Nautilus Solar powered by ACTIS – Resulted in increased efficiencies by up to 77% for monitoring and reporting

Nautilus Solar LLC’s rapid growth presented the challenge to consolidate data and information across a large and disperse portfolio with different monitoring systems. Managing operations and reporting became increasingly time consuming and drained Nautilus’ valuable resources. With a help of ACTIS, Nautilus achieved significant improvements in time spent for operations and reporting of up to 77%.

Project Description

Nautilus Solar Energy is a development and asset management company focused on acquiring, developing, executing and managing distributed, community solar and utility-scaled generation projects.  Nautilus has invested more than $1B in capital and provides asset management services to over 200 solar projects.

Due to its rapid growth Nautilus Solar faced the following challenges:

  • Growing team and increased complexity to manage operations
  • Dispersed portfolio of assets with multiple monitoring systems
  • Reporting to clients – Asset Management, including financials and operations, reports generation were very time-consuming
  • Internal reporting on team efficiency and profitability became cumbersome tasks
  • Different teams, accountants, field personnel, operations and Asset Managers used various software platforms and consequently consolidation of information for reporting purposes were daunting responsibilities
  • Community solar PPA invoicing overconsumed internal resources
  • Accounting department was overburdened by Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables invoice management due to tremendous volumes of bills, invoices and related charges

Objectives

For several months the Nautilus Solar team seeked a software solution to address the above-mentioned inefficiencies and support sustainable growth by minimizing its team members’ non-productive time and streamlining operations.

The objective was to identify a mature, market-ready platform that would provide at least the following features:

  • Centralized platform for monitoring, alerting and dispatching
  • Tight cost control and billing to customers
  • Efficient management of team and profitability of contracts
  • Ensure compliance with various Asset Management tasks
  • Streamlined operations across the organization
  • Simplified and automated PPA billing for community solar clients
  • Real-time and accurate reporting; both internally and to clients with as minimum effort as possible
  • Efficient Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables invoice management
  • Collection of in-scope and out-of-scope services


Solution

After several evaluations of different software platforms, the Nautilus Solar team selected ACTIS as the “One source of Truth” for the whole enterprise and the most suitable tool that includes the features and functionalities to help achieve the above-stated objectives in one single platform and avoid silos of information that would accumulate in different software packages.

ACTIS was implemented at Nautilus Solar in a five-step process:

  • Step 1: Consolidation of data from various monitoring systems and standardization of alerting across the portfolio
  • Step 2: Customization of the platform according to Nautilus Solar’s individual business processes
  • Step 3: Integration with accounting software
  • Step 4: Customization of selected existing out-of-the-box reports to suit Nautilus Solar’s needs supplementing standard reports included with ACTIS
  • Step 5: Design of new reports for operations and financials; especially for consolidated financial statements to reflect the current report templates

Outcome

The results in terms of efficiency gains achieved so far are very impressive and exceed expectations:

  • Increased operational efficiencies for monitoring by consolidating monitoring and operations data in one platform, by decreasing the time spent so far by 29%
  • Increased reporting efficiencies by consolidating and data and information in one single platform, by decreasing the time spent so far by 77%
  • Streamlined business processes; gradually more team members engaged on the platform
  • Automated Community Solar PPA billing, dispatching invoices directly to the customers from the application
  • All project costs are now accurately tracked and billed accordingly

 

Stefanie Padget, VP Asset Management, Nautilus Solar

“We manage a lot of additional fee services so that we can keep our fixed fee contracts as low as possible.  The platform helped us streamline this process and tie all the A/P and associated A/R together. These efficiency gains have been achieved through April 2019; while the project is still ongoing. It is clear that the team has yet to exploit the full potential of ACTIS and in the coming months, the team’s efficiencies will increase further also in other areas of the business, like invoicing, customer management, maintenance activities.”

 

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