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asset management

  1. 1. asset management www.energycentral.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 39
  2. 2. 38 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  3. 3. Managing Complexity EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT ASSET MANAGEMENT IS — THEY’RE JUST NOT SURE WHAT TO CALL IT. By Warren Causey Asset management seems to have as many names as there now want to be called “utilities” again. They also want to define, are vendors promoting it and utilities buying it. That’s because there configure, and determine management of assets on their own terms is no one over-arching definition of the discipline. Is it enterprise — not as some large vendors decided they should be defined. resource planning (ERP)? Is it enterprise asset management (EAM)? Is As a result, not only have SAP, Oracle, J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft, and it a system that produces process improvement from generation to several others opted against creating monolithic “enterprise computing” the field? Is it inventory, financials, warehousing, wires and pipes, or empires at utilities, but also utility IT seems to be as splintered as ever people? What exactly constitutes an asset? Increasingly, utilities are — at least in the United States. The lineup of vendors also has changed determining that virtually everything they possess is an asset — from considerably. First PeopleSoft acquired J.D. Edwards. Then Oracle acquired the information stored in automated systems, recorded on paper, or PeopleSoft. Traditional CIS/CRM vendor SPL WorldGroup acquired a smaller even communicated by word of mouth. ERP/EAM vendor, Synergen, plus an OMS vendor, CES International, and The definition of asset management has shifted considerably since the now is playing in the “enterprise” asset management space. early days when SAP, based in Germany, introduced the idea of “enterprise Several other ERP/EAM vendors have continued to broaden and software” to U.S. companies back in the early- to mid-1990s. Considered expand their offerings to encompass more assets. Indus International prime targets, utilities were just coming out of a long slumber as regu- of Atlanta, for example, acquired a CIS from SCT and now calls its lated, protected, quasi-governmental organizations with great resources. overall package “Service Delivery Management.” Facing the very real risk of competition, utilities quickly realized that the Utilities did catch on to the idea of having their systems commu- “silo structure” of their information technology solutions wouldn’t work nicate across the enterprise, but they have done so much “picking in the proposed new environment; nor would existing haphazard systems and choosing” that many enterprise or asset management vendors of locating, moving, and accounting for all kinds of assets. find themselves having to link to their competitors’ products at the Thus, SAP and other vendors began expanding their footprints to same utility. One example of that trend is evident at Nashville Elec- compete with SAP. They expected to take the industry by storm and tric Service, which acquired Mincom software, an enterprise software eventually drive out niche players with all-encompassing, tightly inte- vendor, and integrated it with PeopleSoft/Oracle. National Grid of New grated software packages. However, some strange things happened England is another case in point. Its U.S. operations run primarily on along the way to this planned vendor nirvana: collapse of deregulation PeopleSoft, but its United Kingdom parent has a former (before the in California; the demise of Enron and other corporate malfeasance; PeopleSoft merger) Oracle EAM solution. Lattice, a newly acquired gas and the implosion of the wholesale energy market. One interesting subsidiary, employs SAP. phenomenon that resulted, besides the splintering of the enterprise The idea of enterprise asset or resource software has split into asset management computing market, is most “energy companies” competing ERP and EAM paradigms. Both have enthusiastic advo- 40 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  4. 4. dealing with their assets and doing so system-wide. “A major area that I’m really looking at where there needs to be a breakthrough is in busi- ness process orchestration,” says Gene Zimon, senior vice president, Information Technology, NSTAR, based in Westwood, Mass. “If you buy the logic that you’re implementing processes by assembling legacy and new software components, you end up with a set of systems that has to be integrated in order to deploy an effective business process.” Thus one important “asset” being sought from technology is improved “process,” making the definition even more complex. The complexity of the undertaking was expressed by Mahvash Yazdi, senior vice president, business integration and CIO, Edison Inter- national and Southern California Edison, in Rosemead, Calif. “Our engineering organization is looking into application of technology wherever it makes sense in terms of both transmission and distri- bution assets,” he says. “We also have a Vendors will group that we call our technology watch stake claims group, and we are looking at information- related technology, such as automation of to being the field tools. We are providing our linemen No. 1 solution and trouble men with computers in their trucks and with tools that will enable cates and overlapping software. Utilities continue to mix and match provider in one them to manage their work in a real-time their asset management solutions, but view them as a necessary part category or fashion, and have the right material of a whole. “Work management, asset management and financial are [assets] at the right location. We’re look- integrated into one system,” says Connie Woo, vice president and CIO another. ing at power line carriers in a private at Toronto Hydro. “The rest (CIS, SCADA, GIS) are stand-alone systems. fashion, potentially for a narrow-band We definitely would like to see all of these systems integrated to automated meter reading. So, we have support seamless processes.” technology groups that are doing tech- “Seamless processes across all asset groups and functions” is nology evaluation as well.” That means the mantra of most utilities today, especially the large investor- meters and the systems and individuals owned entities that dominate 75 percent of the market. That includes who read them are assets, as well. systems that deal with assets all the way to the residence or business. Toronto Hydro’s Woo also views asset management as part of “I mentioned field service automation and SCADA, which are two areas “service-oriented architecture.” Woo says: “We are planning an I would like to see improved,” Woo says. “We also have a distribution upgrade of our EAM system, which is the system from Mincom that management system, but we would like to expand it.” encompasses all our work management, human