Geoff Zeiss

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October 30, 2009

Comments

Kirk

I've heard anecdotes from people who've deployed field automation. The consensus is that before field automation can succeed, the older generation needs to retire. I wonder if anyone has compared productivity between someone with 2 yrs experience and someone with 22 with regard to field automation tools.

Oops, gotta go turn off my autopilot, I seem to have overshot the airport.

Andre Stegplatten

The consensus is that before field automation can succeed, the older generation needs to retire. I wonder if anyone has compared productivity between someone with 2 yrs experience and someone with 22 with regard to field automation tools.

Karen Wilhelm

One way to share knowledge and improve productivity as more experienced workers retire (or something) is to adopt the philosophy and methods being used at DTE Energy in SE Michigan. At the real workplace automation supports are all sorts of little surprises.

Example: A commercial customer with four properties had four accounts with DTE. When such a customer called customer service to pay the four bills on a credit card, there was an obstacle. The system was designed to erase credit card data as soon as the transaction had been completed. So the CS rep and the customer had to put in the same data four times.

In an improvement event, because a C-level executive was also taking part, he could call IT and ask that the problem be solved immediately.

There's a long story as to how all that developed, of course. It didn't happen overnight.

DTE made a no layoff pledge in 2009 and continued intensive training throughout the downturn. (Remember, in Detroit there are a lot of closed factories and offices no longer using electricity or gas.) Their intention is to emerge the recession as one of the strongest utility companies in North America.

Not many other utility companies are taking this route.

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