Utility companies must balance workforce utilization across known project demand (maintenance and capital projects) and unforeseen spikes due to outages caused by storms. Most utility companies struggle to optimize for overtime constraints, limited budgets, and crew locations.
Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) was looking to revamp their workforce planning. Their existing system relied entirely on drafting spreadsheets up to six months in advance. Because they operate in a heavily regulated industry that is subject to spikes in demand and inherent challenges arising from expensive crew transfers, overtime, and budget constraints, PSEG needed to modernize. However, much of their data was locked up in legacy systems and siloed from the business.
Atrium started PSEG’s overhaul by migrating their existing Demand, Budget, and Capacity data into Salesforce. A custom planning module was built on the Lightning platform that enabled collaboration capabilities for sharing and annotating plan updates. The team accomplished this by organizing data into the following objects: Plan, Project, Worker, Plan Configuration, Work Order, Crew, and Work Type.
A front-end was enabled to capture capital project work types that previously resided in Excel, along with a Demand Planning and Scenario Management App. These improvements led to the implementation of workflows and process automation.
Furthermore, Atrium integrated the following technologies: CRM Analytics, AWS, Field Service Lightning, Amazon Redshift data lake, and Python workforce optimizer™.
Poorly developed workforce utilization plans often result in higher overtime costs, increases in travel costs and time, and overall margin compression. By having an automated solution that can recommend the optimal workforce plan, PSEG will now be able to reduce the planning cycle by up to 50 percent, while unplanned variances will see a 20 percent reduction.
With real-time insights into workforce availability and skills, dispatch is able to better meet deadlines for capital projects and service levels required for run-rate maintenance. The elimination of manual processes and redundant spreadsheets has led to a reduction in planning errors and an increase in productivity and forecast accuracy. These improvements altogether accomplished PSEG’s ultimate goal in boosting project margins.
Atrium’s Intelligent Workforce Optimization solution allows utility companies to transform the way they plan, forecast, and monitor the execution of large-scale field service teams. In as little as 15 minutes, managers can balance demand and capacity with “what if” scenario planning; a drastic shift from what previously took 100s of hours and 100s of spreadsheets. Atrium has developed reusable assets including a utility-specific data model, and an optimization engine that can recommend the best balanced plan based on projected demand.