resources, asset Even industry analysts categorize the asset management market- management, our financials, our supply chain, and all of our back office. place in different ways. Some will rank work management vendors in one So we’re planning to upgrade to the next version of that system. Hope- study, EAM vendors in another, supply chain management (SCM) in yet a fully, that will move us to a new architecture — the service-oriented third category, and ERP vendors in a fourth or fifth category — sometimes architecture. Hopefully that will position us better for the Web and even adorning the term ERP with Roman numerals for good measure. future automation.” Vendors will stake claims to being the No. 1 solutions provider in Despite the attempt by vendors and analysts to quantify and one category or another. Sub-segments in the marketplace often are “pigeonhole” asset management, it continues to be elusive in terms applied, for example, defining industry categories in different functional of definition at utilities. But due to their asset-intensive nature, utili- ways (energy companies including oil and gas as well as electric, or sepa- ties know they need to be involved in it. They understand that assets rate categories for electric generation vs. transmission vs. distribution), include everything from the pole or transformer in the field to the or by using three “tiers” to distinguish large-, mid-, and small-sized business intelligence provided to the boardroom by integrated enter- companies before analyzing the different vendors’ market shares. prise systems that enable executives to see the status of those poles, But for utilities, the main interest is in developing integrated soft- transformers, generating plants, and field service crews. ware systems that enable them to improve the processes involved in www.energybizmag.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 41
  5. 5. Blending That process, which was assisted by Capstone Consulting Partners, now a subsidiary of Alliance Data Systems, of Dallas, extended through last summer. However, none of the companies could satisfy Cobb Ener- gy’s needs completely, Paolucci says. At that point, the utility decided Solutions to go with a “best of breed” solution. The result is the kind of mix-and- match software selection that has driven executives of “enterprise” software firms up the wall and resulted in considerable consolidation. Cobb Energy will implement the following line-up of asset manage- ment software: Lawson Software will handle financials and human resources/ A GEORGIA CO-OP GOES “BEST-OF-BREED.” payroll. A new Cordaptix CIS from SPL WorldGroup, San Francisco, will By Warren Causey be installed for customer care and billing. A component of Worksuite, of Houston, will provide the front- Cobb Electric Membership Corp.(EMC), in Marietta, Ga., end for Cobb Energy’s existing field automation system. is atypical of cooperative utilities in the United States. With its service Intelliplant, a product of Information Intellect, of Marietta, territory located in one of the fastest-growing areas of suburban Ga., will handle fixed asset management accounting for Atlanta, it’s larger than most co-ops with approximately 180,000 electric power and distribution assets. customers and more than 100,000 natural gas customers — all captured “An EMC, like any distribution company, is pretty asset intensive, with after the Georgia natural gas market was deregulated in July 1988. most of the assets being in transmission and distribution,” says Paolucci, Cobb EMC also has morphed over the last 10 years from a tradi- explaining why there is a separate accounting system for fixed assets. tional electric co-op to a multi-product company that sells everything “Most generic accounting systems have one asset number for something from electricity and natural gas to local and long-distance telephone such as a pole. Thus, they have to treat all those assets individually. To service, Internet service, home security, and more. avoid that, there are some specialty software systems that handle these To deal with its exploding list of services, Cobb EMC formed Cobb things as groups. Information Intel- Energy Management Corp. (Cobb Energy) in 1997, a for-profit entity lect has one of those.” formed to be an aggregator of services for the membership of Cobb EMC and others. Cobb Energy now is installing and integrating all of the software. definitions By 2003, it became obvious that Cobb EMC’s Orcom Customer “We’ve been through three conver- The following are offered as a guide. Information System, which handled everything from financials and sions so far,” Paolucci says. “We billing to tracking assets in the field, needed updating. decided to try to learn from our ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning “That software really served us well through the years, but the previous mistakes — one of those ERP systems developed originally way our company looked in 1995 [when the Orcom CIS was installed] was to run the projects ourselves. in heavy industry and tended and today is totally different,” says Steve Paolucci, associate vice That’s why we hired Capstone. We to emphasize financials and resource planning, though they president of finance at Cobb Energy. “The old monolithic software just wanted a company that had some gradually grew to include work couldn’t handle it anymore.” expertise in managing a project for management, human resources, As a result of that impasse, Cobb Energy began exploring enterprise- us so we could stay sort of on the and other “softer” disciplines, including even customer informa- wide asset management software in 2003. In 2004, it began installing a outside and be more concerned tion systems (CIS). new set of solutions. Most software and hardware for the entire enter- with learning the software and EAM – Enterprise Asset prise, including the original co-op, now reside with Cobb Energy. training.” Management “When we went into this project, we had hoped we could find one piece Despite the assistance, the EAM systems developed in more of software that could do everything we needed done,” Paolucci says. installation is progressing in process-oriented industries with more emphasis on human resourc- The fact that it didn’t work out that way is typical of many utilities stages and won’t be fully es and work management, but in the United States — they haven’t been fertile ground for the large completed until sometime in 2007, gradually grew to include financials enterprise computing firms like Waldorf, Germany’s SAP. Paolucci says. When it is, Cobb and supply chain management/re- source planning and CIS. “We started with five or seven different options and narrowed it Energy/EMC will join a long list down to three: Lawson Software, St. Paul, Minn., PeopleSoft [now an of utilities that entrusts asset SCM – Supply Chain Management Orcom subsidiary], and SAP,” Paolucci says. “We did intense sessions management to a collection of SCM grew up in plants and with those companies, gave them our requirements, and asked best-of-breed software from factories and still concentrates whether they could meet our needs out of the box, with minor modifi- several companies. primarily on the movement of parts, fuel, and other supplies cations or major modifications.” within the heavy-industry supply chain. However, some SCM sys- tems have grown to include other elements of ERP and EAM. 42 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  6. 6. www.energybizmag.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 43
