The utility industry has a long and unremarkable history with billing systems replacement. These critical systems go beyond revenue creation; involving the whole of the customer experience and often defining the entire relationship between utility and customer. At Westin, we understand how to address these complex issues in a comprehensive nature and back our work with a track record of success.
- CIS Assessment & Optimization
- CIS Selection, Implementation, and Integrations
- AMI Feasibility Study
- AMI Program Management
- Mobile Workforce Management
- Billing Cycle Alignment
- Meter Data Management
- Performance Management
- Increased Customer Satisfaction
- Improved Customer Service
- Increased Field Efficiency
- Real-Time Service Order Access
- Real-Time Usage Access
- Reduced Water Loss
- Reduced Mileage/Costs
- Effective Performance Reporting
- Improved Analytics
The City of Tampa (City) provides water, wastewater, storm water and solid waste services to more than 150,000 customer accounts. The City desired four new customer management applications including a new customer information system (CIS), mobile workforce management (MWM), customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) solution to replace the legacy MSS utility billing application.
The City contracted with Westin to provide an acquisition strategy, system selection, and implementation services for the successful operation of new, modern commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) customer management solutions. Westin began by defining the City’s software acquisition strategy which involved the requisite resource planning; clarifying the specific products, integrations and services to be acquired; and clarifying the roles and decision processes. Westin’s system selection efforts included process definition, requirements gathering, RFP development, vendor evaluation, and vendor contract negotiations for the four applications. Westin’s system implementation services for the new Cayenta CIS solution included successful project management, test management and organizational change management (OCM) services. Key integrations and interfaces to other City systems included financial, geographic information system (GIS), and the permitting system.
Implementation of these modern, integrated customer management applications and supporting technologies significantly increased Tampa’s business functionality, improved responsiveness to customer demands, streamlined internal business processes, and integrated valuable information access across the City.
The Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC or Commission) provides public drinking water to over 70,000 retail accounts in Northern New Jersey, as well as treated wholesale water to 22 other communities. The PVWC wished to replace its 1990’s-era Sungard HTE software applications that were not meeting the Commission’s business needs. PVWC wanted a new commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) customer information system (CIS) solution and align its business processes with the modern system’s capabilities.
The PVWC contracted with Westin to assist in the successful selection and implementation of a fully integrated, Windows-based, web-enabled CIS solution. Westin effectively led PVWC’s team through the CIS requirements gathering, customer service market analysis, RFP development, vendor evaluation, and vendor contract negotiations. Westin also provided valuable CIS implementation services for the PVWC’s new Advanced Utility Systems’ Infinity CIS solution including project management, test management and organizational change management (OCM). Westin helped to integrate the new CIS solution to finance, human resources, payroll, asset and maintenance management, land management and document/content management systems. Identified efficiency and effectiveness improvements included service locations (connections), customer accounts, billing, payments, adjustments, meters, meter reading and customer service orders.
Since the successful software go-live, Westin has continued to provide post-implementation improvements for the Commission’s Infinity CIS solution. The new solution supports PVWC’s advanced customer service functions including call center, customer care, automated meter reading (AMR), electronic bill presentment and payment, and web service functions for customer self-service activities.
The City of Georgetown Utility Systems (GUS) provides water, wastewater and electric services to over 35,000 customer accounts in Central Texas. The existing Incode customer information system (CIS) supported multiple departments but was obsolete and lacked the scalability required for the City’s economic growth. The City’s legacy Incode CIS and automated meter reading (AMR) systems became overly expensive to maintain. The City desired more flexibility, greater scalability and increased integration to existing City systems (e.g., meter management (MDMS), Incode Remittance, Incode General Ledger and GIS) and the capability to integrate to future City systems (e.g., advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), financial management system (FMS) replacement, and asset management systems).
To satisfy current and future business functionality requirements, the City hired Westin to assist in the successful selection, acquisition and implementation of new CIS and meter data management (MDM) solutions. Westin successfully led the GUS team through a detailed business needs assessment, process definitions, business and technical requirements gathering, RFP development, systems evaluation and selection, and vendor contract negotiations. During the CIS and MDM implementations, Westin provided project management, test management, business process reengineering, organizational change management (OCM) and quality assurance services. Westin also provided oversight and quality assurance services during the deployment of the City’s AMI infrastructure, communications network, smart meters, and home area network. The team’s efforts fostered the successful implementation of the City’s new Itineris CIS solution with integration to the City’s existing geographic information system (GIS) and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS).
These efforts resulted in substantial improvements in the City’s customer management operational efficiencies, responsiveness, data quality, information access and advancing their Smart Grid Initiatives (SGI). GUS now use automated tools to increase organizational efficiencies, improve customer service levels, support customized rates for electric and water customers, and eliminate manual and duplicate efforts by the effective use of automation.
