Renewable energy has seen exciting developments in the past few years, and the progress is showing no signs of slowing. According to the EIA, renewable energy will actually be the fastest-growing source of electricity generation in 2020.
By harnessing the power of energy technology, renewables have become more streamlined and cost-effective than ever before. Innovation has also sparked new uses: For example, in waste-to-energy – one of the fastest developing domains within renewable energy – there’s now a broad palette of methods that go from traditional incineration to strategies like anaerobic digestion. But have supply chains managed to keep up with the progress?
The truth is that the energy industry has traditionally relied on manual practices to achieve results. Projects tend to consist of many separate touchpoints, and navigating an increasingly global marketplace by keeping track of the process through old-school methods isn’t exactly efficient. The good news is that technology can turn things around, making the management of complex energy processes simpler than ever.
Why exactly should you digitize your renewable energy supply chain?
- Optimized project management
When it comes to energy processes, project managers often have many parameters to consider, and no two projects are ever the same. After all, changes in conditions such as the quality or quantity of the input, reliability of supply, number of suppliers, and exposure to downstream market risks (such as oil prices or risks by supplier industry) can all significantly affect the direction of a project.
Digitizing the operations brings unprecedented transparency into the process. With a centralized online platform, you can get a 360° overview of each stage and adopt a proactive, rather than reactive approach to the ever-changing risk factors. Without the need to make back and forth phone calls and constantly update your Excel sheets, you can also generate accurate insights and keep track of real-time developments.
- Expanding your supply chain network
Apart from simpler project management, digitizing your entire operations can also help you procure a much larger supply network while increasing cost savings in that area as well. In waste-to-energy, for example, projects rely on manual infrastructure which doesn’t allow for efficient testing, management, and billing processes. It’s no wonder that scaling in such conditions remains a significant challenge.
By leveraging digital processes and mobile apps to connect with your network directly, you can see the big picture of all relevant suppliers on a local map. You can explore their rates, find the quality and quantity of feedstock that you need for your specific project, and easily upload the images and verification documentation necessary to keep your project moving. This way, you both stay organized and can grow your operations further with ease.
With this expanded network, you have the potential to save up to 40% of supply costs, depending on your supply chain progress and what commodity is being procured.
- Accessing new opportunities
More collected data and more accurate insights mean one thing: more opportunities for accurate supply chain predictions and planning. For example, you can easily access information such as transport time estimates. These are built on advanced data models that incorporate schedule information, historical data, and loading/unloading times per site, together with real-world conditions such as the distance between collection sites and delivery destinations.
Quick and easy analysis of the unprecedented amounts of data available in a waste-to-energy supply chain can drive the improvement of your operations. By looking at performance data, you can identify bottlenecks and optimize collection, warehousing, processing, and distribution. With services that span between regions and across touchpoints, you can easily streamline your supply chains for cost, route, transit time, and much more.
At EnMass Energy, we built a one-of-a-kind software platform to help support the entire waste-to-energy procurement process. If you want to learn more about our solution, please get in touch.