Competencies

We understand the energy industry

It’s no secret: Fundamental upheavals are shaping today’s energy industry – from groundbreaking technologies and new market players to the transformation of energy systems. This makes it all the more important for energy supply companies to dynamically respond to these transformations in order to proactively shape tomorrow’s energy sector as a first mover.

But where to start? This is where BLUBERRIES comes in. Whether outsourcing, regulations, change management or all-encompassing digitalisation: we know the energy industry inside and out.
Put your trust in our expertise: We are the partner at your side to successfully take your company into the future.

Transformation
The art of managing change effectively.

When the winds of change blow, build windmills, not walls.

Let’s face it: The energy sector is confronted with transformations like never before, such as megatrends, digitalisation, cost pressure, and new business models. You say you are confronted by change? We say it’s all about change management!

Changes, upheavals and transformations have come to stay – this applies all the more to the energy sector.. Falling wholesale prices, globalisation, a tendency towards more flexible energy markets…the list goes on and on. What this means in concrete terms is that new approaches, strategies and business models must be developed.
Large energy providers and public utility companies have started to do their homework: A multitude of restructuring and transformation processes have been initiated and implemented in recent years, particularly in the fields of plant construction and infrastructure.

Unfortunately, “soft” topics such as communication with customers and securing the acceptance of employees are often at the bottom of the list of priorities. Empowerment? Involvement? Comprehensive change management? Not seen as important. Although these aspects provide the basis for successfully implementing changes, they are sadly missing.

A study conducted by BLUBERRIES revealed that the energy sector is bottom of the league when it comes to the multidimensional implementation of change processes. The study participants were critical of the fact that too few change management instruments were being used, while three quarters of the employees surveyed were in favour of more comprehensive focus on change management. Furthermore, it was found that instruments and methods do not reach those most affected by changes – neither executives nor employees. As a result, the opportunity is missed to actively involve those most impacted in transformation processes. All that remains are more or less unstructured change management programs that disappear as quickly as they came, wasting valuable human and financial resources.

We at BLUBERRIES are convinced that effective change management supported by the pillars of vision, communication, participation and qualification creates a win-win situation for everybody involved. So why wait? Together, we will find the right way forward so that the “wind of change” remains at your back instead of blowing in your face. Our experts develop and implement processes suited to your corporate needs in order to successfully and sustainably integrate change management into your company.

Flexible, dynamic, multi-faceted – this describes the energy sector, and this also describes us. With BLUBERRIES, you can harvest the fruits of comprehensive change management. After all, the only thing that is constant is change itself.

You have questions?
Get in touch with us!


Caroline Altmeier

Mobil +49-151-46719731
Mail caroline.altmeier@bluberries.de

Optimisation
Cost-cutting programmes as an opportunity

Transforming current challenges of the energy industry into benefits

Cost-cutting programs = Necessity + frustration + personnel reduction?
That doesn’t have to be the case! Carefully planned optimisation measures actively involve employees at all levels and clear the way for innovation, lean structures and new forms of corporate management.

It is clear that the energy sector is confronted with unavoidable external transformations like never before: climate change, the nuclear phase-out, an expansion of renewable energies, demographic change, a tendency towards more flexible and decentralised energy markets – these are the signs of our times. The unpleasant consequences for energy suppliers are increased cost and optimisation pressures. In order for energy companies to remain competitive in the future and, more importantly, to take on a pioneering role, they are forced to reinvent themselves.

However, cost-cutting programmes are predominantly viewed in a negative light, particularly in terms of personnel reductions and budget cuts. Moreover, optimisation measures are, unfortunately, often implemented at short notice, are reactive, and often go hand in hand with an increased workload. Last but not least, managers are often faced with the dilemma of choosing between staff retention and downsizing. No wonder then, that the motivation to push ahead with cost-cutting measures falls flat.

Nonetheless, a key to success does exist and can be paraphrased by “the journey is the destination”. The involvement of key interest groups at an early stage makes yesterday’s affected parties the creators of tomorrow. Mixed and interdisciplinary teams break down the silo mentality and pave the way for new synergies and solutions. A further success factor lies in a changed management culture: By empowering young executives, outdated structures are dismantled in favour of innovative approaches. Demographic changes also present an opportunity to streamline processes and restructure the company. Last but not least – and this is no secret – the comprehensive digitalisation of operational processes must figure at the top of the list of priorities in order to create transparency and eliminate inefficiencies.

