Action Renewables have over 15 years experience in the sustainable energy industry in Ireland and are widely recognised as the foremost authority on renewable energy in Northern Ireland. Their management information system for small-scale generators was based on spreadsheets, but as the numbers of small-scale generators grew, the management process became more labour intensive. The same data was being entered into multiple systems. The process needed streamlined and Acorn IT Solutions were happy to help.
Action Renewables are widely recognised as the foremost authority on renewable energy in Northern Ireland. They provide support for renewable energy development, through trading electricity and renewable energy certificates.
The organisation was created in 2003 by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, to create research and raise awareness of the positive impact of renewable energy. In 2008, they became a “stand-alone” entity and still retain their charitable status. Today, they are continuing to facilitate the increased penetration of renewable energy in Ireland to help provide a sustainable solution to the future energy needs.
They have worked on many major projects for the EU and for private business and provide a comprehensive range of services including energy solutions. domestic solar, export and power trading.
What was the challenge?
In 2005 the Government introduced the Renewables Obligation, placing an obligation on UK electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of their electricity from renewable sources.
Action Renewables were able to advise and guide the “small-scale” Renewable Electricity Generators on choices around installation and getting their installation certified, dealing with OFGEM on their behalf and offering a ROC and Energy trading service, ensuring that they were able to maximise the values attained for their electricity which they generated. The numbers of clients which they represent increased significantly to the point where they now work with over 6,000 Energy Generators.
Projects Director, Jonathan Buick recalls what prompted them to investigate a new solution:
“The “small-scale” Generators side of the business grew so quickly and our manual systems just couldn’t cope. Everything was managed on spreadsheets and it was just becoming more and more labour intensive. The process of gathering the getting meter readings and managing the trading and payments process was so manual. More concerning was the fact that we have figures being re-keyed two and three times – and that was becoming a significant risk to the business.”
Action Renewables were already using Sage 50 solution for their back-office accounting, so they turned to Sage to investigate what they had to offer, working with Sage Business Partner, Acorn IT Solutions.
“The Acorn guys quickly had a grasp of what we needed to do and the issues with our current system. They listened to those key issues and were able to translate them into what they proposed as a solution”
Rachel Sankannawar, Senior Business Development and Tenders Manager.
Action Renewables choose Sage CRM as their platform to manage all of their Customer interactions. Sage CRM is optimised specifically for small to medium businesses, both easy to use and quick to deploy, it enables organisations to see a rapid return on investment to have a positive impact straight away.
Adopting Sage CRM has benefited Action Renewables in a number of areas. Sage CRM has automated processes which improves reliability and minimises the risk of errors occurring as it reduces the requirement for manual control of systems. Productivity has increased thanks to Sage CRM as pricing, order information and customer information can all be found easier and quickly from within the one place.
Sage CRM ensures data is consistent across teams and helps reduce costly mistakes by increasing accuracy and effectiveness. It is accessible on demand and therefore can save the need for time in putting together different procedures, such as running separate spreadsheets. It also helped to give a complete view of Action Renewable’s customers as it includes directory of all customers so their customer communications and purchase history can be checked resulting in an enhanced understanding of their customers.
Action Renewables are currently embarking on the second phase of the project, which is again to automate the processing around the “large scale” Generators, for Wind, Solar, Biomass, etc.
Removed potential for errors in processes and workflow.
Don’t need to add extra resources to detail with increased volumes.
Real time visibility