  7. 7. Improving Asset a lack of transparency between different systems and an inadequate IT infrastructure for alerting managers to equipment requiring repairs and replacement. Inaccurate data records detailing plant and fleet asset Efficiency for usage and repairs further stymied the company’s ability to operate at full production. Having looked at numerous solutions from several vendors to replace the homegrown systems, the IT staff’s first priority Productivity was a solution with a high level of integration. Not only would an easily integrated solution allow the company to streamline processes for work orders and maintenance, but it would also deeply embed within numerous departments across the enterprise — from accounting to maintenance, Gains creating large productivity gains for a greater number of employees. As a company with a strong corporate culture spread throughout the state of Alabama, reaching a high level of employee buy-in to the implementa- By Brunson White tion was another important goal. Energen officials chose the mySAP ERP system with asset manage- Asset management capability within integrated enter- ment functionality. Aiming for a launch date of Jan. 1, 2003, the project prise solutions are rapidly transforming the ways in which both gas team began the implementation phase in March 2002. The greatest and water utilities monitor and repair their vast arrays of assets. impact of the implementation was within Alagasco’s distribution Energen Corp. recently revolutionized its business processes and system. Consisting of more than 30,000 miles of pipe that deliver created valuable new efficiencies by successfully implementing an natural gas directly to thousands of customer locations, the distribu- enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that features integrated tion system remains the company’s most important asset. Any defect asset management functionality. in the piping can lead to an immediate revenue and product loss. Providing natural gas to more than 460,000 customers statewide, Through the ERP system, capital project approvals and materials Alagasco and Energen have experience with periods of sustained management helped expedite the process of expanding and improving the change and a long history of preparing for the future. The company distribution system. With workflow management, project approval time got its start in 1852 as Montgomery Gas Light. The company has decreased from a full work week to within a day. Moreover, materials that two major subsidiaries: Alagasco, its natural gas utility, and Energen were in shortage are quickly re-routed to projects with the most signifi- Resources, its oil and gas exploration and production company. Through cant need. For example, if additional materials and workers are required its two subsidiaries, Energen acquires and develops domestic oil and for constructing a new border station, both maintenance teams and gas properties and distributes natural gas throughout Alabama. materials are quickly dispatched from lower priority projects to provide Energen’s presence in the upstream as well as the downstream maintenance, avoiding job stoppages due to a shortage of materials. side of the business enhances the company’s understanding and Additional productivity gains are derived from improving the processes appreciation of the entire energy value chain. Operating within two for acquiring and maintaining company assets. All new asset acquisitions distinct aspects of the energy industry further serves to emphasize — from facilities to technology to office furnishings — are made within the importance of an IT solution that can create communications with the system, approved by an internal check of real-time budget figures. a strong information flow between different departments. After purchase, depreciation schedules are automatically added into the In 2002, Energen reevaluated its outdated legacy systems and system for use by accounting and other departments, eliminating costly numerous manual processes that had become large cost centers, paperwork. For maintenance projects, entering work orders modularly concentrating primarily on the operations of Alagasco. With approxi- into the system allows for information to be shared enterprise-wide, mately 1,200 employees and significant operations in seven states, enabling different departments to move forward without having to wait Alagasco was outgrowing the cumbersome manual processes it used for for a paper trail to reach their desks. For example, while repair crews project approval and documentation. Rather than continue underutilizing evaluate a work order for a fleet vehicle, the purchasing department can the company’s physical assets by manually inputting project information review the costs of replacing the vehicle. When the maintenance team’s into legacy systems, delivering documentation through inter-office mail, final report is entered into the system, management has the up-to-the- and manually reporting for regulatory compliance, management decided minute information to make an informed decision about replacement. to employ an enterprise technology to manage all assets by aiming to As with any enterprise software installation, the Alagasco imple- maximize the return on investment within each asset. mentation experienced considerable challenges — the greatest of which The company first declared the need to make asset-related work rested in allowing the workforce to adapt to process changes. Through (maintenance, productivity, automation) safer and more efficient. From ongoing demonstrations of the advantages of the new enterprise an asset management standpoint, there were several other problems system, Energen management was able to emphasize the time-saving to address as well. Operating expenses were consistently rising due to benefits of the new system to end-users. Another obstacle arose from ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������� ebiz_banner1.indd 1 6/28/05 4:22:29 PM 44 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  8. 8. www.energybizmag.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 45
