January 2016 - Energy & Utilities Newsletter
For this issue of our newsletter, we’ve compiled a group of articles that address industry trends and exciting new innovations.
Date : January 7, 2016

This issue of “West News” highlights several new and exiting topics including Voice of the Customer (VoC), business case, water innovation and more!

Industry:

Dear Clients and Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope you had a nice holiday break and are recharged and ready to go in 2016. To start the New Year off I wanted to send you our First Quarter E&U Newsletter.

In this edition of the West Monroe E&U newsletter we are going to look at some new technologies, the art of creating new business cases when evaluating new technologies, how we can use technology to transform how we manage our utilities, and finally how our industry can use continuous customer feedback drive continuous improvement across our utility organization. 

On the new technology front we will look at how the next generation of MAS Radio systems can help us meet tomorrow’s SCADA requirements.   We will also look into solid state transformers and the impact they would have on how we manage and optimize our electric distribution systems.  

We will also look at how technology, along with updated business processes and training can help transform the management our water resources and our water utilities.   A critical part of this business model transformation is how the meter to cash operations in can be optimized using advanced metering and by focusing on collective outcomes.   A key part of any utility transformation plan is the business case.  Jim McClanahan will share some insights on the art of creating a business case that has strong buy in across an organization rather than just a few key folks in the organization that are very good with spreadsheets. 

In the spirit of helping to achieve a customer centric culture we will discuss how utilities can utilize a next generation Voice of the Customer (VOC) program to identify and drive business improvement opportunities across their organization. Be on the lookout for a webinar we will be hosting early this year that discusses this topic in more detail and looks at how a large water utility used it to improve operations.

I would like to wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2016. Please reach out to me or any of our authors if you would like to discuss any of these topics in more detail or if you want to explore areas that West Monroe can help your organization.

Best regards,

Tom Hulsebosch
Managing Director - Energy & Utilities
thulsebosch@westmonroepartners.com
 

Some view data gathering as a way to "fill in the blanks" scattered across their spreadsheet. That kind of thinking can miss an important and significant opportunity.

In the US, public water systems have made incredible accomplishments, including the almost complete eradication of water borne disease, while serving over 350 million people 24/7. Despite this success, the need for water innovation has not been greater since the 1890’s.

While the aging MAS radio infrastructure definitely offers some challenges, it is also the opportunity to take a fresh look at all the alternatives and see what option may be the best fit.

Today, the utility transformer is so ubiquitous that they almost go unnoticed whether they housed are a green enclosure in the front yard or a gray canister on a pole. But a new type of transformer is lurking on the fringes of the industry.

Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs ensure customers are top-of-mind when utilities develop detailed roadmaps to define critical improvement projects for upcoming years. This is very different from the status quo, where internal stakeholders and objectives rule and often do not drive value to the customer.

When and where should utilities open up their advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) platform to deliver additional customer and marketplace services?

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