Electrical contractors know new doesn’t automatically mean better.
If a tool or technique works reasonably well, why risk the potential cost and disruption of switching to an unproven alternative, like energy retrofit software? Paper is cheap, and you already have an Excel license. Plus, any new software typically comes with a learning period (and maybe a little grumbling from employees.)
As it turns out though, energy retrofit software can quickly pay for itself, and then some—and in ways you might not have expected.
As we’ll explain in this article, energy retrofit software can help your business scale, win more contracts, increase capacity for larger projects, avoid costly errors, and remain on time and under budget.
Let’s explore how it’ll work for your business.
How Energy Retrofit Software Helps Electrical Contractors Save Time
To illustrate just how much time energy retrofit software can save your business, let’s walk through a typical lighting retrofit project from inception to completion, starting with the audit:
To perform a typical lighting retrofit audit, an auditor will walk from room to room, jotting down the existing lighting technologies in the facility as well as snaping photographs with their phone or camera. These notes and measurements must then be transcribed, often using a general office tool such as Excel, before being transferred again into the final proposal. As for the pictures, remembering what part of the building they were taken can be extremely difficult.
Here’s why that process is holding you back:
- Each step takes time that could be spent on new projects, lead generation, training or any other task that moves your business forward.
- Every incidence of manual data transfer increases the potential for transcription errors—the correction of which can eat up even more hours. (And that’s if you catch it before the client does).
Energy retrofit software replaces the arduous task of data transcription with the click of a button.
With SnapCount, for example, auditors can use a tablet or their smartphones to capture facility data (including floorplans, photos, drawings, and video) with detailed precision. The data is then instantly transferred to the cloud, where it can be accessed by others and imported efficiently into proposals.
Your prospects don’t have the patience to puzzle over dense spreadsheets. Attractive and straightforward proposals are a must for landing retrofit jobs.
But … assembling winning proposals from audit data can be incredibly tedious. And if proposal design isn’t in your team’s skillset, you may end up fighting an uphill battle against competitors with a more polished pitch.
Energy retrofit software simplifies the proposal process. With SnapCount, for instance, audit data (including fixture types, quantities, and burn hours) flows directly from the cloud into eye-catching proposals that lay out the value of the retrofit project using easy-to-grasp charts and infographics. SnapCount even has several professionally designed templates to choose from, making it a breeze to create an impressive proposal, even when you have almost no time.
Electrical contractors who use energy retrofit software say it lets them spend more time with prospects and less time in the back-office wading through spreadsheets and numbers.
Energy Retrofit Software = Stylish Proposals: Quickly, Easily, Accurately
There are a lot of parts to juggle in a large retrofit project, especially when it involves multiple sites: a crew to manage, vendors to negotiate with, materials to deliver, and clients to keep in the loop. An electrical contractor can spend all their time on the phone, and pieces will still fall through the cracks, causing mistakes, missed deadlines, and decreased profits.
The right energy retrofit software can keep your projects running smoothly, so you spend less time spinning plates—and fewer of them get dropped.
For example, SnapCount enables you to generate purchase orders, and work orders, and track a project’s daily progress all from within the same cloud-based platform. Plus, comprehensive project close-out reports and quote/job comparison documents help you build and maintain a great reputation with your customers.
As IoEnergy President and Chief Financial Officer David Krueger told us recently, energy retrofit software helps his firm manage scaled projects effectively:
How Energy Retrofit Software Helps Electrical Contractors Save Money
“Time is money” is an overused cliché, but it’s also true. And it’s something every contractor learns quickly, especially as you grow … and administrative work starts to take over your day. By delegating that work to a reputable, reliable industry solution, the more time you’ll have for:
- Prospecting for new opportunities.
- Incorporating new in-demand elements into your retrofit services, like IoT connectivity and electric vehicle charging.
- Developing more complex proposals based on more granular audit information, like how a fixture is mounted, the style and size of a lens, controls information, ceiling and fixture height, and more.
In short, energy retrofit software like SnapCount can free you up to scale your business. And as you grow, these digital tools can help you manage increasingly large and complex projects that are simply impossible to handle using other means.
The financial benefits of using energy retrofit software go beyond saving time. There’s also the money saved by avoiding mistakes. According to a recent survey of retrofitters and electrical contractors, 33% of projects are impacted by errors, with the financial impact often reaching 20% of the project value! The fewer manual steps in your audit, proposal, and project management processes, the lower the odds of someone mis-keying a number that throws the entire project off-track.
What to Look for in Energy Retrofit Software
We’ve established that the right energy retrofit software can help electrical contractors increase efficiency and profitability while expanding their services and value to customers.
How can you make sure that happens for your business? To ensure a piece of energy retrofit software is worth the investment, ask these questions:
- Can the software integrate with the other technology you use?
- Is the software scalable? How well will it work with five users, 10 or 35? Can it grow alongside your business?
- What do independent reviewers have to say about the software? Does the software maker have a sterling reputation in your industry? Will they offer exceptional technical and customer support when you need it?
- How easy is the software to maintain and use? Will it require extensive training, or does it have an intuitive design?
- Does the software give you access to an ecosystem of products and professionals to help you connect with qualified partners and scale your business nationwide? Is there a certification program to help you quickly identify skilled users?
The demand for energy retrofit projects is high, but the competition is intense. The electrical contractors and ESCO’s who will win in this competitive landscape will be those who capitalize on the latest technology to marshal their time and resources as efficiently as possible. Change doesn’t always come easy but replacing your electrical contracting business’s manual workflow with high-quality energy retrofit software is worth taking the leap.
Learn why now is the time to invest in energy retrofit software in your free copy of the Lighting Retrofit Software Buying Guide.