Value Co-Creation for the Utility Enterprise
Author: Jim Menton, Utility Principal
Exploring the impact of mobility and new technologies on the utility industry at DistribuTECH
While there are several key trends (both business and technology) that will be impacting the utility sector in 2014, including, mobile, IT/OT convergence, cloud, smartgrid, customer engagement, and energy technology consumerization, in preparation for the DistribuTECH conference, it’s important to revisit the strategy of value co-creation for the utility enterprise.
I am a firm believer in the enterprise co-creation strategy that was developed by Francis Gouillart and Venkat Ramaswamy. In a recent article, Francis explains the concept of, “partnering with customers in a new energy enterprise.” He writes, “Success in the ‘new world’ of utilities lies in the ability to engage communities of stakeholders in new ways, partnering with them to build an open ecosystem where assets in the ground are less important than the interactions that bind them together and the new experiences that they allow for all parties involved. This requires putting in place a new process of engagement and a new infrastructure allowing all stakeholders (utility management, utility employees, B2B and B2C customers, suppliers, regulators) to interact with each other in new and different ways. The future of utilities lies in becoming co-creative enterprises.”
Attending DistribuTECH? Learn more about the impact of mobility on value co-creation by attending the session: Implementing an Integrated Mobile Workforce Management System to Transform Processes and Practices
Mobility for the utility workforce – enabling value co-creation
How is mobility driving the transformative process at utility organizations? For example, all natural gas utilities have leak detection resources that spend their days in the field driving along roadways or walking gas mains and or services with gas leak detection equipment to detect leaks in their gas pipeline infrastructure. Once a leak is found (depending upon the severity) the leak is called into the gas distribution department and a work order is created. That leak repair crew is assigned either that day or the next day to repair the leak in the field—a very cumbersome process.
But at a large California utility company, the distribution leak detection crews routinely travel along the gas main/services distribution network looking for leaks, but instead of calling in the leak, that take immediate action with mobile devices. They identify the location and severity of the leak, a real time work order request is created by the crews’ mobile device (using Clicksoftware’ Mobile technology), the work order is created within their ERP solution, confirmed, and scheduled back out to the field in real-time so the crew can repair the natural gas leak immediately.
The reason this strategy was implemented and is successful, is because the field crews understood the problem much better than anyone else in the company. They collaborated with their IT teams, and business process teams to come to a consensus (or Co-Create) the eventual process for the field. This saves the utility time and money, and most importantly keeps their customers safe from a natural gas leak.
To learn more about the co-creative process and the benefits of mobility, I encourage DistribuTECH attendees to:
- Visit the ClickSoftware booth, # 4077
- Register for Wednesday’s session with Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas and Electric: Implementing an Integrated Mobile Workforce Management System to Transform Processes and Practices
When: Wednesday, January 29th
Time: 9:30am – 11:00am CST
Location: Room 213B