  9. 9. the granularity of the data provided by the departments throughout the enterprise. With less-optimized world. The ROI to complete this system, at first resulting in a hypothetical “data the ERP solution to help manage Alagasco’s transformation is available; organizations must overload.” However, through ongoing exposure, workload, response time has improved drasti- be willing to venture outside of their comfort end-users and customer-facing employees cally, which in turn improves customer service zones to realize the full potential of the inte- were able to quickly turn this hindrance into and loyalty measures. grated enterprise. While it’s difficult to predict a strength. When making purchase decisions With the widespread success of the ERP when this trend will become the norm, inte- about field equipment, Energen management system featuring asset management capabili- grated asset management will soon become can now deftly search through the perfor- ties, Energen continues to bolster its production the low-hanging fruit of the future as utilities mance history of specific equipment, allowing and cut down on costs by targeting the supply look to complete supply chain optimizations. for quicker, more-informed decision-making. chain. A project team is currently working to While some asset-intensive industries are As other utilities look to improve asset install a document management system (DMS) unique enough to require highly specialized management, they should seek out an imple- to facilitate the accounts payable portion of functionality within the asset management mentation option that can instantly integrate the supply chain, linking the finance depart- space, I would argue these are the exception with established business processes and link ment with production efforts. Company-wide, rather than the rule. In the end, the ultimate throughout the entire value chain. Industry a new focus has been embraced, calling for answer for utilities lies in extending ERP best practices often preach about the value ongoing examination of business processes systems with new open-standard architec- of an integrated approach, but this is an area with the intent of delivering greater returns to ture platforms that preserve the deep inte- that cannot be stressed enough. An inte- customers and shareholders. gration of all business processes. grated solution provides for a quicker and Enterprise asset management is evolving easier installation. Moreover, by integrating outside of the legacy systems of the past two Brunson White is the CIO of Energen Corp., all business processes, Alagasco achieved a decades, becoming a significant part of the headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. He also sophisticated level of service and responsive- fully integrated utility. The major barrier to this currently serves as the chair of the American ness. Flaws within the distribution system were transformation is the unwillingness of corpo- Gas Association/Edison Electric Institute easily tracked, setting a maintenance schedule rations to address the change management Technology Advisory Council. ranking repairs by areas of need and resulting in issues concerned with leaving the interfaced, the lessening of revenue and product loss. No matter how skilled the IT department, a successful and seamless enterprise imple- on topic A New Look At Spending Optimization Scott Sidney, UMS Group mentation cannot be handled alone. Third- Utility Outsourcing articles Quick link code: P204 from EnergyPulse party or vendor personnel must be available To view any of these articles, please go to Seven Principles of T&D Asset Management to help employees learn new systems and to Bill Cozzens, Soluziona USA www.energycentral.com/quicklink and type the ensure that phased implementations stick quick link code into the quick link box. Quick link code: P193 to original timetables and meet pre-desig- End the Asset Management Tug-of-War Asset and Supply Chain Management nated goals. All utilities must be able to trust Richard MacDonald, SPL WorldGroup, Inc. Junaid Yasin, ProcureZone a vendor. At Energen, the team consistently Quick link code: P1025 Quick link code: P185 worked well with our software partners and consultants, who were able to quickly train Optimizing EAM Value of Early Warning of Failure John Yolton, Solutions Associates Tim Holtan, SmartSignal Corp. employees to utilize the new software, while Quick link code: P539 Quick link code: P159 providing a rational, goal-driven template for future implementations and upgrades. It’s Always Been About Asset Management Asset Optimization Frank Craig, MCR Performance Solutions Dunham Cobb, CGEY Energen realized quick, significant returns Quick link code: P531 Quick link code: P137 from its ERP solution. Overall costs fell with particular improvements seen by reducing Working Capital Reduction Utilities Need More Asset Management Donald Ryan, dynaTHinK LLC John Geoghegan, IBM mechanical failures and providing responsive Quick link code: P402 Quick link code: P113 corrective maintenance. Critical plant, fleet, and distribution equipment saw maintenance Asset Management, in Theory and Practice Mixed Signals Cloud Reliability Picture costs drop as well. Moreover, operational effi- Bruce Humphrey, KEMA Bruce Humphrey, KEMA Quick link code: P386 Quick link code: P387 ciencies increased greatly with the advent of real-time information and near real-time Capital Asset Life Extension Enterprise Exposure Management budgeting, allowing for the widespread trans- Anthony Impelluso, AIM Engineering, LLC Kevin R. Rose, ENSIGHT Advisors Quick link code: P320 Quick link code: P24 mission of mission-critical information to 46 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  10. 10. www.energybizmag.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 47
  11. 11. [CASE STUDY] Mobile Computing Tools For Mobile Workers Improve Is the utility industry undergoing a sea change? Most analysts agree The British Gas experience proves that ruggedized computers that it is not. They say, in fact, that it has already happened. The past with multi-protocol wireless connectivity are an essential component model for increasing utility company profits — raising rates — is obso- in reducing utility company operating expenses on both a global and lete. New economic realities compel savvy executives to focus on bot- per-call level. tom line improvements to increase market share, improve employee But can that impact really be shown on the other side of the efficiency, maximize customer-retention levels and cut costs. ledger? Can a piece of hardware such as a Toughbook actually And, they say, the 21st century’s emphasis on enterprise and produc- increase revenue as well as reduce costs? tivity offers utility companies opportunities unseen since the early days Research shows that it can, but only if that new piece of hard- of state and federal regulation three- quarters of a century ago. These ware fits perfectly within the IT scheme of the company deploying opportunities more than justify the challenges inherent in seizing them. it. It must be more than the correct tool for the job; it must be the As one recently retired marketing vice president put it, “When right tool for the entire enterprise. I started in the