Utility Processes Blueprint

Utility Processes Blueprint

This model lets us map the processes of any energy and utilities company, regardless of its organisational structure or ERP implementation. The blueprint consists of five interacting lifecycles, each containing three main process groups. Inputs and outputs link processes within each group to processes in other groups and lifecycles. Since a single company rarely handles the complete five lifecycles, processes often transcend organisational boundaries.

 

Customer Lifecycle

The relation with a customer, from acquisition to deregistration.

Prospect to Contract

Prospects are signed up and become actual customers. This includes creating agreements, handling the move-in procedure and any future changes to the contract with the customer.

Contract to Cash

With the customer’s contract and consumption as inputs, the contract to cash processes generate the actual revenue from the customer. This includes billing (paper-based or online), collections and credit management.

Customer Change

Customer data is crucial for any service delivery. The customer change processes handle any changes to the customer’s data, including customer moves and switches.

Commodity Lifecycle

The delivery of the commodity, such as electricity, gas or water.

Portfolio Management

Portfolio management groups all processes regarding the forecasting, purchasing, trading, settlement and balancing of the commodity being bought or sold. This includes the interaction with other market parties.

Production to Meter

These processes describe the physical delivery of the commodity, from centralized powerplants or decentralized production units. It includes transportation of the commodity over high or low voltage networks, up to the meter at the customer’s premises.

Meter to Consumption

As the commodity is consumed, it will often pass through one or several meters. These processes collect actual metering data, calculate estimates and convert these into consumptions on a per-customer basis. This includes setup of meters, data collection (MMR, AMI), and data validation.

Contact Lifecycle

A gateway for all processes that interact with the customer.

Contact to activity

Customer enquiries, regardless of the communication method, result in activities, which are used to efficiently respond to customer inquiries. These are handled either manually, or by an automated process.

Activity to Service

Some contact activities need technical interventions and result in a service request. This can trigger a process from the asset or commodity lifecycle.

Activity to Contact

Processes from other lifecycles often require the customer to be contacted or informed. Activity to contact aggregates these requests and provides generic processes to handle these interactions.

Product lifecycle

The go-to-market processes of the utility.

Market Insight to Product

Based on market analysis, the utility decides which market segments to target and designs products to position itself.

Product to Profit

These processes analyse the profitability of products. This includes calculation of the cost-to-serve and associated revenue of each segment.

Marketing to Prospect

Activities to bring the products to the market are part of this group. This includes advertising campaigns, direct marketing through CRM and upselling of existing customers. The products being sold will form the basis for customer contracts in the customer lifecycle.

Asset Lifecycle

Managing physical assets, such as meters and (smart) grids.

Inventory Management

From procurement to stock, this group contains all processes regarding inventory, human resources, vehicles and car warehousing.

Service Management

Service Management groups the processes to bring stock assets to site for activation, to maintain assets during their life span and to decommission assets to stock or scrap.

Grid Operations

Grid operations concerns the day-to-day use of assets. In a smart grid-setting, these processes comprise load limiting, activation/deactivation, outage management and communication through the asset tree.