The benefits of improved collaboration between electrical contractors and panel builders | Schneider Electric

The benefits of improved collaboration between electrical contractors and panel builders | Schneider Electric

Stewart Gregory, VP Power Products at Schneider Electric, looks at the reasons why improved collaboration between electrical contractors and panel builders can benefit all parties.

Enabling smart power infrastructure is vital as we move into an increasingly all-electric era. This is only possible by propelling forward electrical innovation and efficiency – and this requires effective collaboration. Too often, however, outdated and siloed technology makes this almost impossible. Electrical contractors and panel builders have to meet and exceed the growing levels of speed, reach and agility that the power industry requires. To achieve this, open partnerships must be created, in order for digital transformation to be seized. As a common feature of many modern business ecosystems, closed or proprietary platforms prevent organisations from opening up to and working efficiently with each other. Contractors and suppliers often lack the accessible platforms, interoperable architectures and open partnerships that spark innovation in the sector, and this needs to change.

Open collaboration starts with open partnerships

Giving your organisation the digital tools to work effectively with partners and contractors is crucial. The first step towards a more collaborative future is to make openness your digital priority. Since electrical contractors and panel builders often have a natural relationship when it comes to low- and medium-voltage projects, it is vital for them to collaborate easily and answer emerging customer demands for more digital and sustainable solutions. Since few, if any, ground-breaking developments ever emerged from a silo mentality, contractors and partners must acquire the digital know-how and interoperability required to create meaningful collaborative business relationships. Wherever an organisation’s emphasis lies, be it safety, availability, reliability or cyber security, finding the right solution is paramount. Technical support and advanced tools should be available anytime, anywhere, to create an open, sustainable, and resilient digital ecosystem.

The limitless opportunities of digital

Digital tools like assistance portals, online forums and mobile Apps must be engineered with openness and accessibility as a top priority. Tapping into open, flexible platforms to obtain support, facilitate engagements, exchange ideas, and foster new business opportunities is essential for electrical contractors and panel builders to stay ahead of the curve. Put simply, open systems are about choice and flexibility. Digital technology excels when openness is applied to system architectures, software, and protocols, offering interoperability to customers, developers, and integrators alike. It allows for more cost-effective development and support, while lessening the risk of painful disruptions, and gives organisations the tools to scale and evolve according to changing business needs.

Deadlines are becoming shorter, and projects require multiple stakeholders, so connectivity and collaboration is simply good for business. Being able to think digitally and sustainably is now a requirement for success, and organisations need to have easy access to relevant expertise and shared resources to future-proof operations. However, you must remain mindful that partners may be at different stages of their digital transformation journey. Having the ability to answer learning curve challenges at a pace that is right for teams, customers and projects is a must.

Building meaningful professional bonds

Smart digital technology allows us to unlock the true power of openness for our industry. It brings everyone into a more diverse, knowledgeable, and rewarding business network than was ever possible before, through digital forums and meaningful collaboration. In the coming years, partners and manufacturers will have to work together to adapt and answer the challenges of the new electric world. Partnerships of the future go beyond solutions, technologies, and training. They provide you with future-facing opportunities to better navigate new challenges and collaborate to win more business.

Supporting the entire value chain with shared knowledge

Creating a dialogue, not just between electrical contractors and panel builders, but consulting engineers, distributors, and other digital innovators and experts, is crucial. Connecting the right technology partners across diverse projects and multiple regions, in online spaces like the Schneider Exchange Forum, offers the opportunity to promote business innovation and solve energy and automation challenges across the entire value chain. The whole industry can benefit greatly from shared expertise, whether that be by showcasing business success at product, solution, and marketplace levels, or by disclosing experience-led knowledge to overcome common pain points and meet wider-industry needs. Being part of a space to share go-to-market strategies that have paid off helps to create commercial agility, as well as promoting yourself as an innovative service provider to grow your business.

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