The City of Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Department (MWSD) supplies water, wastewater and stormwater services to over 35,000 customer accounts in central Tennessee. MWSD owned an antiquated customer information system (CIS) that was at the end of its useful life and lacked needed system interface and data extraction capabilities. The City was in a period of high customer growth and MWSD’s existing CIS application was no longer achieving its customer service needs. MWSD also wanted to replace its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and investigate the benefits of implementing an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution.
The MWSD initially contracted with Westin to develop an Information Technology Master Plan to organize and prioritize MWSD’s technology efforts. After successful development and delivery of the ITMP, the MWSD hired Westin to replace the legacy CIS with a modern commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) customer management solution. Other City systems affected by the CIS replacement included utility billing, cash receipts, contract management, document management, budgetary and accounting, and land management applications. Westin led MWSD through the successful development of the City’s functional and technical requirements, system selection and full deployment and integration of the City’s new Advanced Infinity CIS system.
Westin also helped the City select their new Tyler-Munis ERP system, developed a business case for the new AMI solution, and implemented a new Advanced mobile workforce management (MWM) solution. The City’s new CIS solution and other integrated systems work seamlessly together to enable City personnel to work more efficiently with streamlined work processes, better data quality and access, and increased customer responsiveness and level of service.
Infrastructure & Asset Management
In today’s utility climate more and more emphasis is being placed on the necessity of stewardship of all assets; rather maintaining, rehabbing, or replacing a utility requires technology that holistically supports its efforts. At Westin, we ensure the best fit and most efficient use of the systems and tools to help manage your infrastructure and asset investments.
- CMMS / GIS Assessment & Optimization
- CMMS Selection, Implementation & Integration
- Mobile Technologies
- Asset Management Plan
- Capital Planning Systems
- Fleet Management Systems
- Faster Emergency Response
- Increased Field Efficiency
- Real-Time Work Order Access
- Condition-Based PMs
- Improved CIP Management
- Activity Based Costing
- Effective Performance Reporting
- Improved Analytics
- Increased Customer Satisfaction
The City of Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) Water Operations Division (Division) provides safe, reliable and affordable drinking water to a population of approximately 308,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers. One of the primary tools to successfully accomplish this is effectively using its Oracle Work & Asset Management (WAM) CMMS solution. Westin conducted an initial Gap Analysis by comparing RPU’s maintenance and asset management practices against industry best practices and ISO 55000 standards. The assessment discovered that RPU did not have any of its infrastructure or equipment assets within the WAM CMMS and was mainly using the solution for its timekeeping, purchasing and inventory functions. Accordingly, RPU reengaged Westin to establish standard asset naming conventions, develop the complete asset hierarchy, load over 91,000 vertical and horizontal assets with specifications, design RPU’s Preventive Maintenance Program, and train users to write work orders against individual assets. Westin also documented RPUs desired To-Be business processes, developed a Data Governance Plan, developed an EAM Recommended Roadmap, and trained RPU’s management and staff on effective EAM practices. Today, RPU’s WAM CMMS solution is fully populated with assets, attributes and preventive maintenance schedules. The WAM CMMS now is the core business system that RPU uses to schedule all maintenance activities and track asset condition over time to allow for quantifiable decision making on asset maintenance, rehabilitation, repair, and/or replacement. The Division’s investments enabled enhanced operations management, maintenance management and improved asset management decision making.
Hillsborough County (County) Public Utilities Department (‘Department’ or ‘PUD’) is responsible for all water, wastewater and reclaimed water services to customers within the unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County. The PUD’s staff use a variety of software applications and technologies in the routine performance of their daily job duties. These software applications have been largely acquired, built and/or heavily customized over the past two decades. Several systems have become underutilized, outdated, or no longer supported. Westin began the engagement by conducting a Software Gap Assessment evaluating thirty-three (33) core business software applications and associated business practices. Westin also conducted a CMMS Alternatives Analysis comparing the utility CMMS market leaders against the specific business needs of the Departments. Westin is now currently assisting the Real Estate & Facilities group in the successful procurement and upgrade of its antiquated CMMS. The results will be a modern CMMS solution with enhanced business processes and system interfaces for increased workforce efficiencies and improved data quality.
