Utility companies and other public sector companies have found themselves competing against lean, independent businesses, and public perception regarding increasing costs and lower service levels.
The biggest challenge utility companies face is finding more efficient ways to allocate personnel and resources so they can provide value to the consumer and still increase earnings for shareholders. Utilities occupy strange ground operating in regulated, quasi-regulated, and deregulated environments. Many operate in a regulated environment, but as publicly traded companies, they must also be competitive. In a regulated environment, many utilities have chosen to allow the need for service to outweigh the cost of providing that service. In a competitive environment, however, service and cost must be balanced – a change in mindset that is often difficult for utilities to make.
Utilities often make the mistake of trying to adapt their business around flawed schedules used in a regulated environment. Many times, the change in mindset starts with a re-examination of shift schedules. While revising shift schedules may not incite a riot, it almost certainly will affect employee morale – particularly if it’s already low because of traumatic layoffs.
Getting employees involved in the decision-making process and building consensus among all levels, management specialists say, is a big part of damage control, and may even turn the schedule revisions into a morale booster. Changes implemented using Coleman Consulting Group’s methodology includes significant input from the supervisors and employees. Revising schedules for hourly workers, many of whom are represented by organized labor, also includes substantial employee involvement.
Typical cost savings for utility companies include:
Improving Operations/Maintenance Interface
Increasing Maintenance “Wrench Time”
Reducing Cost/Time of Planned Outages
Responding to Unplanned Outages
"Your proven methodology has allowed the deployment of our capital and human resources to specifically match our workload, thereby reducing both overtime and idle time. Conservatively, our most recent project has resulted in $1 million of annual savings."
Craig Adams / Director / PECO Energy
"The most notable characteristic of the Coleman Consulting Group is their ability and desire to work directly with the employees instead of just the management leaders. This "roll up the sleeves" attitude separates Coleman Consulting Group from the other consultant groups . . . ComEd is planning to realize significant improvements in customer service due to better scheduling and modified shifts."
Carl L. Segneri / T&D Construction Manager / Commonwealth-Edison