October 2014 - Energy & Utilities Newsletter
For this issue of our newsletter, we’ve compiled a group of articles that address industry trends and exiting new innovations
Date : October 7, 2014

This issue of “West News” highlights several new and exiting topics including the Clean Power Plan, our contribution to the new Illinois Institute of Technology's Center for Smart Grid Applications, Research & Technology, highlights from our presentation on customer service transformation with Kansas City Water Services, in addition to other industry hot topics.

Industry:

Dear Clients and Friends,



It may be getting cooler outside, but things are definitely heating up in the Energy & Utilities space. Our latest newsletter includes a number of issues that we are closely following and believe hold a lot of potential impact (and opportunities) for our clients.



Paul DeCotis, a new director in our practice, has emerged as a key thought-leader on the Clean Power Plan, which he rightfully refers to as a “game changer” for the electric power industry. I believe there are still many who do not fully comprehend the ways in which this emerging policy will directly impact utility operations, regulatory proceedings, and stakeholder engagements. West Monroe Partners recently held a webinar on this topic. If you missed the webinar, you can download the full white paper and presentation here.



Our team has also been involved in some innovative new collaborations. We have parterned with ComEd, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and Silver Spring Networks to unveil CSMART (Center for Smart Grid Applications, Research & Technology) on IIT's campus. This partnership between academia, a local utility, and industry experts is one of the first of its kind and will address some of the most challenging issues to affect the utility industry over the next decade.



Our cloud-based distribution management application, Connect the Grid, is one area where we have partnered with CSMART. Connect the Grid was also listed as a finalist this year for the Fierce Innovation Awards.



We have highlighted a number of other extremely relevant topics in this issue including highlights from a customer service presentation with Kansas City Water Services, managing the complexities of a large workforce by looking at data analytics, the most critical factors that a utility must understand and factor into FAN requirements, and our benchmarking study and white paper on improving credit collections. If you would like to discuss any of these topics in greater detail, please reach out to us.

Best regards,

Tom

Tom Hulsebosch

Managing Director Energy and Utilities Practice

thulsebosch@westmonroepartners.com

On September 10th, Kathy Whalen and Miguel Echeverria of KCWS joined West Monroe Partners in presenting the luncheon keynote address at the Smart Water Summit titled, “Improving Customer Service Through People, Processes and Technology.” Kathy and Miguel discussed their challenges, their plan for improvements, and what success looks like to them.

Utilities have begun the search for replacement solutions and are discovering that finding “the right” or “the best” solution is tantamount to finding the Holy Grail. Following, are six of the most critical factors that a utility must understand and factor into FAN requirements as it prepares to select a vendor and a solution.

Too often seemingly routine tasks are hard to manage with a large workforce—and the questions arise. Why did we only install 50 meters today? Why are customers still complaining about intermittent service? Why didn’t we identify the malfunctioning device before the crew left the site?

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