Top 7 Questions to Ask Energy Broker Software Vendors Before Making a Choice
Energy broker software can help businesses find the best deals on electricity and natural gas. These programs manage a company’s energy contracts so that procurement team members aren’t spending their time looking for the best prices on utilities every time they need to renew a contract. To make the right choice, you need to know exactly what you’ll be getting from an energy broker software vendor. You also need detailed answers to your specific needs so that you don’t waste time evaluating options that won’t meet your requirements. Let’s look at some of the top questions you should ask vendors before picking one for your business.
What type of contracts does your software support?
The energy broker platform can manage different types of energy contracts, such as spot market purchases, bilateral agreements, and forward contracts. Before you start evaluating energy broker software, you need to know which types of contracts your business needs. You should also ask if the software can be customized to support different contract types. An energy broker software that supports only one type of contract is unlikely to meet your needs.
How is user data managed and protected?
Does the software integrate with other systems that you use?
You probably have some core business systems that are crucial to your operation. Make sure that energy brokerage software integrates with these systems. You’ll have better visibility into your energy usage and costs if the software integrates with your billing system. You’ll also be able to take advantage of advanced features like demand response programs. A good energy broker software vendor will make sure that its program smoothly integrates with the tools that you already use. You can also ask about ongoing development plans for future integrations.
Which types of reporting does it offer?
Some energy broker software vendors only offer basic reporting. You may need more advanced reporting if your company has regulatory compliance needs. You should ask the vendor about the types of reports that are available with its software. You also need to know if it can be customized to provide the types of reporting you to need. If the vendor has simple and basic reporting features, it’s unlikely to meet the needs of large utility clients. You need energy broker software that can provide reports that are compliant with utility regulations.
How is the product supported by the vendor?
You need to know how energy broker software vendors support their products. Do they provide timely patches, bug fixes, and new releases? You should ask about the support process and how you can get help from the vendor if needed. You should also ask about how the vendor prioritizes support requests. You should expect to receive prompt and personalized support from the vendor. You should also expect to get detailed explanations of what causes a problem and how to fix it.
Is there a free trial or demo version of the software?
Before you commit to an energy broker software, you should try it out. You should try out the software to see if it meets your needs. You should also test the software to see if it works well with your organization. You should ask your vendor if it offers a free trial or demo version of its software. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t pick that vendor. You should also ask about support for the free trial or demo software. You want to test a software program that works as you expect it to.
Energy broker software can make your procurement team more efficient. It can also help your company reduce its energy costs by allowing you to take advantage of utility demand response programs. Before you choose an energy broker software vendor, you need to ask the right questions. You need to know what features are available, which ones you need, and how they work. You also need to know how the vendor supports its products and what type of user data is collected. You should only choose an energy broker software vendor once you’ve asked the right questions and have gotten detailed answers.