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Addressing Complex Project and Asset Management Needs in the Utilities Industry

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An Infoys Limited Guest Contribution

The electrical utility industry is characterized by huge and geographically widespread organizational structures. Moreover, the processes followed by industry players across their several business functions are cumbersome and complex. Today’s utilities face numerous challenges like high operational efficiency, stringent safety levels, high reliability and proactive customer service. Also, being asset intensive, emphasis on critically tracking assets availability and performance has become an  important  priority. With these ever growing demands, the work and asset management in the utility is changing and striving for excellence.

Enterprise packages populated  by  best-of-breed applications have been supporting utility work and asset management processes effectively for a long time. However, a futuristic outlook and ever growing demands of utilities has forced them to look beyond the boundaries of these work and asset management applications.  Greater emphasis is now being given to the functions which are more relevant to business, and address their long standing pain points. A typical example would be managing capital projects, spanning multiple years and sometimes multiple geographies. The inherent nature of such work, the financial reporting involved, budgeting requirements, and statutory & regulatory needs, demand more than what a standard asset management package could offer. Furthermore, smart and efficient data entry for field force, having limited interactions with complex software applications, remains an unattended and sought after area.

Efficient and quick customer service has been a challenge in the light of an aging workforce, leading to less knowledge about customers and their problems. Traditionally work management and customer management has been working independently and in silos.  Though, efforts were spent to optimize business processes, the benefits of such optimization programs were limited due to absence of mechanisms to ensure adherence and accountability.

To meet growing gaps, utilities either customize their software packages or bind their systems with external applications using complex integrations, only to realize the associated downstream challenges later.

Infosys with its extensive domain expertise in utilities and client interactions, identified these critical pain areas which utilities are facing and addressed them in the development of the Maximo Utilities Amplifier. This application leverages the inherent capabilities of IBM Maximo and combines utilities best practices.  Built on a robust framework of IBM’s Enterprise Asset Management for Utilities, it equips the business users with enhanced functionalities and supporting tools required for managing the ever-growing needs in this area.

The application  has been designed to build on the core utility Maximo feature to address extended work management needs. With a modified work order application, the application captures specific capitals works information like Tax,  customer and service information, overhead reporting, project and task linkages etc. A dedicated project budgeting application allows work planners and schedulers to define, manage and control project budget and its performance vis-à-vis work execution. Smart reporting  identifies critical functions for field crews by  consolidating information in a single portal. The application further  enables a user friendly and efficient data entry process, channelizing the effort in the right direction and optimizing the work hours. Standardized and repetitive process is automated using workflows, ensuring close process adherence and accountability.

Readers can learn more about this utilities industry application at: http://www.infosys.com/industries/utilities/Documents/IBM-maximo-utilities-amplifier.pdf

Know more about Infosys Supply Chain capabilities at: http://www.infosys.com/supply-chain/pages/index.aspx

 

About the Authors

Praveen Agrawal –Industry Principal, Consulting & System Integration, Infosys

Praveen is a subject matter expert in Asset Management – especially in Maximo – with knowledge levels spanning across functions and industries. Praveen has global experience of executing various EAM and ERP projects for Energy, Utilities, Manufacturing and telecommunication clients in various capacities. Praveen anchors Maximo Center of Excellence for Infosys which is responsible for developing solutions, tools, accelerates, processes and methods. He also manages IBM relationship for all advanced technologies for Infosys’ Energy, Utility, Communication and Services vertical.

Rejeesh Gopalan –Consultant, Consulting & System Integration, Infosys

Rejeesh Gopalan has worked extensively in package consulting around the Maximo Asset Management Software, with a clear focus on energy companies and utilities. As a Consultant, Rejeesh is responsible for providing leadership in multiple projects based on Maximo Asset Management Software, involving end-to-end implementation, upgrades and application support.

Disclosure: Infosys Limited is one of other named sponsors of the Supply Chain Matters Blog.

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