How Workflow Automation Can Energize the Power and Utilities Industry

In 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a set of regulations aiming to cut carbon pollution from electric power plants by 30% by the year 2030.

With the aim of fighting climate change while supplying America with reliable and affordable power, the regulations were the first ever move to regulate carbon pollution from power plants, and the first steps toward a quiet revolution in the way we produce and use electricity.

New laws and regulations, combined with technological advancements have led to significant disruption in the power and utilities industry. PWC research found that 97% of power and utility companies expect a medium or high amount of disruption in their home market by 2020.

Given this rapidly changing scenario, how can the power and utility companies become more adaptable and responsive to change?

Powering Businesses is No Small Task

The power and utility industry is complex.

Workers are often spread across many parts of the globe, with teams using a variety of different tools and systems to get work done. Because of this, it can be difficult to maintain consistency: creating the potential for information silos, miscommunication and other barriers that can slow down the productivity of a business.

But with the right technology in place, companies in the power and utility industry can improve these internal processes and create significant cost savings, turning challenges into real opportunities.

Workflow automation software has the capacity to unify these processes across different locations and strengthen relationships with customers, while providing innovative processes for field workers and engineers.

Our new whitepaper, The power and utility of workflow automationdetails the challenges in the power and utilities industry, and the ways in which technologies such as workflow automation can help.

Simplify, Streamline and Connect

Workflow automation offers enormous potential value to the power and utilities industry.

By automating monotonous tasks, workflows are able to ‘free-up’ employees for more complex or pressing tasks. Furthermore, workflow automation software removes much of the human error associated with such manual processes.

So, whether it’s ensuring employee onboarding and safety training is completed on time, inspections of sites are carried out effectively, or reports and dashboards are monitored routinely, workflow automation relieves the pressure from workers.

Besides mitigating human error, workflow automation systems can enable workers in the power and utilities industry in several ways:

  • Automation of internal and external processes
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Field workers with mobile access to data and tools and real-time assistance
  • Better preventative care and maintenance of sites and equipment
  • Intuitive customer-facing apps that drive better customer experiences and produce data

State-of-the-art automated workflow systems are able to connect applications, content and systems of record across projects, creating cohesion in what would otherwise be highly dispersed organizations.

Let’s look at some of the ways this can happen:

  • Integration of mobile working

It’s not unusual for energy companies to have multiple employees such as contractors or vendors based offshore.

By providing these workers (engineers, divers, roughnecks, etc.) with access to important information via an automated workflow that can be used on-site via a mobile device, workers are given far more flexibility. In turn, this can improve productivity, safety and efficiency.

  • Internet of Things (IoT) & workflow analytics

The influx of large volumes of data that companies can use has been a major disruptor in the power and utilities industry. Organizations are now able to improve their business practices, the monitoring and maintenance of equipment and overall safety and environmental protection.But this improvement has also raised expectations.

Workflow automation software that leverages the Internet of Things and analytics can meet these expectations. Nintex Workflow Cloud is an adaptable and intelligent automated workflow solution that leverages mobile technology, process analytics and the Internet of Things to connect the right content to the right people at the right time.

See more ways in which workflow automation can benefit power and utility organizations by downloading the whitepaper.

Unlocking the Power of Workflow Automation

For organizations in the power and utilities industry, workflow automation promises improved efficiency and flexibility, providing companies with the means to unify internal processes across multiple and diverse locations, as well as strengthen relationships with customers.

Improvements can be found across the breadth of the business. Workflow automation software has the capability to improve the jobs of field workers and engineers while extending and connecting applications, content and systems to give decision-makers better visibility.

The power and utilities industry is vast; the challenges, opportunities and technologies we have touched on only scratch the surface.

If you want to find out more, download our whitepaper—The power and utility of workflow automationtoday, which dives into the details of workflow automation’s potential impact in the power and utilities industry.

 

 

Sean Fiene

Nintex Technical Evangelist Sean Fiene is a web developer, Nintex Forms specialist and lover of foods. With over 9 years' experience in SharePoint and Nintex technologies, he's passionate about using workflow automation, forms and mobile solutions to drive greater productivity and success across industries and business scenarios.