By Devon Maresco
Utilities are essential—there’s no getting around them. From power plants to field stations, billing offices to corporate campuses, utility companies need tight operations to ensure they’re meeting the exacting standards of the industry they’re in. Smooth-running facilities top the list: a place where essential employees can perform critical services without hindrance. To make this a reality takes a focus on gas and electric space utilization.
Gas and electric companies that use workplaces effectively put themselves in a position to better-serve the local population. Whether it’s responding to outage calls or processing billing, optimized facilities put utility companies in a position to meet the demands of customers beyond essential gas or electric services.
How can better space utilization enable gas and electric companies to raise their standard for service? Read on to understand the role of facilities in providing essential services, and how a little optimization goes a long way.
What is gas and electric company space utilization?
While some companies have mission-critical operations that demand more attention than others, utility providers face demand from all sides. To ensure every facet of operations meets the expectations of customers, municipalities, regulatory agencies and more, these companies need to use space effectively. Good space utilization allows seamless operations across every aspect: from grid monitoring and service dispatch to customer service and billing departments.
In essence, space utilization is simply using available space to the best of its abilities. It means organizing the call center to maximize staffing without creating cross-talk between service calls. It’s about ensuring field stations are small, yet have everything they need to meet the needs of the local population. Even something like ensuring bill pay offices have lobbies big enough to support multiple teller windows and queues represents forethought to space utilization.
Allocated accordingly, space serves as a foundation for gas and electric companies—it enables them to perform every critical function demanded of them.
The benefits of space utilization for gas and electric companies
Beyond keeping the lights on and ensuring the gas flows safely, utility companies function like any other company: they need to run efficiently to ensure profitability. Space utilization plays a role in efficiency, which contributes to the bottom line. Here’s a look at some of the ways space utilization translates into tangible benefits for oil and gas companies:
- More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
- Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
- Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of employees
- Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
- Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
- Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility
The chief takeaway of gas and electric space utilization is the ability of utility companies to maximize their overhead costs to deliver a higher standard of service more efficiently. Everyone relies on utilities, and the weight of that demand falls on gas and electric companies. Forethought to space utilization raises the caliber of service capability, so energy companies can do more with less.
How can gas and electric company space utilization software help?
Space utilization software is a lynchpin for gas and electric companies in pursuit of efficiency. Because so many aspects of utility operations are mission-critical and each deserves its own space to operate out of, utilization becomes a priority. And, because gas and electric companies have so many different facets of operations and unique space demands, software becomes necessary in managing them all.
Beyond allocating space within context, gas and electric company space utilization software also assists with the management of these spaces. From compliance with Department of Energy (DOE) standards, to OSHA controls, to general health and safety standards within spaces and buildings—software offers automation control for each of these standards. As utility companies change and adapt space, software provides the essential parameters, to ensure they’re not overlooked.
And, of course, digitization of space utilization paves the way for integration. With space metrics digitized, energy companies can tie them into everything from wayfinding, to reporting dashboards, to IoT sensors—all in pursuit of optimizing building efficiency. This correlates to better space utilization: companies can identify where inefficiencies in space allocation exist and alter them to ensure better contribution to company operations.
Utilities are essential, and so is space optimization
Utility providers constrained by their facilities strangle their ability to serve customers. Sure, they may provide consistent gas or electric by way of operations—but what about handling high volumes of service calls, helping customers with bill pay, or resolving account issues? These services are just as important, and they require space within facility to ensure results.
Gas and electric space utilization is a priority for utilities that understand their role beyond an energy supplier. Space that’s well-utilized is space spent helping customers when it comes to customer service and account management: invaluable offerings that utilities need to win at. Well-utilized space doesn’t happen by accident—it takes a realization of demand and the drive to meet it.
Keep reading: Gas and Electric Space Planning Software Benefits