This shows that cost savings can be brought about through a systematic, multidimensional approach. Each cost-cutting programme should be aligned to these three underlying principles: sustainable – holistic – collaborative.
You are faced with the task of cutting costs? We support you in analysing the current situation, redefining processes and products and developing and implementing the appropriate measures.

Together with you, we develop tailored, viable and sustainable solutions which are met with a high degree of acceptance to the satisfaction of all parties involved – for an open and positive culture of change in your company.

We at BLUBERRIES support you in moving out of your comfort zone and developing into an agile company that knows how to profit from the challenges of our time.

You have questions?
Get in touch with us!


Olaf Ruchay

Mobil +49-171-5302792
Mail olaf.ruchay@bluberries.de

Business models
Business models of the future in the energy sector of tomorrow

How the energy sector is getting fit for the future

Let’s face it: The energy sector as we know it will no longer exist. Everything is pointing to change. Fundamental questions thus arise: Will electricity possibly be free of charge for the consumer in the near future? How will the energy sector in future generate revenues? New business models are needed.

The future is now – complex developments are already emerging today that will transform the energy sector: increasing competition, new players and technologies, the energy revolution, maximum price transparency, lower margins, prosumers willing to change suppliers. And this is just the beginning. The energy system of the future will be significantly more decentralised, small-scale, data-supported and control-intensive. Further dynamic developments can currently only be guessed at. One thing is clear: Energy companies must redefine themselves and proactively break new ground if they are to remain successful in the future.

New business models have to be developed, existing structures that are taken for granted have to be dismantled and novel ways of thinking have to be explored. This applies first and foremost to energy companies, which must shift their self-perception from a dominant supplier to a service provider among many competitors. So how can they stand out from the competition? By simply creating added value for the customer. In concrete terms, this means understanding the customers of tomorrow and their expectations with regard to energy supply – in other words, fostering customer experience. What is important to customers? Transparency with regard to their own energy consumption? Optimised self-consumption of their photovoltaic systems? Attractive regional solutions? Electricity models tailored to tenants? And what will they be willing to pay? These are just some of the questions which every energy company has to address in order to develop innovative business models without simply abandoning the field to other market entrants.

Every business model has to be able to generate profits. But how can the energy service provider of tomorrow earn any money at all? Can we profit from the large volumes of customer data and thereby increase customer convenience? Can data-supported models for optimised control be implemented at all? Clearly, one possible solution is to strengthen the link between decentralised energy generation and supra-regional consumption. At the personnel level, interdisciplinary think tanks can be set up to develop a variety of different approaches.

Do you have specific implementation topics critical for the realisation of a model? Or are you in need of an external assessment of your company’s potential? We support you in harnessing the potential of your employees and apply a tried-and-tested system tailored to your needs in order to quickly find out whether an idea qualifies as a business model. We are at your side, from the initial analysis right up to the implementation of the business model itself.

An entire industry is searching for new paths to follow. At BLUBERRIES, we point you in the right direction to help your company move forward in the long term. Because the future has only just begun.

You have questions?
Get in touch with us!


Olaf Ruchay

Mobil +49-171-5302792
Mail olaf.ruchay@bluberries.de

Digitalisation
Digitalisation in the energy sector - welcome to the future.

Digitalisation is the driving force which is redefining energy supply from the ground up.

Digital, decentralised, smart: this is the future of the energy industry. A myriad of technologies are already revolutionising the industry today – and this is just the beginning. The time is ripe for a paradigm shift.

Smart metering, smart grids, smart homes, smart cities… Never before has the energy sector had such a variety of new “smart” technologies at its disposal as it does in the digital age. Groundbreaking and innovative means of distribution such as blockchains are paving the way for the decentralisation of means of production. The Internet of Things is also turning previous business model’s upside down – smart meters and smart homes are just the beginning of a dynamic development that can no longer be stopped.

As a consequence, energy supply companies are faced with the urgent task of developing new business models in order to bring innovations to market as quickly as possible. Clearly, the most important resource for achieving this is data! Data-driven business models will become the prerequisite for surviving in the energy market – because growing competition and changing customer requirements are already shaping the energy sector.

