Why Power and Energy Data Matters1 Apr, 2014 By: Dave Perrotta
Choosing the right data to focus on when running a business is one of the great challenges of our current work culture. In the era of big data, power and energy analytics can easily be overlooked. However, what some imaging dealers don’t realize is that monitoring and analyzing power quality and energy usage can not only reduce your dealership’s operating costs, it can create a valuable source of RMR for anyone selling document technology products or solutions.
The Importance of Power Analytics
If you are not utilizing power diagnostic equipment; you should be. Research proves that office equipment dealerships not using proactive power protection and diagnostic programs have higher cost per copy and increased service calls. Regardless, if you are a dealer principal, service manager, or sales rep, power affects your business and your bottom line; like when power quality issues cause no-problem found service calls, resulting in customer retention issues.
Most power related issues are easily misunderstood by customers as a machine malfunction, not a building/power quality problem. Roughly 80% of power quality issues are generated from within the same building that your machines are installed (Florida Power Study). Elevators, HVAC systems, and nearby equipment can cause power disturbances that disrupt the operation of the office equipment you service. If your team does not have the right tools to analyze and understand how power disturbances can affect your MIF, you run the risk of misdiagnosing service calls which results in increased customer downtime.
To protect your profitability, power and energy analytics enable your dealership to educate clients, resolve service calls faster, and improve customer satisfaction. Customers need empirical evidence of a problem and statistical proof that your machine is not causing the root issue. That’s why intelligent solutions with integrated power protection and diagnostic capabilities are important to give your team the right tools to monitor and record real time analytics, proactively.
Understanding where power problems originate and having the ideas and solutions to address them is the key. When a machine is down, evidence of recorded power anomalies or “catastrophic events,” such as over/under voltages, surges, power outages and shut-offs, is invaluable. Furthermore, diagnostic capabilities that measure and record line-neutral voltage, amperage, and line frequency gives your team the skills to gain a complete view of a system’s general health and helps them troubleshoot service calls faster.
The Energy Data Opportunity
Energy management is another tool recently introduced to our industry, and it offers a variety of benefits to copier dealerships. If you are a dealership, take note. As utility costs continue to rise, virtually every business can save money with some simple energy management solutions and upgrades. These points easily integrate with imaging talk tracks, give your sales team new solutions to bring to customers, and provide the opportunity for your dealership to help clients reduce their operating costs.
The EPA reports that nearly 30 percent of energy costs in commercial buildings are a result of inefficient or unnecessary use. Wouldn’t we all like to have half of that tacked on to the bottom line? Whether it’s lights, computers and printers left running all the time at full power, heating unused office space, or something else, the cost of wasted energy is staggering. Your existing clients and potential targets need someone with the knowledge, skills and product solutions to help them better manage their energy use. If you don’t take advantage of the open opportunity, someone else will.
Plug level energy management solutions are unobtrusive and can yield immediate useful data. Your customers can create schedules or monitor usage to ensure devices are turned off when not in use, 365 days a year. Eliminating energy usage intelligently by turning off non-essential equipment during peak usage times can help your customers reduce their operating costs substantially. Plug load energy management is now a part of LEED certification as well, so having energy management as a skillset can expand your prospect list to include LEED buildings and businesses that are committed to sustainability.
Energy data can also be used to tailor purchase proposals for new business leads. Offering a free energy assessment as part of the initial sales process can open the door to new customers who may not realize their inefficiencies. The topic of energy management can be used as an opportunity to engage IT departments, corporate responsibility officers, purchasing managers and others who are in a position to see the most benefit. Think like an energy intelligence advisor who can help on many levels, and be flexible in how you sell services. Have a turnkey “premium” package that bills monthly for data analysis, reports and energy management services, but also offer a la carte options for those who want to pursue a more DIY or scaled approach.
The Bottom Line
Understanding where energy waste or power problems originate and having the ideas and solutions to address them is the key. At times it can seem like we’re being buried in data, but knowing how to analyze and monetize energy related data will have a lasting impact on the profitability of your imaging businesses.
Dave Perrotta is the VP of Operations &Engineering for Electronic Systems Protection, Inc (ESP/ SurgeX), and has engineered patented power protection diagnostics and energy management solutions for the imaging industry for over 10 years. Perrotta has an extensive background in operations and engineering management, has a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Worchester Polytechnic Institute, a Masters in Business Administration from Baker College, is an active IEEE member, and is SPHR certified.