UMS Group announces completion of spend optimization process implementation at BC Hydro – Distribution


Feb. 27, 2004 — UMS Group Inc. (UMS) has announced the completion of an implementation of its proprietary Spend Optimization Process within the BC Hydro Distribution Business.

In implementing the UMS process, BC Hydro optimized its 2004 capital investment, operations and maintenance spending plans. As a result, BC Hydro gained a significant increase in spending effectiveness and accountability.

The BC Hydro Distribution business leveraged the UMS Spend Optimization Process to focus on its customer based reliability strategy and on safety. Specific objectives and project/program comparative metrics were used in developing the scored project/program library.

The library was then optimized using the UMS Group toolset – customized for BC Hydro’s unique requirements. Work continues to link the Spend Optimization toolset to BC Hydro’s existing Project Evaluation (PET) Tool.

In describing the implementation, Ralph Zucker, Manager Strategic Asset Management, BC Hydro Distribution, stated, “We are very pleased with the quick implementation of the UMS optimization process at BC Hydro. In 2003 we were under significant pressure to do more with less – an increasing portion of our infrastructure is exceeding design life and driving up operating and maintenance costs, yet customer expectations are increasing and available funding is limited.

“In reviewing our asset management practices we recognized the need to focus in two areas:
1) optimize spending across the operate, maintain and invest processes, and
2) better align spending with customer needs and expectations as articulated through corporate values.

“These are both challenging topics that would have taken several years of internal work to implement properly. The UMS Spend Optimization Process provided the opportunity for us to address these areas in short order and within our current budget and planning cycle. We are applying this decision support to our 2004 spending programs and anticipate great value in achieving improved customer service while containing our expenditures. Of particular benefit is the ability we now have to align spending decisions directly with customer values that have been reviewed and endorsed by corporate management.”

The UMS Spend Optimization Process facilitates the value assessment of all spending plans in terms of each UMS Client’s unique strategic business objectives. Through comparative analyses of discretionary project and program spending scenarios, Client planning and budgeting decisions are supported in the domains of value effectiveness and risk.

In addition, the process supports Client decision-making in the mandatory spending domain – assessing alternatives that release portions of the planned spending to be applied to areas of greater value (i.e., increased reliability, improved customer satisfaction, enhanced financial returns, etc.).

A supporting toolset is implemented in each UMS Spend Optimization Process engagement that is customized to each Client’s unique requirements. The toolset consists of the planned spending project/program library, optimization engine, scenario selection alternatives and results reporting in both graphic and tabular forms.

The UMS Spend Optimization Process is designed for application to asset-intensive businesses faced with constrained capital availability.

UMS is a global consultancy in the practice of utility asset management, performance assessment, performance management and change management. UMS proprietary databases, analytical tools and methodologies have been utilized by over 300 gas, water and electric utilities on 4 continents to build world-class operations.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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