In short, everything has changed. The call for innovation has never been greater. Companies, however, should refrain from putting into place undirected one-off measures just for the sake of it. The time has come for a comprehensive change of mindset within the energy industry. In other words, a change in thinking is needed that does justice to the decentralisation of production resources on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to the digitalisation of communication resources.

In concrete terms, this means being open to new developments within organisations, having in-depth know-how, adopting agile project management approaches and effectively using and monetising the volumes of data produced. For example, in order for smart meters and smart homes to function as the core of data-based business models, an adequate IT connection to energy supply companies must be ensured. Yes, there is a lot of work to do!

Digitalisation opens up a whole new world of opportunities that the energy sector needs to exploit effectively. Many future developments can only be guessed at from today’s perspective, and yet one thing is clear: Digitalisation is set to radically transform the energy sector. This makes it all the more important to proactively address digital developments in order to position oneself as a first mover.

It is up to the energy sector to revolutionise the market with innovative technologies. We at BLUBERRIES will accompany you through this process. Because together we are smart.

You have questions?
Get in touch with us!


Reza Sharifi

Mobil +49-173-2875852
Mail reza.sharifi@bluberries.de

Regulation
Regulations and market design in the energy sector - from parallel existence to coexistence

How today’s energy sector needs to reinvent itself

Today’s energy sector is complex, global and regulated. Within the energy sector, “thinking out of the box” is not an empty phrase but rather the order of the day. The interplay of diverse actors with different interests requires new holistic structures – to create a market design that is able to integrate state regulation effectively and profitably for all parties involved.

Today’s energy sector is not easy to grasp – it has many faces.
The energy sector is complex: It is governed by technical, economic and legal requirements and is shaped by governmental and non-governmental actors. In addition, new technologies are transforming existing power structures. All-rounders are needed to create suitable structures, modernise institutions and effectively shape the interaction of all actors. The energy sector is global: national approaches and solutions have had their day.

The regional and national borders of the energy market have become increasingly blurred in recent decades. Globalisation is also affecting the supply of energy. European markets are being opened up, especially against the backdrop of electricity exports, and new institutional structures are being created. The motto is: think globally, act globally. The energy sector is regulated: Regulatory challenges are the order of the day and have a significant impact on the energy industry, both at national and European levels. This makes it all the more important to develop, implement and benefit from regulations – in order to create an attractive market design. These three dimensions will also determine the energy sector of the future. But how can the resulting challenges be best overcome? How should we deal with the ensuing pressure to adapt? We at BLUBERRIES say: through the cooperation of all players in conjunction with new business models. Interfaces must be identified and used to pave the way for innovative interdisciplinary approaches. The goal: a mutually beneficial market design in accordance with regulatory requirements. The efficiency of technical processes and business procedures must, of course, be preserved. Mission impossible? No, a balancing act that can be mastered: A holistic approach that integrates various stakeholders and topics is able to keep pace with the dynamics within the energy sector and deliver sustainable solutions.

At BLUBERRIES, we are familiar with the various regulatory tools and know where they come from and how to apply them. Our aim is to create an overall improved energy sector that is more sustainable and efficient. We support governmental and non-governmental actors, including at the European level, to recognise and exploit the full potential of current developments – and have been doing so for more than 10 years. Drawing on our long-standing expertise, we can help you to survive in the market and take advantage of trends. Let’s join forces for an innovative market design of the future.

You have questions?
Get in touch with us!


Andreas Pointvogl

Mobil +49-151-11302209
Mail andreas.pointvogl@bluberries.de

Outsourcing
Outsourcing in the energy sector – some things are best left to others

Why outsourcing is a good idea and how it works

Outsourcing – the word alone makes many of us feel uneasy. Nevertheless, there are good reasons to outsource certain processes or functions. But what is the best way to tackle the sensitive issue of outsourcing? We at BLUBERRIES say: through communication, communication and more communication!