business our major sales efforts were directed at After intensive study and stringent testing, British Gas decided legislators. When I left, it was all about customers. Which is how it on the CF-18 because it exceeded both the performance and should be. The legislators made sure we never lost money, but they durability specifications for generic field-force computers and the also limited what we could do to earn income and how much of that task-specific requirements of a huge, diversified power utility. revenue we could retain. Utilities are a no-limits industry now. A guy In addition to being the United Kingdom’s largest industrial and starting out in my business today may wind up building something consumer supplier of gas and electricity, British Gas engages in more profitable than Microsoft by the time he steps down.” such varied enterprises as appliance sales and repair, financial Exploiting new worlds — unlimited worlds — requires new tools. Bet- services, and security system design and implementation. ter tools. Faster tools. More fail-safe tools. Tools that will work anywhere, The company employs field technicians for such disparate anytime, under any conditions. Tools with an almost infinite capacity to tasks as meter reading, line and pipeline maintenance, central air be scaled up to do more work and scaled out to perform new tasks. and heating system installation, commercial and residential steam- Next-generation, utility task-optimized rugged portable com- boiler repair, and kitchen appliance service. puters, such as the Panasonic Toughbook® CF-18 and CF-29, To equip such a diverse workforce without hobbling the are prime examples of tools that generate a direct impact on a util- IT department with a hard-to maintain assortment of differing ity company’s bottom line. This positive impact is measurable and computer models and platforms, British Gas needed a high-per- occurs on both the revenue and cost sides of the balance sheet. formance, standardized unit with exemplary multitasking and com- A typical case study proves that the deployment of cutting- munications ability. edge mobile-computing technology not only improves the bottom A fully ruggedized 4.5-pound computer with extended battery line, it improves it dramatically. And, in some cases, such as that life, a 40GB shock-mounted hard drive and a daylight-readable, of the United Kingdom’s largest power supplier, British Gas, the pressure sensitive touchscreen, the CF-18 instantly converts from word “dramatically” could fairly be called an understatement. a high-performance Windows XP notebook to a Windows XP tab- Prior to digitalization, British Gas had hundreds of field offices let computer via a unique swiveling and folding screen. and 17,000 tech and back-office workers, most of them spending The Toughbook’s ability to replace both outdated notebooks their workday shuffling papers. Today that 17,000-person workforce and traditional, proprietary-software-driven pen tablets was numbers less than 4,000, and most of the field offices have been critically important to British Gas, as was the CF-18’s full Intel® shuttered. Centrino™ compliance and simultaneous wireless WAN, wireless Wireless-capable Panasonic CF-18 ruggedized “convertible” LAN, Bluetooth and GPS capability. notebook/tablets help a field force handle over 6 million service The time, effort and expense British Gas invested in its quest to calls a year. Errors in ordering replacement parts have been maximize the return on its field-force computerization investment reduced from one-in-four to “practically nonexistent” and delivery has paid off handsomely. Not only have the ruggedized portables of those parts takes 12 hours, not several days. dramatically reduced the sales, general and administrative share According to British Gas, the productivity of their technicians of every dollar British Gas spends on field force labor and materi- using the CF-18 has more than doubled, going from an average als, they have produced measurable revenue gains in areas sus- of four calls per day to ten and resulting in a “huge reduction in ceptible to competitive pressures. infrastructure and labor costs.” According to British Gas Home Services IT business manager, A D V E R T I S E M E N T Peter Ransom, the Panasonic “convertibles” are providing “abso- lutely fantastic” service. “Mobile computing has helped us reduce response times to call-outs, increase the speed of job turnaround, and ... present a fresh, clean and very professional image to the customer,” Ransom said. 48 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  12. 12. [CASE STUDY] To put it simply, the Toughbook implementation has helped Virtually every consumer willing to spend 30 minutes in online British Gas achieve unusually high customer-satisfaction levels research can find a cellular provider offering them an almost unlim- — the Holy Grail of all enterprises trying to increase market share, ited number of online minutes, free voicemail, free long distance and profits and ROI via new business acquisition and retention. free nationwide roaming for less than $50 a month. And they are Another utility company that has used cutting-edge mobile com- willing to deliver all this service, as well as a “free” phone, directly to puting and communications technology to lead its industry in customer the customer’s mailbox, thus changing the service equation from a satisfaction is Arizona’s Salt River Project, recipient of the 2004 J.D. standoff — sitting at home waiting for an installer vs. standing in line Power and Associates Distinction for Electric Utilities Award. at a cell phone store — to a win for the cellular provider. SRP, which uses fully ruggedized Panasonic notebooks such Given the advantages of reasonable monthly costs, free long- as the Toughbook CF-29—a MIL-STD-810F-tested, Centrino-com- distance, no in-home service calls and portability, it’s no surprise pliant portable—reports that increased use of rugged portable that increasing numbers of Americans are firing their landline computers in the field has resulted in substantial savings in both phone companies. dollars and personnel hours. And, SRP says, those are only some of the benefits attributable “Utility professional to the Toughbook deployment. Others include increased work crew efficiency, better communications and scheduling, safety improve- continually trust the ments related to having the most current electric maps available for each job, safety improvements related to a decrease in miles Toughbook CF-29 and driven to obtain maps and support at field offices, decreased radio and cell-phone traffic, an increase in customer service quality and a decrease in the amount of time customers are out of service. Since SRP’s corporate culture orbits around customer service, the last two items on that very impressive laundry list are arguably convertible the most important. The company’s 2004 rating of 112 on J.D. Power’s utility customer satisfaction list outranked that of