Polk County Public Utilities Division (‘PCU’) provides water and wastewater services to the unincorporated areas within the county. The PCU uses a variety of canned and custom software applications and manual processes to plan and manage the day to day operations, generate reports, create maintenance work orders, and track assets. These systems are not integrated and sharing data between the systems is difficult. The PCU hired Westin to perform a Utilities Software Master Plan to identify improvement strategies and prioritized actions. The PCU reengaged Westin to help the County select and implement effective, contemporary utility CMMS and CIS applications that can catalyze significant business improvements. Westin’s efforts create the bridge between PCU’s maintenance and asset management business strategies and the critical information and workflow systems that enable and support those business strategies. By leveraging the best practices encoded in modern CMMS software applications with coordinated business practice optimizations, the PCU will be able to drive significant and sustainable utility efficiency and effectiveness improvements for the foreseeable future.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District (District) supplies drinking water and wastewater services to more than 1.4 million water and 685,000 wastewater accounts. Over the past two decades, the District has deployed more than a dozen systems that provide work management and asset management functionality. Most of the systems were custom-developed in-house and are over fifteen years old. Westin reviewed the District’s multiple work and asset management systems and advised on developing a roadmap for their modernization. The District desired a path forward that mitigates its risk, while consolidating systems where feasible, and fully supports current and future business needs. Westin’s report provides the District with an independent, objective evaluation of the District’s existing work and asset management systems. Westin included in the report a market analysis of the CMMS packages used in similar size utilities. The project outcome is a consolidated, enterprise-wide work and asset management solution) that can be integrated with the District’s GIS and other systems and technologies.
In a utility climate where buzz words like “OT” and “convergence” are all the rage a utility still must make common sense decisions that put them on the best path to sustainability. At Westin, we know how to deliver practical solutions that establish a foundation of data and technology; opening the world of possibilities for our customers future information demands.
- SCADA Assessment
- SCADA Master Planning
- Telecom Master Planning
- SCADA System Design
- SCADA Maintenance
- System Integrations
- Cyber & Physical Security Assessment
- Performance Management
- Improved Automation
- Remote Monitoring
- Improved Alarm Management
- Reduced Energy Usage
- Reduced Chemical Usage
- Integrated Regulatory Reporting
- Effective Performance Reporting
- Improved Analytics
Westin was contracted to perform a SCADA upgrade project for the City of Anaheim Public Utilities. The City’s primary goals included to replace the existing system with commercial off the shelf hardware and software, upgrade the communication protocols utilizing a new in plant fiber network, and standardize control panel hardware, panel layout and HMI/PLC programming. Furthermore, the City wanted to virtualize the SCADA servers, modernize the control room, and implement situational awareness HMI graphics. The SCADA replacement project consisted of the following three phases: 1) Preliminary Design; 2) System Design; 3) Engineering / Programming Services during construction. During the preliminary design, Westin and the City worked together to identify the current system and operational requirements, gather existing field condition information, and conduct workshops. Phase 1 deliverables consisted of four technical memorandums and a final pre-design report that detailed the selection of SCADA hardware and software, transition plans, HMI and PLC application standards, and the new control center design. After the pre-design, Westin provided detailed design engineering services which produced new Plans and Specifications for the replacement of 12 control panels and a new SCADA design. Once the panel replacement was released for bid and a contractor was selected, Westin and the City transitioned to Phase 3. During the construction phase, Westin provided Engineering and Programming Services which included contractor submittal reviews, all PLC and HMI programming, and managed all factory and site testing. At the end of the project, the City achieved all goals that were defined during the planning phase of the project and realized additional benefits from the supplementary services not anticipated during the onset of the project. The new system provides the City of Anaheim with a reliable, highly functional, open, and modern process control and data acquisition system for the water utility
Westin was contracted by Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA/Agency) to develop a comprehensive SCADA Master Plan to define and document a roadmap for the implementation of the technology, practices and organization required to meet the Agency’s long-term vision for SCADA. Westin performed onsite field investigations and documented the current state by reviewing existing documentation and conducting staff interviews. The Agency’s business requirements and vision for SCADA was captured through facilitated stakeholder workshops and by researching and analyzing technology alternatives and best practices required to address the Agency’s business requirements. Westin and the Agency reviewed preliminary recommendations to reach consensus on projects and priorities required to achieve the desired state, then developed project scope statements with budget and implementation plans to bridge the gap between the current state and the desired state. The final SCADA Master Plan report provided a strategic roadmap for the Agency to invest $14.3 million in SCADA upgrades over a 7-year period. Since completing the SCADA Master Plan, the Agency has contracted Westin for design and construction administration of the SCADA System upgrades at the Carbon Canyon, RP-4, and RP-5 and RP-1 facilities including RFI and Submittal reviews. The Carbon Canyon facility was completed in 2015. RP-5 is currently in the final implementation phase, while RP-4 is in the design review phase, and RP-1 is in the pre-design phase of the SCADA Upgrade program. The projects implement the migration of an existing Invensys Foxboro DCS system to a Rockwell Automation PlantPAx based SCADA Enterprise System. Consulting Engineering Services provided include system pre-design, control panel design, process control narratives, design review, and engineering services during construction.
