Chapter Corner

Using EDMS Software to Advance the Electricity Industry

Posted in: Emerging Technologies, August 2017

As a subdivision of the services industry, electricity is powering our society, but could do so more efficiently with EDMS software (electronic document management systems).
 
Deregulation Creates New Demand for Corporate Responsibility

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), is still the primary overseer of the utility and electricity industry, but it is granting more leeway to businesses to make decisions in the way they see fit.
 
One of the biggest trends in the electricity generation and distribution industry is the shift from regulatory power to the power of businesses, who are taking on an increasingly central role in establishing their own regulatory and governmental framework given the leniency the government has given businesses.
 
EDMS Software as an Industry Time Capsule

One of the biggest questions in the electricity generation and distribution industry is how to pass the proverbial torch from more tenured linemen to the younger generation rising to fill their roles as they retire.
 
The operational challenges this imposes are far-reaching in scope, but they can be addressed through three specific EDMS software offerings:
 
  • Protecting documentation on legacy system and new technology procedures.
  • Better information management for easier new hire training.
  • Using role-based security to access documentation.

With these three offerings, the seismic generational shift within this industry can go smoother than most companies expect.

Maintaining Field Equipment on the Fly

In conjunction with an inter-generational paradigm shift in the industry, new and less experienced technicians must be able to securely retrieve procedural documentation on their mobile devices to provide the best service possible.

Mobile EDMS software makes this possible, storing even the largest files securely in a password-protected solution that also offers a client portal for sharing sensitive documents. 

Not only does this help workers on a procedural level, it also helps to ensure new hires are safer on the job as they are able to double check procedural processes.

At any point of procedural uncertainty, new workers in the electrical industry can use EDMS software to find the information they need, precisely when they need it.

How EDMS Software Helps Fit the New Corporate Framework in the Energy Sector

Any time there's a transfer of power across an industry, particularly if it's from the government to businesses themselves, requires a complete overhaul of existing processes, primarily at the level of document security.

This change is occurring across all kinds of electricity generation and distribution businesses, including gas, water, transportation, and general consumption.

Given the amount of ransomware attacks that have recently plagued the digital world, electricity companies need to take it upon themselves to safeguard their internal documentation - protecting themselves from internal and external data breaches.

Mastering Customer Service Due to Industry Changes

As deregulation swells in the electrical services industry, so do electrical services companies and, therefore, competition.

This provides consumers and businesses with more alternatives when deciding to whom they should give their business.

This raises competitive stakes for electricity services sellers, but one of the most energy-efficient ways to handle this competition is through EDMS software for services companies.

And it remains relatively untapped as a green method of ensuring the clean energy branding consistency that many electrical companies are striving to advent.

On a more profit-centric note, the number of fast-followers in the electrical services market also imposes competition for growth.

Although industry pioneers, like PECO, have a strong foothold in the market, fast followers are less likely to fail if they can learn to poke holes in PECO's business model and analyze a market need the pioneer neither understands nor is conditioned to address.

One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by managing information at the documentation level to drive actionable insights: A siloed piece of documentation is like a great quote that never rolls off the tongue - it's impact and potential to drive change won't be realized.

It's these actionable insights at the EDMS software level that will help smaller utilities companies master customer service objectives for the betterment of makret competition, consumer offerings, and their own growth.

This also entails shifting attention from consumer-facing equipment to business facilitating equipment - another paradigm shift positioned to stir up change and demand for EDMS software in the industry.

The Winning Market Model: Green Business Processes and Energy Production

Although electrical services companies historically have not spent a lot of revenue on marketing dollars, changes to industry competition may alter this.

As green energy becomes an increasingly serious condition in producing services in this industry, so will the processes that produce them, particularly at the document level, which EDMS software streamlines.  

Although a lower population density exists in the western United States, this geographic locale is spearheading the most aggressive green energy mandates - particularly in the Northwest.

These states may not just set the future tone of energy production, but also the processes by which documentation is produced to account for the details of these changes.

Although statewide legislation is yet to impact the latter of these two factors, that could very well change within the next decade.

Disaster Recovery and Mitigation: Understanding the Finer Details

When most electrical companies think of disaster preparedness, they likely think of minimizing downtime it takes to get back up and running right after an incident occurs. But keeping their own information safe is also mission-critical to business continuity objectives.

Disaster preparedness doesn’t just apply to people, it applies to businesses, too. And EDMS software is one way of ensuring business continuity at the documentation level for companies looking to reify a more holistic disaster preparedness strategy – one that accounts for the health of the company.

With recurring 24-hour data backup to SSAE 16 certified data centers and built-in security to simplify things like PCI (payment card industry) compliance, an EDMS software is an essential staple. 

Jesse Wood is the CEO of document management software vendor, eFileCabinet. Founded in 2001, eFileCabinet, Inc. began as a cutting-edge tool to digitally store records in accounting firms. As it grew in popularity, eFileCabinet developed into a full-fledged electronic document management solution designed to help organizations automate redundant processes, ensure security, and solve common office problems.