Energy & Utilities: A case study
The City of Georgetown Utility provides electric, water, and wastewater services. Georgetown Utility Systems (“GUS”), a division of the city, constructs, maintains, and operates the city’s utility infrastructure.
Modern, more efficient operations
As the City of Georgetown continues to expand in both population and geographic footprint, it needs modern and efficient IT applications that will:
  • Boost equipment and customer up-time
  • Enhance equipment maintenance procedures
  • Control costs through preventative maintenance versus reactionary break-fix responses
  • Improve employee efficiency
  • Maintain its position as an industry leader with renowned service

The City initiated a process to procure and implement a modern and comprehensive enterprise asset management (EAM) toolset and integrate it with existing utility systems via an enterprise service bus. The goals for the initiative included:

  • Improving insight into the timely maintenance and upkeep of assets to reduce operating costs and maintain high customer-service levels
  • Adopting best practices for optimizing maintenance, repair, and replacement activities across the utility infrastructure
  • Identifying, collecting, and maintaining all asset data in a single system to establish a true asset master register
  • Optimizing inventory purchasing and tracking procedures to maintain appropriate and consistent material levels to support the business and provide reliable customer service

In addition, the City wanted to identify and create integration touch points for daily EAM transactions such as service requests, work orders, preventative maintenance, inspections, capital projects, resource usage, and purchasing functions to replenish master inventory and associated storerooms. This was optimized by integrating the EAM with its:

  • Meter data management system (MDMS)
  • Customer information system (CIS)
  • Financial information system (FIS)
  • Geographic information system (GIS)
  • Geo-digital stakeout electric design spatial tool

Other project goals included:

  • Developing consistent data standards, refined key performance indicators, and valuable system triggers and notifications—features that enable employees to execute planned preventative maintenance efficiently, organize efficient equipment inspections, and complete equipment failure analysis and asset reporting
  • Creating distinct planner/ scheduler roles to support the water, wastewater, and electric operations and transform the utility’s maintenance culture to be proactive rather than reactive
  • Providing a robust mobile work management solution on a lightweight tablet to allow field personnel to easily review prioritized service requests, update work orders, and interact with system data quickly and efficiently from the field

Industry expertise plus strong technical and project management skills
West Monroe Partners surveyed and evaluated the offerings in the EAM marketplace and recommended a holistic EAM solution that fit the City’s project goals and future growth strategy. Based on those recommendations, as well as West Monroe’s understanding of the electric and water municipal market and its strong project management experience, the City chose West Monroe Partners as the best qualified provider to implement and manage the EAM program following a formal and public services solicitation process.

From analysis to ongoing management
West Monroe Partners used a proven, five-phase project management approach for transformative IT integration and implementation projects.

Analysis. This provided a foundation for the program and facilitated development of a detailed definition of the utility’s current and desired future states. The team organized more than 30 business process and system integration workshops to draw out desired system functionality and requirements. The team then completed a detailed system impact assessment to determine the optimal integration techniques given the rules and restrictions of the utility’s existing systems.

Design. Based on outcomes of the analysis phase, West Monroe Partners formalized the detailed design, data conversion design, system testing design, and user training design. The West Monroe team also completed the systems integration design, linking the new EAM to a series of legacy utility systems via BizTalk’s enterprise service bus (ESB).

Development. Once the utility approved the EAM configuration and design, West Monroe Partners began to execute and develop the designs and procedures. This included:

  • Configuring the EAM system
  • Developing a plan for cleansing and converting data
  • Developing the systems interface
  • Developing test plans
  • Creating training materials
  • Configuring mobile devices for field technicians

The team developed the integration of the EAM to existing utility applications (CIS, FIS, GIS, MDMS, etc.). This enabled accurate data sharing among systems and will allow the City to expand integration to other systems in the future.

Deployment and operations. After completing development of the EAM and related integrations, the West Monroe team conducted an extensive testing program to verify proper system operation. This included a series of comprehensive user acceptance test plans to ensure the EAM system design and configuration achieved the utility’s overarching business goals. The team also conducted a detailed training program for system users to ensure staff understood how to utilize the system in accordance with their roles and the refined or new business processes.

Post go-live support. After successfully launching the system, West Monroe Partners supported utility staff as they transitioned to the new system and business processes.

Today, West Monroe’s Performance Services practice continues to support the City of Georgetown IT team by managing its BizTalk service. This includes routine ESB maintenance, as well as testing and development of new functionality. These services will also provide support for future expansion of the BizTalk application to other City operations.

Download PDF