The recent COVID-19 outbreak has forced an unexpected and dramatic shift in the way the retrofit industry manages work and workers. For an industry immersed in on-site facility tasks, the abrupt move to remote work has created temporary disorientation to the otherwise competent contracting profession. Organizations who have invested in digital work methods will be well-prepared to not only survive but thrive in a new social environment.
The shift to digital
While the retrofit industry, like other construction-related sectors has been generally slow to adopt new technology, the latest innovations in both the building technologies themselves (such as LED Lighting, IoT and advanced controls) and the processes used to assess and implement them have been growing at an accelerated rate and offer unprecedented opportunities for growth.
While some organizations are still “getting by” the old-fashioned way, those that take advantage of the latest digital methods are able to remain nimble and continue to operate under less-than-ideal scenarios.
Technology solutions like cloud-based software are enabling organizations in the retrofit industry to become well-oiled machines and achieve more with fewer resources. Through streamlining communication and collaboration from any location, cloud-based solutions have provided a number of advantages to the industry. Following are just a few advantages that retrofitters in the digital world have enjoyed.
Always available, from anywhere
Using cloud-based software for a lighting retrofit project, organizations can assign one individual to audit the facility (either online or offline) and then digitally share the entire audit (data, floor plans and pictures included) with another individual responsible for developing the project quotation and proposal with just a few clicks.
Because the retrofit project data is housed in one digital location, software in the cloud enables teams to work at any time, from any location without interruptions. This is essentially crucial for teams that work remotely or teams that are spread across a geographic territory.
"Before moving to a cloud-based application, our project data was spread across numerous spreadsheets, laptops and local servers that significantly restricted our ability to move projects forward on a timely basis."
Lincoln Marunde - Genesis Energy International
Hosted virtually (across many servers and data centers), cloud-based software is always available to your retrofit team for any phase of the retrofit lifecycle. Unlike local or file-based systems such as Excel or Word that have the potential to lose work due to a computer or application crash, cloud software saves data continuously and eliminates downtime and lost data completely.
In far more serious situations such as environmental disasters or national crisis situations, cloud-based software is able to keep organizations running at full speed without interruption. The fact that cloud-based software is continuously monitored and managed by a professional IT team, provides additional peace of mind to management and alleviates another worry from the long list of other concerns you will no doubt have at these times.
Working together, remotely
As remote work grows in popularity and companies utilize the gig economy, cloud-based software plays a crucial role for organizations to effectively complete projects with team members miles apart.
With software, such as SnapCount, organizations can operate nimbly with just a few team members and allow external users or companies to assist in various aspects of a retrofit project all within one platform. Consider Donovan Energy’s retrofit of the Cincinnati Zoo, leveraging an outside organization that was experienced with SnapCount to assist in completing a project without adding any additional overhead.
Uninterrupted training and customer support
Because cloud-based retrofit software does not require a customer-success team member to be in-person for training or support, customer support is readily available via phone, email or screen share for users of the software.
Just like energy efficiency professionals like you, SnapCount customer success team members are focused on efficiency and helping retrofit projects run smoothly. This means that they are available to assist customers completely uninterrupted by factors such as time difference or crisis situations to provide timely customer support.
Preparing for explosive growth after the downturn
While few things are certain during economic downturns, one thing that is clear is that every crisis ultimately comes to an end, and retrofit organizations armed with work-specific cloud-based software such as SnapCount coupled with the proper training and preparation these times of disruption help prepare your team and set the table for even greater opportunities on the other side of crisis.