The Region initiated the Regional Water SCADA System Integration Program to manage the steps necessary to upgrade and integrate all its water supply SCADA systems into a single standardized system capable of being remotely monitored and controlled. The project is being implemented in a multistage approach, which started with the development of a SCADA master plan, followed by the detailed design and construction stages. The scope of services provided by Westin as the prime consultant include: performing onsite investigations and asset collection at all 65 water treatment facilities, defining high-level business requirements, defining technology alternatives, evaluating alternatives against the Region’s requirement, defining the future desired state, developing scope of work directives for all required SCADA upgrades to be performed during detailed design, developing a program roadmap and capital cost estimates, developing detailed design drawings and bid (tender) specifications, performing all required system integration services, and providing contract administration / site supervision services. The Implementation Phase of the program consists of a $22 million SCADA upgrade program for 6 water treatment plants (low lift, chemical, filters, high lift) and 59 remote outstations to the Region’s new SCADA standard. Westin led project management, contract administration and supervision, detailed design, procurement, site upgrade services, site PLC/HMI programming, and post-implementation support. SCADA upgrades included the design/construction of a new 18 GHz/3.65 GHz WAN, Ethernet LANs at 6 water treatment plants, and retrofitting of the existing control panels to accommodate the GE Rx3i controller hardware platform.
Hampton Roads Sanitation District is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, established in 1940 for the purposes of water pollution abatement in Southeast Virginia for a population of 1.5 million people. HRSD’s mission is to prevent pollution, protect public health, and support community development by providing wastewater collection, treatment, and related services. HRSD owns and operates nine regional and four local wastewater treatment plants with a combined capacity of 231 million gallons per day, as well as over 500 miles of interceptor sewers and 150 pump stations, pressure reducing stations, and other remote monitoring stations. Westin performed an assessment to understand HRSD’s existing SCADA system and operational requirements, and then worked with HRSD staff to analyze a number of functional alternatives for addressing the requirements. This resulted in the development of a SCADA Upgrade Plan, presented in a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER). After completion of the PER, Westin entered the implementation phase through the design and implementation of a pilot project using the findings in the PER. At the conclusion of the pilot project, the following activities were accomplished for HRSD: Developed comprehensive standards and specifications, completed detailed architecture and design, directed SCADA platform selection process in which a detailed specification was developed, and vendors were brought in to respond. Through the selection process, a platform was selected for the SCADA top end and the Remote Stations. Directed procurement process for selection of the Constructor and Control System Integrator. Westin Managed the entire process including Advertising, RFP document management, pre-bid meetings, RFI responses, Bid Comparison, final recommendation.
The City contracted Westin to develop a comprehensive SCADA Master Plan that would define and document a roadmap for the implementation of the technology, practices, and organizational changes required to meet the District’s long-term vision for SCADA. The City was progressively becoming more dependent on their SCADA system to maintain regulatory compliance and service levels. The final SCADA master plan report provided a strategic plan for the City to invest $3.5 million in SCADA upgrades over a 4-year period. Following completion of the SCADA master plan, Westin was awarded the SCADA upgrade project that includes: Creation of a SCADA governance team; new comprehensive SCADA guidelines and standards; SCADA service level agreements between IT, Operations, and Engineering; modern Security protocols; new wide area network based on a fiber optic Telecom service provider solution or ADSL; construction of a new network server room to house SCADA workstations and network infrastructure; SCADA system upgrades at all 23 remote pumping stations to improve monitoring and control capabilities.
Fiscal responsibility is a cornerstone of a well-run utility and these organizations choose Westin to lead their efforts in ERP and related technology portfolio selection and delivery.
Personnel assisted the City of Mobile’s planning department with identifying, validating, prioritizing and optimizing the capital improvement program over the last four (4) CIP planning cycles. The process included portfolio review and decision support for projects across multiple departments and areas of need, including drainage, streets, traffic, facilities, and parks & recreation. In order for the decision framework to be accepted and ultimately successful in delivering services to the citizens of Mobile, political, long-range strategic and other key factors have been included.
Personnel assisted the Aurora Water Department in the development of a triple bottom line prioritization framework using analytical hierarchy processing and pairwise comparisons. A multi-criteria decision support model, project portfolio optimization model, and data analytics were used to assess and prioritize the City’s future water resource portfolio over a 10-year planning horizon. The work performed enabled the client to assess multiple capital project portfolios under varying budgetary, scenario and constraint conditions, providing powerful decision insights for executives.
Personnel assessed the use of the US Bureau of Reclamation version of Maximo (“CARMA”) for work planning, scheduling, and tracking across all areas of the multi-purpose facility. Fifty-seven (57) specific recommendations were condensed into five (5) initiatives focused on developing standard practices, improvements to reporting, training, data administration and management, and materials management.