To add value to operations, the utilities industry encompassing power, water and gas has to face inevitable challenges such as production and distribution efficiencies, antiquated infrastructure, regulatory frameworks and demanding consumers. An equilibrated approach will evolve from smart business strategies coupled with the implementation of digital technology architecture.
Customer Self Service
The quality of service is substantially boosted by an online customer service operation which, not only responds in real time thereby enhancing the customer experience, but is also an economical option versus the conventional ‘help desk’ model. An online customer account management system allows users to manage demand independently, leading to optimal use of the resources of the distributor supplier of the utility. With the industry increasingly taking on a public-private hue, a digital Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) across devices and accessible on diverse social media platforms will contribute to engagement with digital consumers and attract business.
Protection of privacy of consumer data from malware and cannibalization is critical for building consumer confidence. This calls for an advanced security algorithm that restricts access through rigorous authentication requirements, guaranteeing privacy and data security. The cyber security superstructure should withstand invader assaults and forestall breaches of security firewalls. A robust disaster management system is essential for ensuring continuity of business services in the event of unforeseen eventualities.
Revenue generation is meter reading dependent. Digital technology tracks supply outages, and feedback flows seamlessly through the Internet of Things (IOT) to the remedy center that acts in near real time to restore supply, maximizing consumption and revenue. Meter Data Management (MDM) products, working in harmony with energy applications, create an environment in which fluctuating demand is optimally managed. Energy disturbances are monitored through power quality systems equipped with validation, estimation and editing features that guide system load management through efficient load calculations.
System analytics of real time grid data, supplied through a continuous flow of data from connected monitoring devices, improve efficiency of grid operations and management of the distribution network. Predictive analytics plays a dual role of intuitively directing the supply of resources to specific geographical locations, and also forecasting maintenance demands, preventing situations of breakdowns and consequential down time of productive assets. This also ensures distribution integrity management in compliance with the prescriptions of the regulatory framework.
Analytical algorithms forecast customer consumption after studying usage patterns. The interpretational results are more significant in the case of large consumers enabling efficient management of production and distribution.
Geographical Information System (GIS)
A well conceived Geographical Information System (GIS) is an enabler that allows the production team to efficiently manage generation and transmission of the resource, the retail division to monetize demand by enhancing resource distribution to high consumption locales and manage consumer data, and the emergency response team to competently cope with any crisis.
Mobile connectivity with consumers is a quintessential requirement for high class consumer responsiveness. An efficient mobile app enables real time sharing of resource consumption, triggers notification of supply outages, and allows better responsiveness to trouble shooting situations. A field force that is mobile app enabled is more productive and equipped to deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction.