The energy industry has seen its fair share of disruption over the last few years, with a number of new players emerging on the market and bringing new ideas to shake things up. Smart contracts, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and demand response programs are just some of the tools that have been used to alter the way energy is bought and sold. As this market continues to change and adapt to new challenges, business leaders need software solutions that can keep pace with these dynamic changes—and ensure their company thrives in any environment. With so many options available for choosing an energy broker software package, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your organization. Here are some dos and don’ts for choosing the perfect one for you.
Do: Meet with as many providers as possible before deciding.
One of the first steps in choosing a new energy brokerage software is to narrow down your options. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the available solutions out there, making this step the most difficult. First, create a list of the features and attributes you want in your solution. This will help you narrow down your options and find software that fits what you need. Once you have a list of vendors, it is a good idea to talk with them on the phone and/or schedule in-person meetings at your office to get a feel for their team, the solution they offer, and how they work as a whole. You can also sign up to become a customer and see what the onboarding experience is like. This will give you an idea of how easy the platform is to use and if it fits your business.
Do: Decide how you will use the platform before selecting one.
Before you even start looking at retail energy brokerage software, you need to decide how you will use it—and what your goals are in doing so. Will you be buying and selling energy? Will you be using the platform as a source of demand response? Will you be using it to optimize your energy procurement strategy? While your platform may be able to do multiple things, you will want to find one that excels at the things you need the most. This will ensure that you are getting the most out of your investment. It will also help you narrow down your options to find a solution that is the best fit for you.
Don’t: Assume you need energy broker software.
Even if your company is part of the energy industry, that doesn’t mean you need a specialized energy broker platform. In fact, it may be best to look for a solution that can accommodate multiple verticals and business types in one place to ensure you aren’t paying for features you don’t need. Many software options on the market today allow businesses to buy, sell, and trade electricity in a variety of different ways. There are options that allow you to buy electricity from customers, sell electricity to customers, as well as accept bids from suppliers. This kind of solution will give you the flexibility you need to grow your business no matter what happens in the energy industry.
Don’t: Rely solely on data when choosing a software platform.
While data is a huge part of the energy industry, and you should use it to help narrow down your options, it is important not to rely solely on the numbers. There are many things to consider, including ease of use and scalability, that cannot be quantified. Meeting with all of your potential platform providers—and even current clients—to get a feel for the company and the people behind the product can help you decide which one is right for you. It is important to remember that while data may help you narrow down your options, it’s not everything when it comes to choosing an energy broker software solution.
Do: Ask your current brokers for recommendations.
If you already work with brokers, they may be able to help you find a solution that works for your business. However, you need to be clear about your needs and what you are looking for before you ask. This way, they will have a better idea of which options would work best for you. Keep in mind that your brokers may be biased toward certain software solutions, so it is important to ask why they recommend the product. This will help you understand what you need in a platform and narrow down your options.
Don’t: Be afraid to walk away from a bad deal or a bad platform.
Even though you should have an idea of what you need, it is important not to jump into a deal without thoroughly comparing your options. If the first platform you look at doesn’t meet your needs, don’t be afraid to walk away and keep searching for the right solution for your business. What’s more, if you find the perfect solution but the price is too high or the terms aren’t what you were hoping for, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal as well. You want to make sure you get the best possible deal and that it is a good fit for your business.
Choosing the right energy broker software for your business can be a daunting task. It is important to do your research and understand what is out there so you can make an informed decision. If you make these considerations when choosing an energy broker software, you are sure to find a platform that is the perfect fit for your business. These solutions will help you save time, reduce costs, and increase your bottom line.