Adrien Arnaud is Head of North and East Development at Elicio France, and a user of the Explain platform for several months now. In this interview, he looks back at how the partnership was built and shares his main uses of the software.
What makes Elicio unique today in the wind energy sector?
Elicio will be celebrating his tenth birthday next year. The company is positioned in all phases of wind, onshore and offshore development.
In France, Elicio is structured around three agencies that employ around twenty people. We have a reputation for being very close to our projects. We have well regionalized our activities and we are very present on the ground, in development and operation.
How was the partnership built?
Elicio's Development teams have been using the Explain platform for almost a year now. When my colleagues told me about a tool that helps us save time looking for information from municipalities and administrations, I wanted us to exchange information quickly. This part of my mission is actually one of the most time-consuming.
At Elicio, we were not in the habit of integrating external tools into our processes. We particularly appreciated the support of the Explain Customer Relations team during the first few months. They allowed each user to build a hyper-personalized interface according to their own needs, and all this while consuming very little time. We appreciated being able to test beta versions of software features when our collaboration was recent at the time, and to see the responsiveness with which our feedback was taken into account.
At the beginning, we feared a tool that would add us more working time, and this fear has absolutely not been confirmed. On the contrary, we quickly realized how much time was saved.
What main challenge does Explain respond to at Elicio?
Without any hesitation, that of strengthening our local presence in our development projects.
What are your uses of the software?
I'm going to use Explain to prepare an appointment, to know the terrain I'm coming to. I am going to consult the regional daily press section to find out about local events in the municipality where I am going and the deliberations to find out if by-elections are planned, if there are movements within the municipal team. This information gives me material to define the right time to contact the municipality and the periods when elected officials have other fish to fry. This information gives me material for a first exchange and helps me to create a relationship of trust with my local contacts. Often, elected officials are surprised to see that the territory is so well known!
I will also use Explain as a competitive and strategic intelligence tool to not miss anything that is happening in the municipalities around my projects. I need to be alerted if there was a meeting between a competitor and an elected official, if the MRae has issued an opinion on a competing project, to consult the prefectural orders that will tell me whether or not the projects have been accepted, and for what reasons.
Concretely, the opening of public inquiries, unless you went to the prefecture's website every day and scanned the local press every morning, you would miss out on the news. It's interesting in areas where there are already a lot of wind turbines, it gives you the keys to understanding the terrain. Environmental and landscape constraints or constraints related to proximity to historic monuments. Feedback from the administration on competing projects influences the way in which we build our own projects.