usefulness will, in turn, help you retain your workers. As of 2019, 77% of renewable energy professionals were unopposed to moving to a different industry despite knowing the good they were doing for the environment and economy in the renewables industry.
The best companies have the best teams. ECM can help you create an environment that not only attracts top talent but makes them want to grow with you. Instead of asking what is the role of ECM in business process management, ask how ECM can take your business processes to the next level and beyond.
Using Content Management to Overturn Industry Disadvantages
While we have looked at some of the challenges in renewable energy sector, it is important to recognize disadvantages in renewable energy and how ECM can help mitigate them.
One of the biggest hurdles for governments and businesses looking to expand their use of renewable energy is the high upfront cost. While maintenance and operational costs for renewable energy are low, having tools that can show the various ways you keep your business running efficiently can help demonstrate the value that comes with investment in your company.
Your content management software makes your company a well-oiled machine in every phase of business. It isn’t glamorous, but being able to show how quickly and efficiently your company can address the needs of a new client can be a big selling point.
It’s especially relevant when materials costs for wind and solar power construction are relatively low. Lots of companies can offer low costs on construction, but who can offer the best value for operations, administration, processing, and service? You can—with the right ECM system keeping your company running smoothly.
Identifying renewable energy issues and solutions
The fact of the matter is that content management software is not particularly flashy. There are people who will geek out about it. Still, many people don’t think twice about the big difference your content management system can make because that big difference is made up of little differences across several different departments.
That is a great ECM system’s biggest strength. Your team doesn’t have to navigate a complex network of apps and programs and cabinets in the home office. A custom ECM that integrates with your existing framework and improves your processes frees your team to identify both renewable energy problems and solutions without worrying about which drive they save their documents to.
Maximize Your Efficiency, Exceed Your Expectations
What is content management system software but a way to take your business processes to the next level? It allows your company to keep its focus on fulfilling current contracts, securing new accounts, and maintaining an efficient operation at the same time.
We have seen how the world can be rocked by an unexpected problem like the global pandemic. It delayed projects and put contracts in jeopardy across the renewable energy sector. Some projects may not get rolling again until 2023 or later.
Instituting an enterprise content management system allows you to save money without sacrificing innovation or dropping employee retention.
ECM helps you improve workflows and institute automation; increase content security with upgraded access control; reduce costs thanks to the elimination of inefficient processes that come with off-the-shelf solutions and a reliance on hard copies, and evolve your processes further as technology advances.
You can also build checks into your processes to ensure that compliance is maintained throughout your business. Additionally, version control and automatic data backups help prevent costly errors that might add hours to a task.
There are so many different ways a customized ECM system can benefit your company. With the myriad of functions and capabilities of content management software that has been tailored to your specific needs, incorporating ECM will give you a leg up on your competition.
Don’t rely on the same old off-the-shelf solutions to problems that demand unique solutions. Contact one of our experts to see how a fully realized, unique ECM can integrate with your existing infrastructure and improve your business processes exponentially.