every Toughbook CF-18 for other electricity supplier in the U.S., and company officials plan to do at least that well this year. rugged reliability and SRP managers attribute a good part of their long-term customer honeymoon to the company’s policy of constantly upgrading and industry-leading uptime updating their mobile computing capability, adding applications and enhancements as they become available rather than waiting at a significantly lower for the end of their hardware’s life cycle to renew the system. While companies throughout the utility spectrum are faced with total cost of ownership.” the challenge of increasing profits without raising rates, there is no place where the shift to a new earnings model is more dramatic than in the cable television and telephone industries. Responding to this pressure, many traditional phone providers Faced, for the first time, with competition from other cable have relinquished some of their most historically cherished profit cen- companies as well as satellite providers, cable operators in many ters to maintain market share. Package plans bundling unlimited local parts of the country are fighting increasingly bitter market-share and long distance calling and a range of premium services — every- wars. Rates are going down, the number of basic, nonpremium- thing from call waiting and voice mail to distinctive ring tones and, in tier channels is going up, and customer acquisition and retention some cases, DSL — for a fixed, cut-rate price are proliferating. enhancements like HDTV receivers or personal video recorders Making money while offering customers more bells and whis- are being offered at cost or below. Despite all these factors, sur- tles for fewer dollars demands rigorous attention to cost control veys still identify dissatisfaction with customer service as the most and employee productivity. Getting customers to subscribe — and common cause of television provider churning. stay subscribed — to those packages, regardless of their value, If market conditions in the broadcast-delivery business are requires an almost obsessive focus on customer service. “While A D V E R T I S E M E N T chaotic, those in the telephone industry are in a state of complete price will always be an important factor, satisfying customers has bedlam. According to some surveys, the number of households become more about the quality of the relationship and the pro- that switched local telephone providers increased by more than vider,” says telephone industry analyst Steve Kirkeby. 60 percent in 2003-2004, with more than 10 percent of all U.S. telephone users either changing their primary carrier or abandon- ing traditional copper-wire service completely. www.energybizmag.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 49
  13. 13. [CASE STUDY] Explaining why his company recently pulled almost 3,000 CONTACT INFORMATION supervisors out of their offices and sent them into the field with ruggedized notebook computers, a key executive with one Rance Poehler, President of America’s biggest telecommunications companies echoed Panasonic Computer Solutions Company Kirkeby. “The program is designed to enable us to do better work, Jim King more tightly scheduled work, and safer work,” he said. “It all comes VP of Operations down to increasing the quality of our customer service.” Jared Gould Improving customer relations by redefining its concept of ser- VP of Engineering vice and spending millions of dollars on better tools was a formida- Brandi Gil ble challenge for this company, but given the importance of every Director of Marketing single market-share point won or lost, one it had to undertake. Since abandoning the concept of behind-a-desk supervisors PANASONIC COMPUTER SOLUTIONS COMPANY in favor of “floating field offices” required portable computers capable of wearing many hats, selecting the perfect hardware 50 Meadowlands Parkway platform was crucial. Secaucus, NJ 07094 The notebooks would be used to monitor and evaluate field Phone 800.662.3537 technicians while they worked, allowing supervisors to give them Fax 201.392.6618 real- time problem-solving guidance. The units would need to be www.panasonic.com/toughbook automatically updated with new cable maps, location records and service procedure changes and each would have to be capable BUSINESS CONTACT of connecting to any of the several wireless protocols used in the company’s vast service area. Thell Gillis And they would have to run all the applications the supervisors Phone (281) 395-8420 had previously performed in-office and file the generated e-docu- thell_gillis@p2c2.com ments on the company’s servers from wherever the supervisor hap- pened to be. Finally, the computers had to be bulletproof. Failure of a technician’s computer, with the resultant backing up of service orders, is bad. Failure of a computer in the truck of someone with 15 employees to support is unacceptable. The decision to use ruggedized Toughbooks such as the CF- 29 was based on many factors, not the least being Panasonic’s unique position as the industry’s only core manufacturer of rugged computers and rugged computer components. A D V E R T I S E M E N T 50 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  14. 14. [CASE STUDY] ���������������������������� ������������������������ � ������������������������������� � � ���������������������������� � �������������������������� � ���������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� A D V E R T I S E M E N T ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ ���������� � � ������������������������������ www.energybizmag.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 51
  15. 15. Sourcebook Indus International Inc. 3301 Windy Ridge Parkway Atlanta, GA 30101 (770) 952-8444 www.indus.com Intenia Americas Two Century Plaza Listing Categories 1700 East Golf Road, Suite 900 E NTE R PR ISE ASSET MANAG E M E NT PAGE 52 Schaumburg, IL 60173 MAI NTE NANCE MANAG E M E NT PAGE 56 (847) 762-0900 SW IMPLEMENTATION/SYSTEMS INTEGRATION SERVICES PAGE 56 www.intentia.com B USI N E SS PROCE SS PAGE 58 MAI NTE NANCE OUTSOU RCI NG PAGE 59 OTH E R PAGE 59 E NTE R PR ISE ASSET MANAG E M E NT Data Systems & Solutions, LLC 12100 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 310 Advantica Reston, VA 20190 PO Box 86 (703) 375-2800 Carlisle, PA 17013 www.ds-s.com Ivara Corporation (717) 243-1900 935 Sheldon Court Burlington, ON L7L 5K6, Canada www.advantica.biz Datastream Systems (877) 746-3787 x312 50 Datastream Plaza American Software www.ivara.com Greenville, SC 29605 470 East Paces Ferry Road Contact (864) 422-5001 Atlanta, GA 30305 Gary Davies, Vice President, Sales www.datastream.net (404) 264-5296 (905) 632-8000 x263 Brian Maguire, Vice President, Marketing www.amsoftware.com Datria Systems, Inc. (905) 632-8000 x311 7211 South Peoria Street, Suite 260 Englewood, CO 80112 A leader in asset reliability solutions, Ivara (303) 728-1300 combines advanced technology and reliability www.datria.com expertise