Big data isn’t just for big business anymore.
From family-run rooftop solar installers to major developers, renewable energy firms now have access to near-limitless streams of data — customer contacts, potential leads, sales and outreach status, delivery times, invoicing. There’s an app for everything from an initial pitch, to installation and billing, to follow-up service.
If only all those platforms came with autopilot.
As business owners and executives know only too well, all these different platforms rarely play nicely with one another — and the biggest trove of data is worthless without the ability to make sense of it all.
With solar and wind now accounting for the fastest-growing sources of electricity generation in the U.S., America’s renewable energy installers are expanding their operations at breakneck speed. And, all too often, there’s too little time to make sure their firms’ project- and sales-management platforms are keeping up — even as license fees balloon, costs expand, and operations get bogged down.
It’s the kind of problem that’s good to have — too much business coming in. Better yet, there are easy steps companies can take now to wrangle their data and manage their tools — helping shave costs while maximizing efficiency, profitability, and impact.
The backbone of most operations is Salesforce: It can connect various data sets and tools, and learn the processes needed to communicate across platforms. But removing those silos is just the first step.
Companies also need to ensure they’re properly configuring their digital operations: Whether Salesforce, SAP, or another customer relationship management platform, or CRM, businesses need to ensure that these platforms are designed to meet their employees’ needs and the company’s expected growth. Plus, CRMs can support external partners — making it easier for project leaders to engage exactly the people and businesses they want.
Of course, these platforms are not set-it-and-forget-it — companies need to implement internal processes to ensure that they’re regularly updating their CRMs. There’s also no one-size-fits-all, which is where so-called “middleware” comes in. Middleware platforms, as you might guess from the name, provide a bridge for the data streams and digital applications that may not integrate well with CRMs such as Salesforce, SAP, or Oracle.
Even these directions may sound overwhelming — or snooze-inducing. Business owners, executives, entrepreneurs — we just want to get out and do what we do best, and expand our country’s renewable energy generation as much as possible.
These steps, though, are vital — they build vital connections between your data sets and tools, reduce future bottlenecks, and keep systems running as you gather more data for the future. Plus, with experts out there to help guide you along the way, you don’t need to go it alone.
As we race to stop the climate crisis, decarbonize our electricity grid, and build a just, prosperous, 21st century clean-energy economy, these steps will ensure you’re in the best position possible to capitalize on America’s energy transition while empowering businesses, homeowners, and communities to harness our renewable energy resources. This is how you future-proof, for the business of today and tomorrow.
If you would like to learn more about using Salesforce to connect your data then get in touch; Endiem specializes in working with energy businesses to bring their operations and data onto the Salesforce platform.