Utilities

Your strategic goals—such as grid resilience, sustainability, and digitization—all start with standardization from The Lab

Every utility today faces a raft of strategic challenges. Whether yours include improving grid reliability and resilience, advancing your clean-energy agenda, driving toward a smarter grid, increased sustainability, or digital transformation, all of these strategic drivers have one underlying requirement in common: Standardization. That’s because you can have the loftiest objectives, but you can’t achieve any of them if your daily operations are snarled, if reliability is suffering, or if customer service is marred by excessive rework and job cancellations.

The most respected gas and electric utilities in the country have worked with The Lab; we’ve helped them with end-to-end, utility-wide standardization discovery-and-implementation efforts that have resulted in both quick and long-term wins for employees, customers, and the company.

For nearly 30 years, The Lab has helped utilities—from national to regional to local—standardize their knowledge-work operations, wringing out new efficiencies, uncovering newfound capacity, and discovering opportunities to effectively apply the latest digital automation technologies. We’ve even standardized the process of standardization. We boast the world’s largest repository of utilities KPI definitions, benchmarks, best practices, pre-built dashboards, process map templates, and automation use cases. So we can, and do, make it happen fast.

A U.S.-based, regulated utility company and a division of one of the Americas’ largest energy providers, the client operates more than 20,000 miles of electric and natural gas transmission and distribution lines serving more than 3.5 million customers. The primary objectives targeted improvements that could be achieved without major new systems, capital investment, or facilities closures.

Scheduling and dispatch. Job cancellations. Fleet management and maintenance. Vegetation management. From end-to-end processes to detailed activities like tool calibration and even recouping unpaid damage claims, the challenges facing today’s utility may appear overwhelming. They certainly seem to be diverse. But they share a common thread when it comes to surmounting them: Standardization.

Of all the strategies for increasing value traditionally pursued by utilities, the simplest is the most persistently overlooked: Standardization. Sure, certain portions of a typical utilities organization—such as power generation and supply management—already run with factory-like precision. But what about other functions like scheduling and dispatch, customer service, and billing? Find out how The Lab can accelerate your utilities operations....

Your utilities operation has literally hundreds of opportunities for robotic process automation or RPA. Gas ops, scheduling, maintenance… you name it. You need to get automated, fast. Fortunately, there’s a quick, easy, and affordable solution just waiting for you: Utilities RPA Six-Packs from The Lab!

From nor’easters to Santa Ana winds, from hurricanes and ice storms to red-flag conditions, Mother Nature forces utilities to manage vegetation in the off-season… in order to prevent wildfires and outages in-season. A typical utility may have thousands of miles of power lines to protect, and millions of trees on the verge of impacting them at any given moment. The sheer scope of the challenge is heightened by the pressure to report progress to the state utility commission, and avoid audits, sanctions, fines, litigation exposure, and reputational damage. Find out how The Lab helped this utilities client improve...

You know that the core of any utilities operations operations-transformation effort revolves around the process. Whether it’s an operational process or a customer-journey process, it’s the bedrock for every must-do initiative...

Even the most progressive, cutting-edge utilities can always find room for improvement. That’s exactly what happened when one of the most respected gas-and-electric utilities in the country worked with The Lab; we helped them with an end-to-end, utility-wide standardization discovery-and-implementation effort that resulted in both quick and long-term wins for employees, customers, and the company. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of six categories of meaningful, sustainable benefits that were realized. As you review these, weigh them against your utility’s current way of doing things; might you be able to reap similar benefits?

Advanced analytic visualizations cut costs and outages while improving service The biggest problem facing any utility, when it comes to vegetation management, is visibility. To say that this is a “growing” problem is an understatement....

If you’ve been tasked with bringing your utility’s knowledge-work operations into the future—or even the present—with things like advanced analytics, business intelligence, and robotic process automation—you’ve realized that you’ll hit a big fat wall unless you standardize first. Standardize what? Everything. Processes. Activities. Workflows. Data. Customer experience. That’s because competitive best practice—not to mention all of today’s newest technology—depends on it, requires it, before you can get past Square One.

Introduction to Standardization in Business Standardization can confer numerous competitive benefits to businesses, from the efficiencies gained in the manufacturing production line, to the massive, untapped productivity gains available...

More