Case Study: System Overhaul Yields Big Improvements for Utility and Customers

Post by
Scott Francis

In a recent issue of Power International Magazine, Bill Perry covers PNM Resources' successful digital transformation of their customer service requests.? PNM is a great power company in New Mexico and serves a large number of customers across very challenging geography, and we love seeing our clients get the recognition they deserve in their industries.? Our team had a great experience working with them on this initiative, because we could viscerally sense the value of it to their clients and to their business goals:

"From a customer?s perspective, the process appeared to be automated. Behind the scenes, once a customer completed and submitted a form via the website, the system created and sent a PDF to a PNM employee?s email inbox. From that point, a customer service request was completely manual. In January 2017, though, PNM flipped the switch on a transformed process, one that automated the manual work and better meets customer needs."

All utility companies are challenged to provide security and safety while still meeting service expectations in their service area:

"Our focus as a company is always on safety and the customer experience," said Patricia Bayon, a senior business analyst for PNM Resources. "But we struggled to meet our service level agreement stating that, barring [a service outage], a customer should have his or her meter upgraded or installed within seven days of request."

The case study does a fantastic job of capturing the good work our team did alongside PNM to deliver a solution. Instrumental to every project is listening to really understand the current landscape of challenges, and then collaborating on the right solution to those challenges:

After a discovery process to identify the as-built situation, BP3 used its Brazos UI toolkit (which is software for shaping the IBM BPM system to meet a user?s preferences) to customize the IBM software and automate PNM?s process.

Among BP3?s first steps was creating a link between the customer request form on PNM?s website via TIBCO Software?s integration tool and the IBM BPM. When a customer makes a service request, the PNM website now triggers the BPM software, which taps a Google Maps API to locate the customer?s address. IBM BPM then pulls information into the customer request form. The BPM system vets the address against a PNM customer database and finds the customer account.

Next, the BPM software automatically creates a work request, which kicks off the permit process in a legacy PNM system. This triggers an inspector?s visit to the job site. After the inspector?s approval, the BPM software finds the application for service created by the PNM engineers and planners to create a service order. BP3 coded the IBM BPM to pair up the application and permit process. Once vetted, the BPM software fires off a work order for a crew. The BPM system then updates the customer?s website request to show when the work will be completed.

And you might be asking, did we achieve the results we were looking for?

"We?ve also eliminated 80 percent of the paperwork related to these service requests," said Bayon. "And with future enhancements we?ll eliminate 99 percent of the paperwork."

Those are results we can all get behind.? I believe these results are available to other power providers who are interested in transforming their customer request fulfillment.

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