Energy Networks Association | Huddle

Increasing efficiency and improving engagement across the association with Huddle.

Established in 2003, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland. Their members control and maintain the critical national infrastructure that delivers these vital services into our homes and businesses.

The ENA's overriding goals are to promote the UK and Ireland energy networks, ensuring the networks are the safest, most reliable, most efficient and sustainable in the world.

Huddle plays a critical role in helping ENA collaborate with its members on how to implement new technologies and processes, while also assessing UK and EU government policies, regulatory matters and the overall UK energy networks strategy.

The impact of Huddle has been immediate, saving ENA an estimated 150 hours per month.
 

The challenge

Working on a wide range of initiatives covering everything from HR and Finance systems through to policy review and strategy development for decarbonization and digitization, the ENA plays a pivotal role in not only representing the energy network operators on a national level, but also bringing members together into working groups. In these groups they can go into the details and agree the implementation strategy for initiatives, or arrive at a common position around new policy and regulation requirements.

“We have upwards of 50 working group with up to 15 members in each, working on everything from HR and finance systems implementation, strategy work around electric vehicles and public relations.” Explains Randolph Brazier, Head of Innovation and Development and the ENA. “With 50 internal staff and around 500 active users from our members, not to mention external public bodies, coordinating the working groups and initiatives can be very time consuming.”

During the course of an initiative many documents are needed, each of which is reviewed, edited and commented on by members of the working group before being finalized. “Before Huddle, we shared files with members using a combination of email and a bespoke system that we had built internally. The review process was creating a lot of admin overhead,” explained Brazier “we would receive lots of individual comments back which then had to be manually reconciled into a single document. Email in particular was very time consuming as members were working on different versions of the document, and there would be no visibility of who and when someone was working on a particular document.”
 

“The cost of redeveloping our in-house system was prohibitive, and we knew email wasn’t the answer, so we started looking for a viable alternative.” 

Randolph Brazier, Head of Innovation and Development and the ENA.
 

Randolph decided that the current in-house system was no longer fit for purpose and began evaluating off-the-shelf cloud-based solutions. “The cost of redeveloping our in-house system to support capabilities like drag and drop upload was prohibitive, and we knew email wasn’t the answer, so we started looking for a viable alternative.”

The solution

Randolph and his team engaged ENA’s members to explore options and collectively they settled on Huddle. “We looked at a number of cloud-based options and Huddle came out on top with some stand-out capabilities including permissions management and ease of use. It was quick and simple to implement, cost effective and, critically, it was very well suited to working with many external users”.
 

“We looked at a number of cloud-based options, and Huddle came out on top.”
 

With internal teams, external association members and also public facing resources, ENA needed the right level of governance to ensure that document access was closely controlled. “Huddle’s user permissions are simple to understand and implement, and the Workspace model means we can have discrete environments with access control for each working group.”

“Huddle has been a breath of fresh air compared to the old system and email. We typically work in Word, Excel and PDF, and having working group documents in a single location saves us a lot of time and means members can work on documents at the same time. We can also view all comments, changes and feedback in the browser without having to download documents first.”

Huddle’s activity feed, approvals and tasks also mean Randolph and his team can keep a close eye on progress. “Huddle’s tracking features are so easy to use and have given us a QA trail that we didn’t have previously. We can see who edited or commented on a document making it a lot easier to track the status of our initiatives.”
 

The outcome

The impact of Huddle has been immediate, saving ENA an estimated 150 hours per month. “By allowing us to cut out the time spent distributing documents and consolidating feedback, Huddle is saving us around half a day per person per month, and that’s just the document management part of the process. Huddle’s automated notification features for comments and approvals also reduces time spend managing the overall process.”
 

“Huddle has been incredibly successful across the board - we’ve already had to double the number of users that we originally purchased.”
 

A key objective for the ENA was to use Huddle to drive engagement across the organization. Huddle’s Customer Service has played a critical role in delivering demos, webinars and onboarding new users. “Huddle has been incredibly successful across the board - we’ve already had to double the number of users that we originally purchased.”

Find out more about Huddle for energy and utilities here, or request a demo today.

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