To Increase Resilience, Utilities Must Transform Their Business Processes

Written by Team SAP Signavio | 3 min read
Published on: March 31st 2023 - Last modified: April 4th, 2023
Utilities Must Transform Their Business Processes

Disruptive change is reshaping the utilities industry.  How can you transform your business processes and deploy intelligent solutions that boost efficiency in your business operations while helping ensure a safe, secure infrastructure for the future? 

Increasing fuel prices continue to drive already high inflation

Increasing fuel prices across Europe continue to drive already high inflation, spiking global interest rates. Monsoonal rains in Pakistan killed 1,700 people in 2022, and the worst drought on record is creating a food security crisis in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.  

From extreme weather to the long-standing effects of the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and cyberattacks, utility companies are experiencing pressure on both their daily operations and their investment plans. Not only do utilities need new ways to cope with a radically changing market, but they must take a leading role in the energy transition – which is accelerating despite these head winds.

In these traditional commodity businesses, improving operational efficiency is essential. But utilities also must be open to exploring new business opportunities created by the energy transition. And there’s no time to wait, as new players begin to crowd the market.

Drive New Business Value with Process Transformation

One way to achieve this goal is to prioritize business process transformation. By focusing on process excellence across business areas, business process transformation helps you evaluate and redesign processes – driving meaningful improvements that increase efficiency and effectiveness.

In a business process transformation initiative, you can address multiple process-related concerns. For example, a well-designed transformation program can help you:

  • Assess process optimizations to understand which ones offer the greatest return
  • Analyze the as-is and to-be state of processes
  • Model and simulate new processes, optimizing the current business model or expanding into new areas
  • Increase efficiency through process automation
  • Drive change collaboratively, to bring everyone along in the transition
  • Monitor progress and compliance

Using modern analysis and automation tools, you can identify more adaptive, contextual, and predictive processes that work better in today’s dynamic conditions. Transformed business processes can create a more holistic, real-time view of the business, allowing your organization to adjust faster and more easily to change.

Plus the business upsides can be substantial. Utilities that embrace business process transformation report numerous benefits, including new revenue streams, enhanced customer intimacy, greater regulatory compliance and security, and improved operational excellence.

Think Strategically, Not Tactically, About Transformation

What’s the best way to get started with business process transformation? Utilities need to adopt a disciplined approach to what is understandably a fundamental change.

New technologies – such as cloud computing, Big Data, artificial intelligence, and hypermobility – certainly can help support innovation. These tools can help you improve the productivity, efficiency, and safety of plants while enhancing compliance and reliability in distribution.

But it’s important to deploy digital technologies as part of a structured business process transformation initiative – not simply as a quick fix for discrete business issues.

First, you must pick the right process or processes to optimize. The processes that can benefit most differ by utility, but many organizations start with one of the following:

  • Onboarding new customer accounts
  • Creating and managing emergency work orders
  • Designing energy delivery systems
  • Using meter readings to create precise, timely invoices

Choose Solutions That Grow with Your Needs

Next, consider business process transformation solutions that can help you get started with an optimization initiative.

Cloud-based process optimization solutions can help you achieve transformation quickly and at scale. You also may want to choose a product that offers a rich suite of optimization tools, so you can add functionality as your transformation needs to mature and evolve.

Look for a solution suite that connects to your core business systems, such as ERP. This connectivity helps you monitor, assess, and improve your processes as you optimize them. 

Collaborative process mining features help your team achieve insights into process execution and identify ways to improve performance and efficiency. And process collaboration technology can streamline communication and coordination among stakeholders as they work to identify, refine, and execute more efficient processes.

Advanced business process transformation solutions also offer process modeling features that capture, unify, and maintain process models. You can even simulate process changes and estimate their impact before executing them.

Finally, some sophisticated offerings help support process governance and automation. Workflow building features help you track tasks directly, and you can create multilevel approval workflows and schedules for assessing compliance. Low-code/no-code technologies let you involve stakeholders in the process automation initiative.

Innovate to Tame Radical Change

Geopolitical turmoil, economic challenges, and extreme weather events demand new approaches from utilities that want to survive and thrive. Business process transformation is one of the most effective ways to navigate industry disruption, overcome today’s most pressing industry challenges, and drive sustainable growth.

Powerful business process transformation solutions can help you analyze, improve, and manage your business processes. Using the insight delivered by these solutions, you can bring your company’s processes into the future, accelerate the pace of transformation, and help your utility become adaptable and resilient.

Discover how solutions from the SAP Signavio portfolio help utilities understand, improve, and transform their business processes. Read the Five Top Disruptions Reshaping the Utilities Industry

Published on: March 31st 2023 - Last modified: April 4th, 2023