to help utilities achieve and sustain a proactive, reliability-focused approach to asset EPRI Solutions, Inc. management. Ivara EXP software supports the 942 Corridor Park Boulevard asset reliability process – effectively managing Knoxville, TN 37932 asset health and ensuring the right work is always Artemis International Solutions Corporation (865) 218-8000 done on the right equipment, at the right time. 4041 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 401 www.eprisolutions.com With Ivara, customers can achieve higher returns Newport Beach, CA 92660 on their asset investment and reduce costs while (800) 477-6648 ESRI ensuring safety and environmental integrity. Fax (949) 660-6501 380 New York Street www.aisc.com/sao Redlands, CA 92373 Contact Lawson Software (909) 793-2853 380 St. Peter Street Dan Niswonger, SAO Solution Sales Manager www.esri.com (847) 441-1802 St. Paul, MN 55102 Dave Thomas, SAO Solution Sales (651) 767-7000 GEAC Enterprise Solutions www.lawson.com (312) 231-7170 11 Allstate Parkway, Suite 300 Markham, ON L3R 9T8, Canada Artemis International Solutions Corporation is (905) 475-0525 the world’s leading provider of Investment Planning www.geac.com and Control™ solutions. The Artemis Strategic Asset Optimization Solution is based on a proven enterprise portfolio and project management plat- Hansen Information Technologies 11092 Sun Center Drive form by the world’s largest energy companies. This Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 robust and highly configurable platform permits you (916) 921-0883 LogicaCMG to think big for the long term, but lets you start small 10375 Richmond Avenue, Suite 100 www.hansen.com and obtain highly measurable productivity results Houston, TX 77042 and/or ROI benefit in the short term. (713) 954-7000 IFS Fax (713) 785-0880 10 North Martingale Drive, Suite 600 Champs Software, Inc. www.logicacmg.com/us Schaumburg, IL 60173 1255 North Vantage Point Drive Contact (888) 437-4968 Crystal River, FL 34429 Gary High, Vice President, Sales & Marketing www.ifsworld.com (352) 795-2362 (713) 954-7096 www.champsinc.com Sue Wilson, Marketing Manager (713) 954-7308 52 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  16. 16. Demand dramatic improvement— unify your workforce, assets and culture LogicaCMG’s Asset & Resource Management (ARM) suite provides The ARM product suite includes work management, mobile the foundation utilities need to achieve dramatic business computing, asset management, compliance tracking, dispatch, improvements. With ARM, utilities can unify their workforce, assets scheduling and reporting capabilities delivered as a pre-integrated, and culture to reduce costs and better manage their business. seamless solution. By optimizing the use of information and assets with ARM, LogicaCMG is a major international force in IT services and wireless telecoms. companies can produce significant operational changes and move It provides management and IT consultancy, systems integration and outsourcing services to clients across diverse markets including energy and to the next level of business benefits. ARM provides the critical utilities, telecoms, financial services, industry, distribution and transport and information technology that supports smarter business decisions the public sector. For more information, contact us at 1-800-334-7101 or see and enables a utility to stand out from the crowd. www.logicacmg.com/us. SOLUTIONS THAT MATTER www.energybizmag.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 53
  17. 17. [CASE STUDY] For over 40 years, LogicaCMG has been a www.mro.com Oracle USA major international force in IT solutions, systems Contact 500 Oracle Parkway integration, consulting, products and services. Ron Wallace, Industry Marketing Manager, Redwood Shores, CA 94065 LogicaCMG’s Asset and Resource Management Utilities (650) 506-7000 (ARM) product suite combines work management, (781) 280-6875 www.oracle.com mobile computing, asset management, compli- Charles Maul, Enterprise Marketing Support ance tracking, dispatch, scheduling and reporting Representative Peregrine Systems, Inc. capabilities into a single, seamlessly integrated (770) 481-3070 3611 Valley Centre Drive environment. Jerry Schinski, Senior Sales Consultant San Diego, CA 91230 From the office to the field, ARM streamlines (201) 909-3765 (800) 638.5231 a utility’s business processes, manages the entire www.peregrine.com work stream, controls operational costs, and MRO Software is the leading provider of manages maintenance and regulatory compliance strategic asset and service management solu- Perfect Commerce activities. tions. Maximo Enterprise Suite, the company’s 850 NW Chipman Road, Suite 5050 flagship solution, is delivered on a web-archi- Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 Mainpac tected platform and increases productivity, (816) 448-4444 10-12 Clarke Street, Suite 201 optimizes asset performance, and service levels, www.perfect.com Crows Nest, NSW 2065, Australia reduces costs and enables asset-related sourcing + 61 2 9438 1411 and procurement across the entire spectrum of strategic assets. Ramco Systems Corporation www.mainpac.com.au Crossroads Corporate Center MRO Software (Nasdaq: MROI) is a global 3150 Brunswick Pike, Suite 100 Mainsaver company based in Bedford, Mass., with approxi- Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 9890 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 100 mately 900 employees, 10,000 customers and (609) 620-4800 San Diego, CA 92121 more than 260,000 end-users. www.ramco.com (858) 550-5300 www.mainsaver.com NISC (National Information Solutions Cooperative) R.W. Beck, Inc. 1801 California Street, Suite 2800 #1 Innovation Circle Denver, CO 80202 Lake St. Louis, MO 63376 (303) 299-5200 (866) 999-6472 www.rwbeck.com/emc www.nisc.coop NewEnergy Associates, A Siemens Company Mincom 400 Interstate North Parkway, Suite 1500 9635 Maroon Circle Atlanta, GA 30339 Englewood, CO 80112 (770) 779-2800 (303) 446-9000 www.newenergyassoc.com Fax (303) 446-8664 www.mincom.com Contact SAP America, Inc. Marc Duame, Inside Sales Manager 3999 West Chester Pike (303) 446-9000 Newtown Square, PA 19073 (610) 661-1000 Utility organizations invest billions of dollars Fax (610) 661-8868 in assets – from personnel to equipment. A single Open Systems International, Inc. www.sap.com system to manage equipment maintenance, 3600 Holly Lane North, Suite 40 Contact purchasing, finance and workforce planning Minneapolis, MN 55447 Leila Ahmed, leila.ahmed@sap.com is critical to ensure cost efficiency and quality (763) 551-0559 Paul Jablon, paul.jablon@sap.com service delivery. Fax (763) 551-0750 Carl Cross, carl.cross@sap.com Mincom provides Enterprise Asset Manage- www.osii.com & www.e-scada.com ment (EAM) and e-business solutions to power Contact SAP for Utilities is a set of state-of-the-art generation, transmission and distribution; water Mary Jo Nye, Director of Business software solutions for utilities worldwide. The and