Stadtwerke Hamm is a specialist in the field of energy services (EDL). This includes services such as leasing photovoltaic systems, contracting solutions, building thermography and several others. Interested customers are often unaware of the large number of offers. In most cases, the homepage is the only presentation platform on the Internet. For Jochen Hille, Head of Energy Services, this is a reason to break new ground. So the municipal utilities got a specialist on their side in the form of e-pilot GmbH from Cologne: with its cloud of the same name, the start-up offers the possibility of complete digitization, from marketing to control to billing. Stadtwerke Hamm is already the 20th energy supplier to rely on the multi-product platform from Cologne.
For Hille, the partnership with e-pilot is the necessary step towards a digitally oriented future. He says, “As a regional utility, we have always advertised our EDL through traditional print channels. But we know that we need to increasingly place these topics online in order to be successful.” e-pilot CEO Michel Nicolai wants his cloud to be the missing piece of the puzzle for expanding the Hammer utility’s digital success: “We are convinced that we can not only give the EDL business the boost it needs for a broader presence online, but that the municipal utilities will also quickly benefit from the fully digital end-2-end process as well as the other network advantages of the platform.”
Plus point: easy for customers to understand
With e-pilot’s e-commerce cloud, EDL director Hille wants to increase the company’s own visibility for current and future customers on a central platform and with the support of its own landing page on the web. “This will bring us much closer to our goal of providing all-round service to our customers and offering them a variety of attractive products,” he says confidently. He sees great advantages above all in the fact that the platform is easy to understand and thus arouses the interest of his customers to browse through it and search for products. This simplicity, he says, is a key intersection with the transparent self-image of the utility: “We have local roots, and our customers expect fair products and honest advice from us. That’s what we want to deliver, and we have to do something about it every day,” adds Hille.
Attractive expansion of own product range
Ultimately, he was also convinced by the part of the cloud that is not visible to the customer: “It’s not just a matter of presenting the product here. The interactive integration with different products and the sales process running in the background with customer contact and the possibility of storing customer data and interests is exactly what we need. The possibility of expanding our own product range module by module is also highly attractive to us.”
Two existing EDLs make a start
In a first step, Stadtwerke will start this year with two existing EDLs that can be established in the e-pilot cloud just as easily as completely new products: “hammerWÄRME”, a contracting product in which a heating system is installed and operated, and “energieDACH”, a leasing model for photovoltaic systems. If these two products on the e-pilot cloud are convincing, it is quite possible that other existing EDLs of Hammer or new products of other municipal utilities will be added. Because this is also the core of the cloud: existing products that are brought in by other energy suppliers are also available to all other network partners. “That’s of course highly interesting, that we can use the know-how of other municipal utilities just as they benefit from our experience.” The company is already active in the field of e-mobility and an electricity storage product is also possible.
Win-win situation Partnering
The second key advantage of the e-commerce cloud and multi-product platform is the issue of partnering: each municipal utility brings its own partners from different industries and with different backgrounds and experience. The e-pilot Cloud already offers a large partner network that is available to all energy supply companies. For example, in addition to their own regional network, Hammer can also draw on existing partners and expertise. “Our goal, of course, is to pick up as many of our craft partners as possible and take them along on our journey into the digital future,” explains Hille. The first talks have started well, he said. It certainly helps that the presence in the cloud is free of charge for partner companies. This not only enables them to acquire new customers outside their radius, but also to implement their day-to-day business much more efficiently – a win-win situation for all sides and a vision that Stadtwerke Hamm, as an innovative utility, has already recognized and intends to exploit for itself.
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