How IFS software enables the energy sector to address its biggest operational challenges


How IFS software enables the energy sector to address its biggest operational challenges

It is never a case of ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) and other complex software initiatives. To maximise the chances of a successful project, factors such as sector-specific expertise, vendor reputation and the quality of support on offer must all be given special consideration during the solution selection/procurement process.

This is especially the case for businesses operating within the energy sector. From the revival of the switching economy, through to intense pressure to diversify and decarbonise, energy companies are facing a complex mix of sector-specific operational and market driven challenges at present.

With a track record of serving the needs of the energy sector since its inception, global cloud enterprise software company, IFS is acutely aware of the implications of these challenges.

Here’s how its offerings are equipping energy companies to tackle them head on…

1. Business-wide challenges demand an integrated approach

If a particular plant is hit with performance issues, or a sudden policy shift impacts a niche area of operations, what are the implications for the entire business? What does it mean both operationally – and for your bottom line?

Resource planning and performance management have never been easy for this sector. However, over recent years especially, it seems that the problems faced by energy – political instability, volatile pricing, and, of course, the pressure to hit net-zero, to name just a few – are of a different nature. For one thing, they are less localised: i.e. if an event hits, its implications are rarely confined to a particular business function boundary or geographical area. Another increasing descriptor of such challenges is non-linear: the idea that the full impact of an event or decision is difficult to trace and understand.

For energy enterprises to get a grip on performance and make the right decisions on asset management and allocation, they need clear visibility over all moving parts of the business. This includes linkages to possible early warning signs on performance-related issues. IFS appreciates this better than anyone. Its applications – including EAM, ERP, Enterprise and Asset Lifecycle Management – are made available through a fully composable, integrated platform. It enables planners to collect key information all in one place, get a joined-up picture of performance and make timely, better-informed business decisions.

2. Supporting enhanced customer service

As the price cap gradually becomes redundant, the coming months look set to see a return to competition across the energy sector.

The first stage will most likely take the form of a switching bonanza as customers cast their eyes across a newly competitive market and head for the most attractive tariffs. Beyond this however, savvy operators will be careful to focus not just on price, but on quality of service as a means of securing customer loyalty.

Energy companies need to look carefully at what type of experience customers expect, and whether they are equipped to deliver it. Factors such as speed of response, knowledgeable staff, and consistent, seamless messaging can all offer energy companies the opportunity to establish points of differentiation in the race for both consumers and commercial customers.

IFS applications directly support the development and optimisation of this type of standout customer experience. From human capital management through to customer fault logging, the entire process of service engagement management can be handled on a single platform. These are the building blocks for rapid, consistent service, happier customers and a stronger brand reputation.

3. Ensuring maximum return on technological investments

When market conditions are uncertain, businesses are more likely to think twice about major investments. Against this however, there is a desire on the part of energy companies to boost visibility across their organisations and to ensure they can respond with agility in the face of rapidly changing conditions. As such, despite – or perhaps more accurately, because of – a difficult economy, as many as 60% of businesses plan to increase investments in digital transformation this year.

Businesses are keen to upgrade their capabilities. But with budgets under strain, there is little room for expensive mistakes, and business leaders need to think very carefully about how and where to focus their investments.

Managers responsible for procurement and implementation on major software initiatives need to look very carefully not just at their choice of solutions, but also their choice of vendor. If it is a purely transactional relationship with the vendor attempting to shoehorn the business into a one-size-fits-all solution, the chances of failure are high. By contrast, IFS solutions have been devised and optimised with the needs of the energy sector squarely in mind. This sector-specific expertise helps ensure a genuine strategic partnership, complete with a carefully considered plan for prioritising projects, aligned to the organisation’s goals. This is precisely what companies require to maximise the prospects of success.

4. Helping create more agile businesses

The energy companies most likely to prosper over the coming years will be the ones who can respond with agility to shifting conditions and pre-empt customer demand and expectations. This includes the ability to spot trends in usage demand and behaviour, equipping suppliers with the intel to hone their service offerings accordingly.

IFS applications enable companies to manage and analyse all data relating to customers in a single location. Alongside tools to streamline service management, IFS also offers integrated customer experience management (CXM) software solutions to capture feedback data from customers. Utilising this intel, companies can get a better handle on what is and what isn’t working and focus on service improvements that are in line with customer needs.

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As a premier IFS Managed Service Provider, Millennium Consulting is ideally placed to support energy companies as they seek to transform their operating models to meet the challenges ahead.

To discover what’s possible through the IFS platform reach out to Philip Keet, IFS Customer Services Director via email or LinkedIn.

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Renewable energy to become the world’s top source of electricity by 2025

Renewable energy will become the world’s top source of electricity within three years, new data reveals.