wastewater; and gas utilities around the world. Development integrated, highly reliable, and scalable solutions Mincom offers a range of consulting services (763) 511-0559 enable the end-to-end management of business delivered by experienced professionals with deep processes because they are built on the open industry knowledge and implementation expertise. Open Systems International, Inc. (OSI) architecture of the SAP NetWeaver™ platform. provides open and high performance solutions Today, in 70 countries around the globe, more to utilities worldwide. These solutions include than 950 leading electricity, gas, water, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition municipality utilities in regulated, transitioning, and (SCADA), Energy Management System (EMS), deregulated markets rely on SAP for Utilities. Generation Management System (GMS), and Distribution Management Systems (DMS), as well Soluziona as individual software products for electric utility Rosetree Corporate Center operation. OSI’s products include monarch™, a 1400 North Providence Road, Suite 4005 MRO Software Linux, Windows and Unix-based system platform Media, PA 19063 100 Crosby Drive and Osiris™, a new Linux-based secure Remote (610) 892-8920 Bedford, MA 01730 Telemetry Unit. www.soluziona.us (800) 2 44-3346 Fax (781) 280-2202 A D V E R T I S E M E N T 54 ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE July/August 2005
  18. 18. [CASE STUDY] Westar Energy Proves Knowledge is Power POSITIVE CHANGE ing, purchasing, inventory control, and more. Every transaction that Westar Energy, the largest electric energy provider in Kansas, is occurs in a power plant is sent to the general ledger via SPL EAM. dedicated to providing its 650,000 customers with high quality Using the data collected and stored in SPL EAM, Westar Energy service at below average prices. Although Westar Energy has executives are now able to track and measure performance and chart received national recognition for maintenance and performance, progress toward maintenance practice improvement goals. the utility’s seven energy centers were constrained by home- Westar Energy’s plant maintenance departments perform grown mainframe information systems and reactive maintenance approximately 30,000 work order tasks per year and generate about practices. The Company’s executives knew they could do better. 17,000 work schedules annually. The utility has met several of its They set out to grow best-in-class maintenance organizations. A select team of Westar Energy employees was created as a task “This year we met our goal for the force to plan the foundation for positive change. Goal-driven metrics were identified, and a new Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system percentage of hours spent on predictive was chosen and put into place. David Walter, Engineer VI in Westar and preventive activities, and we will Energy’s “Engineering Reliability” department explains, “If you can very likely raise the bar next year.” measure against a goal, you can fix and improve the process. Metrics force the issue and fuel an environment of continuous improvement.” goals in transitioning from reactive maintenance to a more planned The value of this strategy became immediately apparent, and the utility and scheduled environment, and was able to build upon its suc- expanded the EAM initiative over the next four years to include additional cess by measuring and improving work package planning, advance processes, modules, reports, and increasingly aggressive goals. scheduling, schedule compliance, planned materials percentages, and related metrics. According to Walter, “About 18% of our main- THE SOLUTION tenance work is currently unscheduled. Recognition of, and visibility In 1998, Westar Energy chose SPL WorldGroup’s Enterprise Asset into, the inefficiency of unscheduled work is helping us to change and Work Management (SPL EAM, formerly known as the Synergen our work culture.” He adds, “This year we met our goal for the per- Series®), to replace its legacy systems. SPL EAM was selected centage of hours spent on predictive and preventive activities, and over other vendor solutions because of its user friendliness, robust we will very likely raise the bar next year.” features, configurability, and low overall total cost of ownership. The Westar Energy’s materials and purchasing organizations also application would enable standardized work practices and data for- tended to be reactive. With metrics this is changing. The utility mats across Westar Energy’s seven energy centers. stocks nearly 60,000 SKUs in its warehouses and executes more In less than two years, all sites were live on SPL EAM and main- than 17,000 purchase orders each year. Objectives such as reduced tenance managers were ready to implement a new, three-pronged inventory, increased use of blanket purchase orders, achieving con- approach to power plant maintenance: signment goals, and meeting required dates are measured. Westar Energy’s Generation Business Analyst, Sue Gordon says, “The 1. Improve Planning and Scheduling: Westar Energy wanted internal lead time from requisition generation to purchase order to modernize its maintenance system and organization by issue has been dramatically reduced. Replacing previously arduous implementing best practice work planning and scheduling. tasks with the capabilities of SPL EAM made this possible.” 2. Integrate Maintenance and Supply Chain: Purchasing and inventory organizations would be a more closely EFFICIENCY OF INFORMATION BREEDS SUCCESS integrated partner in support of maintenance efforts. Walter concludes, “We’ve always felt that our maintenance organi- 3. Measure and Improve Results: The utility sought to zations were effective. Today though, with the help of the SPL EAM increase accessibility of information and better manage solution and a strong focus on continual improvement in our work results by establishing goals and performance metrics. management process, we are even better. We are far more efficient in collecting intelligence now. Having ‘exploded’ in this respect is proving Westar Energy’s greatest challenge involved the cultural/ invaluable to our efforts. We now have the ability to continuously evalu- behavioral and procedural changes necessary to successfully ate our progress and raise the standard as we meet our goals. The end implement goal-driven practices. Metrics would determine where result is a more efficient operation, more reliable service, and greater weaknesses existed, and procedures would be implemented to customer satisfaction.” A D V E R T I S E M E N T improve performance. Personnel throughout the fleet were moti- vated to work together to overcome each limitation in pursuit of maintenance excellence. MEASURING SUCCESS SPL EAM serves Westar Energy work management needs, in the areas of work and project planning, scheduling, permitting, timekeep- www.energybizmag.com ENERGYBIZ MAGAZINE 55

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