Why Energy Companies Are Accelerating Their Mobile Capabilities

As we boldly enter a mid-COVID and post-COVID business ecosystem, the way we all view technology has changed. For years, energy players heard the sweet tunes of tech evangelists, but real-life budgetary factors pushed many tech investments to the backburner in favor of traditional operations. Now, after a year of tech-fueled work, technology sits at the heart of the industry.

Here’s the crazy part. The single most important tool in the energy kit is something that 96 percent of Americans own: a mobile device. Mobile-driven engagement was the driving force that helped many energy players navigate the remote world. Unfortunately, not all energy companies have embraced mobile-readiness. Many are still stuck with unwieldy desktop-only solutions that prevent on-the-go decision-making.

As we enter 2021 and beyond, mobile-readiness is no longer an optional, value-added component of the energy stack. It’s the glue that keeps your entire infrastructure running.

Energy’s Mobile Challenge

As the energy sector grows in complexity, scale, and digital fortitude, finding ways to approach new energy verticals and business models with agility, pace, and intelligence is top-of-mind for energy players. On the back-end, automation, IoT, and AI steal hearts and win favor. But there’s tangible disruption happening on the front-end that’s bubbling to the surface. Mobile enablement — the use of mobile apps and tools across your energy ecosystem — is driving productivity, engagement and revenue at top-tier energy providers. According to McKinsey, mobile engagement can help energy players boost bottom-line productivity by 15 percent.

It makes perfect sense. What happens when you need to manage a critical midstream issue that pops up at 6 a.m.? How do you quickly grab answers for clients in a meeting? How do you take urgent and immediate action? Chances are, the answer to all of these involves unwieldy enterprise resource systems, some spreadsheets, and an entire pot of coffee. Does that really make sense in today’s ecosystem? We’re talking about an energy environment where digitizing a single core process can cut processing costs by 20 percent. Yet, we all still spend so much time in archaic and outdated systems that lack on-the-go mobile support.

Obviously, multi-billion-dollar energy companies have already largely transitioned to mobile. But the vast majority of mid-market players still lack mobile accessibility, even for the most basic of energy solutions. This can be a huge disadvantage. You don’t have the raw liquidity to “test drive” fancy new solutions, and you certainly don’t have the capex to invest in hyper-expensive, cutting-edge enterprise systems. For many, mobile-accessibility still feels “new” and “disruptive.” But it’s not. In fact, mobile is a relatively standard component of the modern tech stack, and it doesn’t require cutting-edge investments. It’s a backbone technology that exists in a parallel space to all of your other tech investments. In other words, mobile-readiness is less of a tech investment and more of a conscious choice during vendor selection. Obviously, you can build your own apps and take things to the next level, but choosing mobile-friendly vendors can put you in the hot seat — which is critical for your short and long-term operations.

The Future Generation of Energy Employees and the Structure of Future Energy Work

Gen Z is entering the workforce, and they’re bringing their preferences and work habits with them. Fifty-seven percent of Gen Z admits that they feel uncomfortable and insecure without their mobile device, and 64% say that they are digitally-connected around-the-clock. This is the world’s first digitally-native generation. They grew up with a phone in their hands. Fifty-five percent of them spend more than 5 hours each day using their mobile device, so they’re fluent in mobile-driven interactions.

Unfortunately, many energy players will ignore these demographic changes in favor of keeping normality. Yes. Mobile devices dominate our free time. But they’re also critical tools that help us connect with family, friends, colleagues, and clients. And they have immense potential as work devices. This makes it important for energy companies to pivot from clunky, desktop-driven systems to a modern, mobile-enabled workplace. The age of energy employees being chained to desktops is coming to an end. Mobile devices allow us to take our work with us — helping us react to problems faster, smarter, and with more agility than ever before. 

The next generation of energy employees wants to communicate, engage, and solve problems on their mobile devices. This is no different than the PC boom a few decades ago—times change.

The Value of Mobile for Energy Management

Energy supply and distribution networks are dense, complicated, and highly interdependent. Your business is sensitive to physical and geospatial forces, data-driven forces, and transactional forces — and the ever-growing web of those forces requires agility and fast solutions. What do you do if you need to submit a nomination when you’re on-the-road? How do you trade your imbalances when you’re in another state, at home, or at lunch? These are real problems that require real solutions. Mobile transactions let you instantly respond to issues. It’s that simple. This isn’t a mid-horizon solution that will bring long-term ROI that takes years to justify. Onboarding mobile can instantly expand your cash flow and help you reap precious working capital from your transactions.

We can’t overstate this: you can onboard a mobile-driven energy transaction management system (ETMS). You don’t need to build out dense AI networks, ingest a ton of tech and build out a complicated stack, or realign your entire business framework. Mobile apps give you real-time information on your energy supply chain transactions, and they’re incredibly easy to integrate into your business. Here’s the kicker: your employees already have phones. Mobile is a zero-infrastructure investment. You just have to choose an ETMS that supports mobile-readiness.

Trellis is a Mobile-Ready ETMS Solution

At Trellis, we understand the importance of mobile in today’s energy ecosystem. You need information at your fingertips, and you want to make meaningful changes and decisions with a few swipes and a tap. We can help. Trellis’s ETMS is mobile-ready, and we built it from the ground up to support mobile-driven actions. Are you ready to embrace in-the-moment decision-making and real-time information flow? Contact us.

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