According to the International Energy Agency Electricity Market Report 2023, 90% of new demand between now and 2025 will be covered by clean energy sources like wind and solar, along with nuclear energy.

This growth in output means that renewables will become the world’s largest electricity source within three years – providing 35% of the world’s electricity and overtaking coal.

"The world’s growing demand for electricity is set to accelerate, adding more than double Japan’s current electricity consumption over the next three years. The good news is that renewables and nuclear power are growing quickly enough to meet almost all this additional appetite, suggesting we are close to a tipping point for power sector emissions."

— IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol

IFS has Renewable Energy Market Solutions

IFS offers the best engineering services and industrial processes to clients involved in various industrial manufacturing sectors. IFS also provides efficient, environment-friendly renewable energy solutions for your renewable energy sector needs.

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Why is IFS the Enterprise Software platform of choice for Energy and Utility companies?

Millennium Consulting has recently partnered with global cloud enterprise software company, IFS AB. A leader in the fields of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) and Service Management, IFS has been serving the needs of energy and utilities companies since its inception.

In Oil & Gas, Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution and Water, the need for best-of-breed cloud enterprise software has never been greater. This is a sector where sustainability requirements and rapidly shifting customer expectations are shaping the future. As a consequence, companies are increasingly having to rethink their business models, diversify their offerings and get a tighter grip on asset management. Here’s a closer look at how IFS is equipped to deliver these capabilities…

An integrated platform, delivering a holistic view

Energy companies often comprise a complex portfolio of assets scattered across multiple locations. The drive to net zero undoubtedly represents a huge strategy shift. This coincides with a host of pressing operational challenges, including the need to manage and reduce operational costs, while also ensuring the reliability and safety of existing assets.

In short, organisations within this sector have complex requirements; and those requirements are simply not going to be met by generic, one-size-fits-all planning and enterprise management solutions. Covering areas such as project management, plant maintenance, supply chain and human capital management (to name just a few), the components of IFS are hardwired to meet this sector’s specific needs. In fact, the company has been meeting the needs of this sector right from its earliest days.

Crucially from a strategic point of view, these capabilities are offered on an integrated, composable platform. Your in-the-field leaders responsible for projects, assets and service levels certainly get the benefit of best-in-breed operational management tools. But alongside this, CFOs and other board-level executives get an up-to-date, joined-up picture of performance. In terms of strategy, this puts you in a much stronger position to highlight efficiency opportunities, reduce costs and optimise processes.

The three core offerings delivered by IFS – ERP, EAM and Service Management – complement each other, enabling businesses to consolidate operations, support growth initiatives and improve customer service. This speaks directly to some of the biggest challenges currently faced by the energy sector. These are just a few illustrations of how the capabilities offered by IFS can make a difference to your organisation:

  • Use IFS to adopt an end-to-end solution to support the entire lifecycle of assets, from feasibility assessments to operation and maintenance.
  • Modernise field operations and get a single view of the truth across asset management, technician schedules, customer systems and outage use cases. IFS’ acquisition of Clevest in 2020 enables the company to deliver a combined enterprise asset management (EAM) and Mobile Workforce Management MWM offering: something that has helped IFS earn a place in the Gartner Market Guide for Mobile Workforce Management Software for Utilities for the eighth year in a row.
  • For onboarding new assets (e.g. when diversifying your portfolio through renewables initiatives), use IFS Projects to manage the complete project lifecycle.
  • What are your options for reskilling and/or redeploying existing employees to reflect changes in your operating model? Use the IFS Human Capital Management components to analyse resources and ensure alignment with organisational strategy.

While current geopolitical crises have temporarily curtailed contract-switching activity, we can, of course, expect it to return with a vengeance once supply issues have settled down.

In both utilities and power distribution, customers demand reliable and exceptional service at their fingertips. In practical terms, this involves a timely response to queries, and technicians turning up when they are supposed to. This is another key area where the integrated architecture incorporating the Internet of Things (IOT) and energy/utilities-specific capabilities of IFS prove particularly valuable. Workforce, asset management and customer service components exist on a single platform, with the ability to communicate with each other. There’s an opportunity here to ensure complete alignment of all stages of each service engagement, from customer fault logging to ultimate resolution: a huge boost in enabling enterprises to maintain and grow their reputation for quality of service.

As well as its formidable track record, it was also the ambition and transparency of IFS which led Millennium Consulting to partner with this particular vendor. This is a company that seeks to be as much a strategic partner with energy companies as a product vendor: one where the various solution components look set to continually evolve in line with the challenges faced by the sector. Recent presentations from IFS leaders explain this ambition.

We know that this sector is no stranger to innovation, whether it’s AI-driven maintenance solutions and the use of augmented reality in tandem with robotics, through to predictive analytics and machine learning to anticipate demand. To reap the full benefit of these developments, businesses need a way to utilise the data generated by such solutions into their strategic planning processes.

