See Bottom Line Improvements with Energy Intelligence Software
At a high level, what are most industrial companies focused on? Although there are a number of areas, one that stands out is improving operational costs. Both internal and external stakeholders are looking closely at revenue, earnings and so on, adding pressure to not only maintain current performance but also continuously improve it. The question remains, however, how do companies identify areas for improvement, especially after eliminating the low-hanging fruit?
Many executives are answering this question by placing increased focus on industrial energy management (IEM). They are finding that bottom line growth can only be achieved if operations are efficient and harmonized with energy and other sustainability-related initiatives. However, this highlights a significant challenge: the lack of visibility into data due to disparate legacy manufacturing IT environments. As a result, many companies find difficulty in making measurable improvements toward these initiatives.
To address these challenges and foster an environment for continuous improvement, market leaders are beginning to invest in energy intelligence software.
What Is Energy Intelligence Software?
Broken down into three distinct areas – data collection, visualization software, and analytical tools – energy intelligence is helping companies turn overwhelming amounts of big data into operational insights. It helps decision-markers understand energy’s role in operations across procurement and production. Companies leveraging energy intelligence are better able to make buy/produce decisions for energy and operations as well as for energy efficiency projects.
With the ever-increasing complexities of products and processes, as well as reliance on the global supplier network to remain competitive, it comes as no surprise that organizations have mammoth amounts of data to consume. While the data needed to make measurable improvements toward sustainability and energy management initiatives is generally collected in one way or another across the organization, its sources are often too distributed and disconnected to provide actionable and consumable information (see Figure 1).
Alongside the increasing complexities of operations, the challenge of too many data sources and systems can be sourced to past investments in manufacturing operations management (MOM) software and automation capabilities. Although these investments typically span across the enterprise, they often do not collect and manage energy data in the context of operations. While the data is present, there is a gap between it and the right software in driving better decision making for energy and operations. This gap can be filled by energy intelligence.
Energy Intelligence’s Role in the IEM Software Landscape
To fully grasp the concept of energy intelligence, it is important to understand how it fits within the broader IEM software landscape. LNS Research identifies three key areas of IEM software: procurement, use and reporting. The IEM software model provides executives and other key decision makers a thorough understanding of how energy and data flow from procurement through production (see Figure 2).