By Julia Maciunas, product marketing manager at 3megawatt. This blog has been edited and reposted with permission from 3megawatt.
Excel is an incredibly useful tool, but it’s important to recognize when a solar company’s asset management practices have outgrown spreadsheets. A professional and modern asset management system can help to connect a team, streamline workflow and help a company scale. Look out for these three signs that a company has outgrown Excel.
1. The team is struggling to communicate
If a team is in constant miscommunication, it might be tempting to point the finger at specific employees. The truth is, companies should consider their communication processes first. A company’s current process may have worked when the team was small, but with a growing team and more assets, companies will need to have a central place for communicating and tracking the increasing amount of information.
Renewable asset management software like 3megawatt’s BluePoint can help teams connect as companies grow. It is designed for connecting teams and helps efficiently deal with inevitable turnover. It allows a team to store documents, register assets, manage events, tickets, contracts, performance and much more from one central place.
2. Too much data and not enough time
It can be hard to find the time or the tools to make the most out of a company’s data. There is so much data out there and not enough time to analyze and report it. The best way to deal with this is to find an integrated platform that will populate performance data in one place.
A renewable asset management solution should connect a company to the most popular monitoring systems, making it easy to gather daily and monthly performance data. This information will automatically populate and store in a company’s chosen asset management platform. Now that the data is within reach, companies can create custom reports or use standard templates, as well as use Key Performance Indicators that will keep everyone on the same page.
3. A company’s portfolio is growing
When a company is growing, Excel starts to become far less effective. Companies can end up caught in a bunch of spreadsheets that are difficult to understand and hard to track. Decoding an Excel spreadsheet while training new staff and dealing with turnover will just add to the growing pains.
Maybe a company is still small and a fancy asset management solution might be overkill. The most important question to ask now is, “Where will the company be in the next three to six months, and are its current processes scale-able?”
As a company’s portfolio starts to become more complex, the increase in information and management responsibilities requires more standardization to stay competitive and transparent. With more stakeholders, the mistakes become less tolerable and managers are held to a higher standard. It makes sense to have a professional management system that will grow with the company.
What an asset management solution should provide:
Flexibility: Flexibility is paramount when it comes time to scale a company. A company’s asset management style should be compatible with different monitoring systems, obligations, staff and other requirements attached to renewable assets.
Efficiency: Complex management systems that require lots of busywork will make it difficult to scale. Being able to automate and streamline the workflow with a tool that can be used by more people than just the IT administrator will be a huge advantage.
Transferability: If a company is acquiring an asset, it will want to be able to transfer this new information into its current management process with ease. An asset management solution that favors customization can make asset transfers smooth.
If a company is trying to sell an asset, it can be difficult to make this transfer if there is a messy history kept on the asset. Additionally, having information scattered among people and places will make any transfer of information difficult, incomplete and unprofessional. Reliable and transferable asset management solutions allow companies to export all their asset information and history in a clean, trackable and organized format.