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Why BPM is vital for companies in the energy and utility industry

By: Pedro Robledo, BPM process management expert

Many energy and utilities companies around the world have turned to implementing Business Process Management (BPM) to optimize and automate their business processes end-to-end. The application of BPM to their operational, financial, administrative, and customer service processes has provided vital benefits to offer quality customer services, ensure regulatory compliance and 24x7 service delivery, among others.

The BPM discipline can offer many benefits and improvements to any organization in any sector. The reasons for this are companies’ reduction of product design times by 50%, optimising the "time-to-market", with more competitive and cost-effective products; it improves Call Centers’ efficiency by 60%, which cuts costs, increases satisfaction and improves resource management; reduces order management times by 80% with reducing costs, increasing customer satisfaction and obtaining higher profitability; it reduces administrative costs in almost every process by 50-60%, obtaining significant financial savings. Let’s see the main 10 reasons why any energy or utility organization should implement BPM:

  1. Guarantee and maintain government compliance and regulatory standards, meeting deadlines, forms, and documentation for audits. BPM ensures that companies do not conflict with auditors and regulators, in face of changing regulatory and governance conditions of business processes. One of Canada's largest sour gas processors ensures regulatory compliance with requirements like Sarbanes-Oxley thanks to BPM.
  2. Maximize its production and reduce operating costs, as a Norwegian company specialized in the extraction, distribution and commercialization of gas and oil, which uses BPM to support new technological strategies aimed at meeting future energy demands, including improved production, reduction of operating costs and taking advantage of production opportunities in deep waters, oil shale gas and heavy oil.
  3. Reduce processing time. A utility company that generates, transmits, and distributes electrical services in Nevada, and provides natural gas service, automated its legal discovery process, improving its productivity by reducing processing time from 40 hours to 30 minutes a week.
  4. Automate manual processes, the world's largest open-pit coal mining operation automated its main business processes from different business areas such as coal procurement, purchase and sale. More than 200 human and personal activities are involved in these processes throughout the organization.
  5. Visibility in energy transaction processes. A French energy company implemented BPM to gain visibility in its transaction processes, helping its staff save time in management, among other benefits.
  6. Increase overall productivity by integrating new technologies with existing systems, which is often a complicated and risky task. A Dutch company specialized in energy and gas has implemented BPM to achieve the objectives of excellence in the company's business processes and in its customer-focused strategy, integrating new technologies with the company's systems.
  7. Manage risks, automating the detection and response to failures in electrical equipment. The largest company in the electrical energy sector in the Americas automatically detects failures in electrical equipment and responds by processing complex events.
  8. Self-management for customer satisfaction and achieving operational efficiencies that are then transmitted to the public in the form of a reliable service. The Colombian company that provides public water, energy and natural gas services offers its external clients the possibility of starting processes from the comfort of their homes. Previously, they required face-to-face care, which in most cases involved long commutes and long queues.
  9. Dramatically reduction of large volumes of paper documents and standardization of documents. A British specialist power generation company has identified and tracked standard setting processes, dramatically reducing the large volume of paper documents and ending bottleneck delays and the need for multiple approvers at different locations.
  10. Sense of ownership of the process for continuous review and improvement. Accessing high-quality data to calculate labor costs can be quite complex and time-consuming. An Australian water management service provider consisting of three partner organizations, through BPM have more control over daily activities, a definitive perspective on the real cost of certain jobs and a clearer understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each member. This led to a general cultural change, as managers acquired a sense of ownership of the process for continual review and improvement.

Business Process Management (BPM) will fundamentally allow us to achieve:

  1. Operational Effectiveness: BPM provides the ability to achieve the desired or expected effect
  2. Operational Efficiency: BPM provides the ability to achieve a certain effect
  3. Operational Excellence: BPM provides superior quality of perfection and outstanding features
  4. Operational Success: BPM manages to achieve positive results; and,
  5. Operational Strategy: BPM gets the achievement of business objectives.