Rather than being based on monolithic code blocks, IFS comprises a multitude of software components linked through application programming interfaces (APIs). In other words, the architecture is flexible; enabling integration with whatever advanced operational capabilities your organisation may be seeking to implement.

An independent IDC analysis found that IFS users benefit from an average 18% productivity gain. The company is committed to ensuring maximum ROI for customers through its unique approach to Business Value Engineering. Deploying sector-specific expertise, IFS offers its customers a Digital Business Value Assessment, whereby specific opportunities, cost reductions and process improvements are identified. This is used to frame the solution scope and define implementation success.

Right across the energy and water sectors, the eyes of regulators, investors and end users are on organisations, ready to scrutinise their sustainability credentials. Companies need a robust framework for formulating ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals, and for translating those goals into action.

The IFS ESG component speaks directly to this need. Key features include the ability to track emissions right across the enterprise, an enhanced ability to factor in environmental costs in planning processes, and a capability within the Service Management module to reduce waste by facilitating the easy identification and recall of underused inventory.

Where to next?

For energy and water companies, IFS offers the opportunity to supercharge digital transformation initiatives and to significantly boost your ability to tackle some of the sector’s most significant operational and strategic challenges. To discover what’s possible, speak to Millennium Consulting today.

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Digitalise and improve business efficiency for asset owners in Energy

IFS is the market leader providing business software to the energy industry, working with more than 400 projects and/or asset-driven companies.

Many of the companies in the energy industry are diversifying away from major reliance on oil & gas revenue and embracing the journey to net zero—and, more specifically, renewable opportunities. This requires them to adopt an agile mindset and ensure that their enterprise software solutions are flexible enough to support new business models and ways of working.

This white paper explores ways for asset owners to digitalize to improve business efficiency, reducing cost and secure asset uptime with built-for-purpose supply chain management.

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The Future of Energy and Utilities

Build a better future for Energy and Utilities

There’s a bold new future ahead for the energy and utilities sector

The global movement towards sustainable energy and carbon-free solutions is driving significant change. As is the move to build and service smart, connected cities and communities.

Ensure that your business is able to keep up with these industry changes and focus on services and outcomes instead of products that will allow you to orchestrate your customers, people, and assets as your business transforms.

This white paper will outline some of these key challenges in the Energy and Utilities sector, and highlight practical ways to deliver the Moment of Service that will delight your customer—time after time.

Read the white paper

IFS Partnership announcement

Millennium Consulting is delighted to announce it has signed a Partnership Agreement with global cloud enterprise software company IFS

IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations.

“Our new IFS partnership builds upon the software and services arrangements that have been developed by Millennium with other complementary software vendors over the past 15 years.”

— Philip Keet, CEO, Millennium Consulting

IFS is a fast-growing leading software vendor that focuses on key market sectors. Growth in H1 2022 came from winning net new customers as well as from the IFS install base who continue to upgrade to IFS Cloud, resulting in cloud revenue growth of 56 % in H1 2022 compared with H1 2021. The company attributes its continued growth and success to its deep industry expertise, innovative and flexible IFS Cloud solution, and seamless integration across all its capabilities.

“We are very pleased to welcome Millennium Consulting as a partner. Millennium Consulting is a solid, experienced organisation with a strong client base and has delivered successful projects for many years. This partnership will help both companies with their significant growth plans and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

— Alan Laing, Managing Director, IFS UK&I

About IFS

IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. Within our single platform, our industry specific products are innately connected to a single data model and use embedded digital innovation so that our customers can be their best when it really matters to their customers—at the Moment of Service™. The industry expertise of our people and of our growing ecosystem, together with a commitment to deliver value at every single step, has made IFS a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of 4,500 employees every day live our values of agility, trustworthiness and collaboration in how we support our 10,000+ customers. Learn more about how our enterprise software solutions can help your business today at

About Millennium Consulting

Millennium Consulting is a UK headquartered management consultancy which for the past 28 years has provided Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Finance Transformation services to clients globally.

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IFS AB (Industrial and Financial Systems) is a multinational enterprise software company headquartered in Sweden. It develops and delivers enterprise software for global customers that manufacture and distribute goods, maintains assets and manage service-focused operations. The company operates in three regions: The Americas, Europe and APJ&MEA.

With IFS Applications and powerful service management and mobile functionality, IFS has pioneered component-based service management and ERP software. IFS Enterprise Service Management in the meantime is a leader in field service management, mobile workforce management, reverse logistics and more. IFS Applications provide increased ERP functionality, including CRM, SCM, PLM, EOI, enterprise asset management and MRO capabilities.

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