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Eight Steps to Operational Excellence for Transmission Companies

Top-performing energy network operators throughout the world employ eight best practices to significantly improve both efficiency and effectiveness:

  1. Planning That Focuses on Value Creation. Top performers leverage their advanced investment and asset management strategy to include modeling economic parameters, such as net present value and value at risk in investment decisions.
  2. Investment Efficiency Through Design. It’s important to homogenize processes, topologies, equipment, and materials at the project level by defining standardized constructive-network modules that repeat over projects. These should be designed and developed centrally to capture scale effects and facilitate the spread of best practices.
  3. Lean and Systematic Monitoring of Construction Processes. Construction processes should be standardized by asset class, and clear role definitions should be provided to reduce interaction of the different parts involved in the construction process.
  4. Efficient Dispatching and Emergency Management. An automated outage-management system can be used to predict, locate, and optimize outage response and can be linked to the customer information system for better real-time information about the events.
  5. Advanced Maintenance Strategy for Ensuring Acceptable Levels of Service. Best-practice networks use wireless data-capture systems to collect information on the condition of network assets so that they’re prepared to address pressing maintenance issues in a timely and efficient manner that doesn’t require them to defer critical tasks.
  6. Effectiveness of the Field Service Force. Networks should focus on improving service levels at a lower cost in these critical areas: optimizing team size and the workforce, decreasing nonproductive time, and benchmarking field force teams.
  7. Category-Focused Procurement Function. By integrating procurement and construction functions, management can reduce overspecification (ordering more functionality than is necessary), thereby lowering procurement costs.
  8. Refined Contracting Strategy and Supplier Management. A systematic contractor selection process with clearly defined steps and solid scoring criteria includes leveraging advanced supplier management and prioritizing suppliers according to their urgency.
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