By Devon Maresco
Gas and electricity are essential to everyday life. We rely on utility companies to provide us with them all day, every day, 24/7. To do this, energy companies themselves need to keep the lights on and the workforce humming along, which means having facilities that support complex operations. Safe to say, there’s no substitute for a keen focus on gas and electric facilities management.
For gas and electric companies, facility management is a cornerstone of operations management. Whether they work in billing, customer service, dispatch, legal, HR, technical services, or some other line of business, employees need to come to work each day and find an environment that supports the work they’re doing. Without it, customers suffer; anyone turning to a utility company for answers about these essential commodities.
Thankfully, good facilities management at a utility company can trickle down to exceptional service and experience. Here’s how forethought to facilities turns into a positive experience for the population served by a utility provider.
What is gas and electric company facilities management?
Facilities management centers on the maintenance, upkeep, and optimization of buildings and workplaces. The more conducive facilities are to the activities that take place within them, the better the result of a utility company’s operations. This directly contributes to the level of service the company is able to offer.
Take bill pay, for example. Many customers pay their gas and electric bill in-person. If the building isn’t handicap accessible, there’s no room to queue in line, or the facilities themselves are dark and dingey, it translates to a poor customer service experience. The same goes for employees. If dispatch coordinators deal with spotty Wi-Fi, shoddy equipment, or a messy workplace, they’re not going to do their best job.
In total, facilities management encompasses six chief areas of focus: employee support, facility technologies, health and safety, training, environment and sustainability, and facility maintenance. According to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), these are the core pillars that bridge the gap between where and how employees work.
Benefits of facilities management for gas and electric companies
Facilities management has rippling benefits for gas and electric companies. Not only does it enable a better standard of work within workplaces, it also ensures a higher caliber of result to utility customers. When facilities encourage an optimal standard, that standard gets passed down the line. Some of the chief benefits stemming from good facilities oversight include:
- Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
- Streamlined operations through better space efficiency and utilization
- More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
- Better transparency when it comes to company operations and activities
- Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
- Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate business growth
Whether it’s the central headquarters for a utility company or a field office serving a specific population, facilities are central to support. Whether it’s bill pay, dispatch, marketing, or municipal liaison, gas and electric companies need facilities that support every element of its ties to the community.
How does gas and electric company facility management software help?
The scope of utility operations is extensive—often covering huge swaths of the local population or a geographic region. With multiple facilities and complex lines of business within them, facility upkeep becomes a paramount focus. Gas and electric company facility management software brings this massive responsibility into a single interface, rife with tools to manage every important aspect.
Take support ticketing, for example. From burnt-out lights in Marketing to cross-talk interference from the electronics in Dispatch, utility workers submit facility maintenance tickets to a central system, which can prioritize and organize them accordingly. The result? Quicker maintenance and a higher standard of solution, which keeps the company chugging along with minimal interruption.
The sheer amount of data surrounding facilities is also simplified within a facility management platform. Administrators can quantify trends and make data-driven decisions based on information contextualized within facilities. Is it worth it to keep maintaining the current headquarters, or is moving to a new building the less-costly measure? What’s the frequency of HVAC maintenance? When’s the last time there was an internal OSHA audit? The answers to these questions come to fruition within facility management software.
There’s also the complexity of operations to consider. With multiple facilities and complex operations across them all, utility companies need a way to monitor everything succinctly. The answer is a cloud-based facility platform that yields insights at a glance and enables agility no matter what the next course of action is. Simply put: as utility companies grow, they need a centralized management system that grows in tandem.
Facility management helps keep the lights on for everyone
Businesses rely on utilities to keep their facilities up and running. No power? No gas? No water? No productivity, and no reason to come into the office. But to keep these critical power systems on and flowing, utility companies need to pay mind to their own facilities. Namely, they need to enable a workplace where every important cog in the company has a place to come together for the good of the entire community.
Gas and electric facilities management can be the difference between a utility provider that’s equipped to serve customers, and one that’s struggling to keep up with demand. It’s in the best interest of everyone that utility companies keep their own operations ship-shape, starting with facilities.
Keep reading: Gas and Electric Space Utilization Software Benefits