The pressure within the energy sector is increasing exponentially: boundaries between sectors are becoming blurred, new players are entering the market and competing with previous market leaders. To give a concrete example: telecommunications providers competing with energy service providers in the smart home sector. But that’s not all: Innovation cycles are shortened due to new technologies, price fluctuations on the raw material markets are the order of the day and regulatory changes in connection with the energy revolution call for efficient actions. The result is that restructuring and optimisation measures have become essential to succeed in the global smart economy. In other words, it is about making processes more efficient, minimizing reject rates and making the best possible use of resources.

One way for companies to master these challenges is, of course, to outsource certain business activities. A preliminary step is to set up a Shared Service Center, which bundles various functions and activities. In this case, the company retains control over the unit in question. The next step in the development of this model is to outsource business processes to an external partner. The potential advantages are obvious: cost savings, concentration on the core business, process optimisation, increased quality and bundling of resources – for a streamlined company that is able to react to changed circumstances in a flexible and agile manner. The other side of the coin, however, is that in some cases, outsourcing management can prove to be ineffective and not well thought-through. The benefits previously praised to the skies are then reversed, resulting in additional costs, reduced quality of the product or service and increased staff turnover, to name but a few. In short, a nightmare scenario.

We are convinced that risks of this kind can be eliminated through consistent and stringent outsourcing management. This includes a comprehensive opportunity/risk analysis, a concrete, well thought-out implementation plan and the involvement of all parties – that is, the management level, the outsourcing partner and, above all, the employees affected. Communication is the key to successfully exploiting the opportunities that outsourcing undoubtedly offers without losing those affected. Because an open communication culture creates trust and clears the way for a competitive company.
Yes, some things are best left to others. This is why BLUBERRIES is the partner at your side when it comes to emphasising your strengths through effective outsourcing.

You have questions?
Get in touch with us!


Johannes Burger

Mobil +49-170-2801217
Mail johannes.burger@bluberries.de



Caroline Altmeier

Mobil +49-151-46719731
Mail caroline.altmeier@bluberries.de

Compliance
Compliance? Sure! Regulatory frenzy? No thanks!

Successfully addressing regulatory challenges in the energy sector

Considering the multitude of regulations in the energy sector, it is understandable that energy companies often cannot see the wood for the trees, as the saying goes. Where do you start? What priorities do you set? And, above all, where are pitfalls and risks lurking? The key is effective compliance management.

We are all familiar with press headlines such as those relating to the balance sheet manipulations involving Enron, formerly the largest American energy trader, which caused a massive stir at the beginning of the 2000s. However, in view of the comprehensive set of regulations to ensure compliance and the associated control mechanisms, it is no longer possible for CEOs and board members to talk their way out of it without further ado. “I don’t know anything about anything”. A truly weak excuse. The consequences for the company are penalties, resignations and, last but not least, a loss of image or even sales losses. What’s more, in today’s “viral” media landscape, the next “shit storm” is always just around the corner – a nightmare scenario for every company.

The energy industry is also strictly controlled and regulated – for many, this is both a blessing and a curse. Legal compliance and adherence to standards are the top priority to prevent abuse – and this applies not only to big, but also to smaller players. Admittedly, in view of the diversity and complexity of regulations in the energy sector, it frequently proves difficult to implement them successfully: internal market packages, existing reporting obligations, REMIT, transparency regulations, network codes, operation of internal control systems, data protection requirements… The problem: Companies are not even aware of many of these regulations but, as is generally known, ignorance of law excuses no one. In addition, the question arises: What of all this is even of relevance to my company? To what extent do I have to take precautions to actually prevent misuse and comply with legal requirements?

Professional compliance consultation and support is, without a doubt, called for here. This, however, is often incompatible with entrepreneurial action, especially if purely legal in nature, as it repeatedly give rise to an unchecked regulatory frenzy. One example of a compliance challenge companies are currently facing is the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Is there a way out of this “compliance dilemma”? We at BLUBERRIES say yes – by implementing best practices, i.e. efficient and sustainable processes with clear responsibilities.

We are familiar with the regulatory environment of the energy industry. Together, we can master the balancing act between entrepreneurial action and regulatory standards. We support you in identifying relevant risks and managing them efficiently. With BLUBERRIES as your consultant, you are on the safe side.

You have questions?
Get in touch with us!


Johannes Burger

Mobil +49-170-2801217
Mail johannes.burger@bluberries.de