With the price of crude oil hovering at roughly $50/bbl, many companies might be reevaluating their industrial energy management (IEM) strategies. Certainly consumer behavior is changing in the face of low energy costs. Sales of less fuel-efficient larger vehicles and pickup trucks are increasing, people are traveling more as fuel costs drop, and consumer goods spending is up as people have more discretionary funds.
Industrial Energy Management (IEM) will remain a challenge for many organizations in the coming year. Energy cost volatility will be driven by increases in U.S. petroleum and natural gas production, which will put downward pressure on the market, and continued global political turmoil, which will drive the market the opposite way.
Today, industrial manufacturing companies are facing greater operational and regulatory burdens than ever before. And while most companies have a strong annual focus on growing financially, the new realities of the business climate have made many organizations see that growth can only occur if operations are efficient and harmonized with sustainability initiatives. This is where Industrial Energy Management (IEM) can and does play a big role in helping to see and handle the larger overall energy picture.
In recent years, manufacturers have done a better job at viewing energy use and energy management as part of the big picture when it comes to cutting costs and driving profitability. And while we’ve seen the increased adoption of frameworks like ISO 50001 and EN 16001 to better optimize and streamline energy management, many manufacturers are still facing challenges taking these programs to the next level in terms of results.
Although manufacturing and industrial companies are fueled by innovation and technological advancements, it's often the directly quantifiable improvements that get the most immediate public attention. But fear not, for two years and counting, the team over at Environmental Leader has been making an effort to recognize the newest and most innovative products and projects to highlight all of the great things being done in the space.
From manufacturing, quality, and energy management software selection best practices and tips, to challenges with building the right culture, launching complex products, and attaining metrics visibility, the LNS Research blog covers a wide range of topics for leaders working to achieve operational excellence.
Today, many industrial companies are facing similar challenges around improving energy efficiency, but not all have an optimal strategy for handling them. According to LNS's Industrial Energy Management Survey, three of the most common energy management challenges companies are facing today are measuring metrics, managing disparate systems and data sources, and dealing with a lack of supportive company culture around energy management.
At a high level, what are most industrial companies focused on? Although there are a number of areas, one that stands out is improving operational costs. Both internal and external stakeholders are looking closely at revenue, earnings, and so on, adding pressure to not only maintain current performance but also continuously improve it. The question remains, however, how do you identify areas for improvement especially after taking care of the low-hanging fruits?
Last month, we launched our inaugural Industrial Energy Management (IEM) survey. In that short period of time, it’s been taken by over 100 executives and leaders in charge of making energy and sustainability-related decisions in their organization. Through the survey responses, we’ve been collecting benchmark data on a number of people, process, technology, and metrics-related questions.